A few days ago, I was downloading an app that claimed that it would help me to get a relaxing sleep. Out of curiosity, I checked the description of the app, and I came across the term, “White Noise.” We all know that noise is unwanted sound but what exactly is white noise and how can it provide us a relaxing atmosphere?
What Is White Noise?
First thing first, White noise is a type of noise. It is produced when the sound of different frequency blends at a similar level. The audible frequency of human beings ranges from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. Thus, for creating a white noise we can pick as a number of sounds of different frequency ranging from 20 to 20,000 Hz as we want, and then all we need to do is to put it on a similar level.
White noise has received its name from the term ‘White Light’. White light is formed when different colors of light (frequency) combine. And the white noise is also produced similarly. Now you know where the term is created from.
How Does White Noise Work?
Imagine yourself in a restaurant with no one but your group of four friends. Even if your friends start speaking simultaneously, you will be able to distinguish among the individual voices.
Now imagine yourself in a stadium with around 1000 people around you who are speaking simultaneously. Would you now be able to hear an individual sound? I guess, no. All you will hear is a blurred roar.
And the effect of white noise is somewhat similar. It provides you with the constant noise of different frequency at the same level, thus blocking out every other sound.
How Does White Noise Help You To Sleep?
You are sleeping, suddenly an object falls, and you wake up. Do you know why do you wake after hearing a sudden sound? This is because your brain keeps on taking auditory input even when you are asleep and that auditory information is regularly processed, though in a haphazard manner. And therefore, a sudden sound wakes your restless brain.
Now when you play white noise while sleeping, it masks the background noise and to be honest, your brain needs to do no effort in order to process that noise. All the background noise will slowly fade away from you and will become less disturbing. This has a soothing effect on your brain. Also, now in order to wake you up from sleep, a sound has to be created that has a greater amplitude than the white noise itself. The threshold for the noise to be noticed by you is increased by white noise. Thus, you can now sleep like a baby as no sudden jolts of noise can now disturb you.
Now I know why I keep the fan on while sleeping even when I don’t need it. It’s all related to sound, isn’t it? And check the white noise below, which I was listening to when I was writing this post. Do, let me know if you like it.