Because of how fast paced life has become in recent years, more and more people are suffering from insomnia, and other sleep-related disorders. People who suffer from these usually get it from having increased anxiety levels, stress, and depression. While there are sleeping pills available over the counter, they should not be taken continuously. Also, with industrialization comes all kinds of pollution, and noise pollution is no exception. Thankfully, technology has come up with machines to help induce sleep, and help avoid exposure to noise pollution.
White noise is the type of sound that is made by combining all different sounds that a human can possibly hear, making a sound that masks other sounds to help promote sleep and relaxation. It works in such a way that it paralyzes our sense of hearing for us to be able to concentrate, relax, or fall asleep.
As we recall from our general science courses from elementary school, white noise is called such because white light is a combination of all of light's colors. In line with this, white noise is the combination of almost all sounds that a human ear can hear. Because there are too many sounds at once, the human ear can only distinguish white noise as sort of a hiss, which resembles the sound of waterfalls, running water, and static.
There are a lot of white noise machines available today, in a lot of different forms from different manufacturers. However, most white noise machines are used as sleep-aid devices and nap machines. While they are called white noise machines, the sounds they produce are not necessarily limited to white noise only, other machines produce different soothing sounds such as rain, music, wind and ocean waves that are added to white noise. As much as they are used for inducing sleep, they are also being used to mask conversations that don't want to be over-heard.
White noise machines are also useful for travelers, as there are portable machines available. For example, airline pilots and flight attendants don't have the leisure of resting during the flight. This is why they have to be well-rested to prepare for flights that stretch for hours and hours at a time. For a lot of them, white noise machines help them fall asleep, especially for those who are light-sleepers.
In addition to machines, there are white noise CDs that are sold. On these CDs, there are recordings of different kinds of soothing sounds that are mixed with white noise to provide the same effect as white noise machines provide. There are lots of white noise recordings that are available online for downloading. Some sites even offer them for free.
White noise machines and CDs are often recommended for those who have infants at home. The white noise machine should be placed where the noise is most likely to come through, to avoid waking a sleeping baby, or to lull a baby to sleep. Another known use for white noise machines is its ability to mask someone else's snoring. It's best heard through earphones rather than speakers, as the chances of the sound to be masked are relatively higher this way.
White noise isn't just the static sound we hear on the radio in between frequencies, and on TV when the reception is out, it actually has therapeutic and practical uses, too.