What Is A White Noise Machine?

    Remember when you were just a small tot and your mom would caution you to be quiet as your dad is having a pre-dinner nap after a hard day in the office? Although some people can sleep through all kinds of rackets, others are easily awakened by a barking dog or a passing car. But now there is a new device that deadens all types of noise – the white noise machine. To make the most out of this device, you have to know more about what is a white noise machine and how it can help you.

    White Noise System Overview

    Although it is not really white this white noise machine is similar to white light that combines all frequencies as one. It has a random signal that is considered as white noise for its spectrum is flat above the widest possible bandwidth of the medium. This means that white noise has the propensity to camouflage sounds coming from a broad extension of frequencies. The sound comes from a device that produces a sound that is indiscriminate in random character. It may sound like waves lapping the seashore or the breeze blowing through the trees.

    When you invite white noise to your bedroom, you are using a principle called sound masking. The device does not eliminate the unpleasant sound but instead it masked the frequencies using the white noise signal

    How Does White Noise Work?

    What Is A White Noise Machine?Is it not strange for you to bring inside your slumber chamber “noise” to help you fall asleep? It may sound contradictory but its effectivity has been proven to work as the noise simply blends with whatever are external sounds in the overall background as barking dogs, running motorcycle or noisy neighborhood. It seems that your brain is paying less attention to unpleasant noise and turning your attention to the white sound.

    Seth S. Horowitz, a neuroscientist, explains that in the evolution of hearing, it has developed a kind of alarm system that operates even when you are asleep. Your ears become used to the sounds in your environment unless they alarm your cognitive radar as being worthy of attention. It is the context of the sound that keeps you awake, not necessarily the volume. The system of hearing is discriminatory as it makes possible for some people to sleep in the midst of a boisterous rally. It is the same reaction when you are startle and wake up from the noise of an ambulance siren many blocks away.

    White Noise Sounds and Other Types

    Throughout its amplification in a wide range of frequencies, white noise system has been constant. When real white noise is electronically generated, due to lots of high frequency energy, you hear unpleasant sounds like a radio or TV statics; it is unpleasant to the ear so there are other types of white noise sounds.

    When used as a general description, white noise has become a colloquial term to stand for myriad of sounds:

    • nature sounds

    These are sounds imitating nature. Many love the sound of rain, waves lapping the shore, waterfalls falling on rocks, chirping of birds or crickets, the wind traversing in the rainforest, echoes from the jungle and etc.

    • machinery noises

    Noises from machinery are not welcome by many but its continuous monotonous rhythm can lull you to sleep. Noise coming from an air conditioning units, washing machine, electric fan, electric egg beater, and etc., are sleep-inducing.

    • ambient soundscapes

    The sound you imagine coming from an ambient landscape is a potential noise maker for sleep. Listen to the sound of an aircraft interior, crackling woods in a campfire, crowd noise in a horse race, a fleeting train running along a railroad, and etc.

    These types of sound are preferred by most people to put them to sleep instead of the raw tone of pure white noise.

    Colorful White Noise

    White noise is as colorful as a rainbow, it boosts of many colors to include: brown, blue, green, grey, pink, red and violet, to name a few. Colors differ as they are representatives of precise spectral density and have varied apps in other fields as in acoustics, engineering and even physics.

    Pink noise tops as the most commonly used alternative to true white noise. It has been systematically filtered to lessen its power as the frequency arises. Unlike white noise that has equal intensity across frequencies; pink noise maintains the same equal intensity across octaves. Studies on pink noise as a potential sleep aid gave promising results. They promote better sleep as they drown out sounds that usually keep you from falling asleep or waking you up in the middle of sleep. Such devices do not emit the harsh sound as a white noise, but more on pink noise whose power runs its course in more elevated frequencies, or other colors of noise.

    Pink noise is a signal whose frequency spectrum has power spectral energy that is opposite to the frequency of the signal. Every octave in pink noise bears an equal amount of noise power.

    Uses of white noise

    1. As a noise masking device – Noise can be irritating as it keeps you from a relaxing sleep. White noise machine will mask any sound in a room. Does white noise help you sleep? This is the primary purpose of the white noise machine. It camouflaged noise that prevents a good night’s rest.
    2. Avoid office’s distracting noise – Noisy office is a great distraction for employees to concentrate and work efficiently. Open offices will benefit from sound masking devices, as the added noise covers existing sounds in the area, making workers less distracted and more productive.
    3. More concentration in studying – This device is ideal for students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) who have difficulty studying when the environment is too quiet. Noise generator is their leeway these situations,
    4. Alleviate condition for those with Tinnitus – It is used in treating tinnitus, an abnormal hearing disorder that causes a constant ringing in the ears for its capability of camouflaging the ringing s
    5. For baby’s sleep – White sound machine provides babies a good sleep despite noisy environment surrounding the little one. The baby experiences difficulty in transition from the quiet comfort of a mother’s womb to a noisy cold world.
    6. Best for relaxation – The sounds calm you from the cares of the home and office. Just keep listening and relax, reaching a state of increased calmness and reducing your levels of anxiety, stress, or anger.
    7. Aid in meditation – Natural noises from the pattering rain, turbulent ocean, and dropping waterfalls are best for meditation that are amply provided by white noise.
    8. For sound therapy – Used since the ancient Greek, sounds create emotional balance, spiritual and relationship healing, and overall health. Today, many people still rely on sounds as a natural healing method and have been highly successful.

    Some tips that won’t cost you a penny for a white noise machine

    1. Old radio boxes or anything using an FM tuner is enough to create white noise makers. Just dial in between stations or break the antenna and you have a perfectly good approximation of pink noise.
    2. Sounds from a whirling of a standard desk fan are sufficient for sound masking.
    3. Use free white noise MP3s but you still need something to play the MP3s back; however, any computer or mobile phone should suffice.
    4. Suggestions from sleepless junkies for making your own sleep sound track: white noise coming from a smartphone and countless free and paid apps already on your Android device or iPhone.

    Safety Issues of White Noise Machine

    A number of researches confirmed that white noise sound machine has no harmful effects on humans. Another study, although unrelated to sleep, showed that white noise benefits ADHD patients in alleviating concentration and their cognitive performance.

    There were issues linking white noise to health risk in infants when scientists claimed too much white noise exposure affects infant’s brain development. However, it is wise for parents to use white noise for babies on special occasions so it will not cause lasting damaging effects. It is best to consult baby’s pediatrician for any special concern.

    Proper Use of Sound and Noise

    Noise machines utilized their own measurement and color coding technique. This enables specialized users to recognize noise and sound based on individual needs and usage. Specialization of needs is dependent on professions and individual requirements. Individual needs are special ones required by various activities such as a student needing a favorable environment to study, office workers who need a quiet office to work with concentration, a baby who is starting to adapt to the world outside the mother’s womb. The more with professionals as psychiatrists and doctors who need certain sounds for therapies and treatments, and patients suffer from certain conditions ranging from insomnia to anxiety and even tinnitus. These conditions are overcome with special devices known as a white noise machine. The “white” is the color code given to noise having a particular frequency spectrum.

    Now that you have learned what a white noise machine is, use it to your best advantage.