Part of nearly everyone’s bedtime routine includes making sure that the surrounding area is as quiet as possible. It is a no brainer, really. Noises are distracting, and distractions make it difficult to fall asleep. In fact, the word, “noise” actually derives from a Latin word meaning nausea.
It’s true. There are some noises that can cause your heads to hurt and even stomach to churn, rendering you unable to sleep at night.
These noises could very possibly be in your head, and not even in the world surrounding you. Perhaps it’s the voice of your boss or a coworker saying unkind things, or your inner self doubting your own abilities. It could even be an annoying song revolving through your mind that is causing relentless noise.
Whatever the cause of the noise, it is nauseating and it can cause difficulty with sleep.
But, there is a difference between noise and sound that must be noted
While noise is the equivalent of nausea, sound is not. The word, “sound” has its roots in the German language with the meaning being, healthy or strong.
Now, we don’t know about you, but a strong or healthy night sleep sounds a lot better than a nauseating one. So, here are seven sounds to help improve your rest.
1. Sounds of nature
Ocean waves, rainforest animals and rainstorms are sounds that have long been known to be helpful sleep aids. Unlike a constant hum of a single note or a sharp crashing noise, these sounds have consistent differentiation in amplitude and frequency that can help you fall asleep and if played throughout the night, keep you sleeping.
Research has also found that slight differences in heart rate were detected in those who used sounds of nature, indicating a shift in the body’s autonomic nervous system response. In other words, these sounds helped decrease the body’s sympathetic“fight-or-flight” response, and increased the parasympathetic “rest and digest” response.response.
2. Sounds of voices
There’s nothing quite like a bedtime story to get a child to sleep. Likewise, the sound of a professor’s voice is sure to lull you to sleep during class.
So, turn on an audiobook or boring talk radio. Maybe even record your professor’s lecture to play at night, so you’ll be sure to sleep as well in your own bed as you did in the lecture hall.
3. Sounds of music
Music can relax the body and soothe the soul, and that’s exactly what you need to get a good night’s rest.
However, you may want to stay away from music that has lyrics that will keep your mind active or tunes with an infrequent upbeat or guitar riff that could startle you.
Perhaps put on slower paced music like classical, folk or contemporary that will rock you to sleep without causing you to roll out of bed.
4. White sound
More commonly known as “white noise,” white sound, as we’d like to call it, has long been known to get people to sleep. Think the fuzz of a static TV or someone saying, “Shhhh.” These are examples of white sound.
And just like its color counterpart, white sound is made up of all of the audible “color” frequencies, essentially drowning out all other noises that are in the world around you. Think of it as organized chaos … but it’s best you jdon’t think about it, and just let it do its job.
5. Pink sound
While white sound has been one of the most popular of the color family sounds, pink noise (again, we prefer “pink sound”) is making its way to the most preferred list.
As opposed to a constant hum of all the sounds like its white counterpart, pink sound has more of a base tone. Just think of it as white sound with the base cranked up. Due to its low rumble, it is more appealing to the ears, omitting much of the higher pitch that can often be off-putting.
A 2013 study published in the journal Neuron found that pink noise helped participants achieve a much deeper sleep.
6. Black sound
Well, if white sound is all the frequencies at once, black sound must be … you guessed it: silence.
Yes, the sound of absolutely nothing other than your own breathing is still a viable option for many to catch those all important hours of restful sleep.
7. Your own sound
There are those who march to the beat of their own drum, and those who sleep to the hum of their own sound. They’re both one in the same, and both totally acceptable.
Maybe the sound of dogs barking in the background is something you enjoy or have grown accustomed to. Perhaps the sound of traffic rushing by or a train rumbling makes your mind and body relax when bedtime rolls around.
Who are we to judge? After all, sleep is in the eyes of the beholder, and we sure wish your eyes all the rest they need and so fully deserve.