Health and Wellness

How White Noise Helps Give You A More Relaxing Night’s Sleep

By Ryan Spooner

If you are looking for a better night’s sleep, try White Noise. Science is revealing why the sound of the natural world, like ocean waves, as well as artificial noises, such as the sound of fans and air conditioners, help us achieve a more relaxing sleep. Here’s everything you need to know about white noise and why it is so powerful as sleep music.

What is White Noise?

White noise is produced by combining sounds of all of the different frequencies together. That’s 20,000 tones all playing at the same time. Because it contains so many frequencies, it masks other sounds.

White noise is why the sounds of nature, like rain, wind, waterfalls or oceans, are so powerful. There are so many different tones created by these natural forces that it has the same power as artificial white noise.

Eliminating Unwanted Sounds For A Better Sleep

So you’re lying in bed. You are ready to sleep. You hear a voice outside. The words are muffled, you can’t help but listen. Then the furnace kicks on. Now you’re wondering if you turned the heat down. Congratulations, you are now more awake than when you went to bed.

It is scenarios like these where white noise helps. It functions to reduce the signal-to-noise ratio, decreasing the power of random sounds and preventing sleep interruption. It masks the perception of normally disrupting nighttime noises, such as wind, car alarms, and voices. This constant white noise satisfies your brain’s need for stimulation and prevents it from getting overly excited when it hears random noises in the night. The National Sleep Foundation recommends white noise to increase your chances of having an undisturbed sleep.

The Sleep Science of White Noise

Increasing scientific evidence says white noise is a non-pharmacological complementary treatment for insomnia. It has been shown to induce sleep in infants and adults. For people with PTSD and acute stress disorder, white noise can act as a simple, safe, cost-effective alternative to medication in some cases.

In intensive care units, patients have an increase in sleep disorders when compared to other areas of the hospital. A 2016 study sought to determine the effect of white noise on the quality of sleep in patients in the Critical Care Unit. They concluded that “white noise is recommended as a method for masking environmental noises, improving sleep, and maintaining sleep in the coronary care unit.” White noise improved the quality of sleep for patients in an area where people are bombarded by conversation, alarms, and other sleep-disturbing noises.

White Noise, Nature’s Own Relaxing Music

Many people find the sound of oceans, rivers, waterfalls and rain relaxing and calming. Now, science is showing that there is a good reason for it, those sounds physically change our minds and bodies.

Researchers at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) found that playing nature sounds lowered the flight-or-fright response in participants. Measuring brain activity in an MRI scanner, the study found that "we are all familiar with the feeling of relaxation and ’switching-off’ which comes from a walk in the countryside, and now we have evidence from the brain and the body which helps us understand this effect."

Listen To White Noise On Calm Radio

There are multiple ways to experience white noise on Calm Radio. Choose from relaxing nature sounds or sleep-inducing fans, air conditioners, and a white noise channel we created.

These white noise channels are extremely useful for:

  • Noisy workplace environments: these channels can help reduce the chance of symptoms of Tinnitus or ear ringing, as the sounds can help mask other sounds.
  • Sleeping: these channels can also mask out external noise, like street noise, or room noise.
  • Tinnitus or ear ringing: white noise helps mask out the internal ringing you hear.

Experience all of our relaxing white noise and nature sounds by signing up for a premium membership from Calm Radio.

Happy listening!


Listen to our many soothing white noise and nature sound channels on Calm Radio. Listen to over 1000 channels of relaxing music and meditation music on our Calm Radio mobile apps, desktop apps, Sonos, Alexa and over 20 devices. Read devotional reflections on faith and enjoy to calming Christian instrumental music here.

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