How many sheep did you count last night?
Few people get enough sleep these days. Many overlook this fact, but global sleep statistics provide a startling wake-up call. Roughly 62 percent of adults worldwide feel that they don’t get sufficient sleep, according to some estimates.
That said, the consequences of inadequate sleep can be devastating. Losing just an hour of sleep at night can be like going without sleep for a day or two.
Chronic sleeplessness damages your health. It also risks your safety on the morning commute. What makes it especially cruel is that it’s not for lack of trying that people don’t get enough sleep.
If you rarely get the recommended seven hours of sleep each night, consider getting a white noise machine.
What is white noise?
When measuring sound waves, “frequency” refers to how fast the sound waves vibrate per second. “Amplitude” refers to the size of the waves.
Frequency is measured in hertz and amplitude is usually measured in decibels. Experts define the relationship between the frequency and amplitude of a sound wave in “colors” of noise.
White consists of low-, medium-, and high-frequency sounds that occur together at the same intensity level. Many people enjoy falling asleep to the soothing purr of this type of sound.
What does a white noise machine do?
A white noise machine can help you create a more relaxing bedroom environment that promotes healthy, high-quality sleep.
In addition to white noise, the machines often produce ambient and natural sounds, as well. Some offer pink and brown noises. Some can make whirring fan sounds, chirping birds sounds, and crashing waves, too.
Below is our take on some of the best-selling, highest-rated white-noise machines available on Amazon.
The ‘LectroFan Classic white noise machine is made by a company called Adaptive Sound Technologies, Inc. It’s among the highest-rated white-noise machines in the market right now. It gets our vote for the overall best.
In addition to the ‘LectroFan series of sound machines, they also make a Sleep+Sound collection of sound machines. These offer more than white noise or fan sounds.
That said, the LectroFan Classic is a favorite among many would-be sleep-deprived people. This machine has a 60-minute timer which nappers might find useful.
But what stands out about the ‘LectroFan is the clarity of its white, pink, and brown noises.
The sounds are digitally synthesized. But they’re non-looping. This means the device doesn’t play a small track of sound over and over again.
That is the case with some white-noise machines. A sound loop can be distracting when you’re trying to fall asleep.
You can crank the volume on this machine up to a whopping 85 decibels. You can also keep it low enough to barely be heard at all.
A Great Runner-Up
If you prefer an old-fashioned, low-tech machine that produces more subtle noises, go for the Marpac Dohm DS. This model is the original white noise machine, and its design has remained virtually unchanged since 1962.
The Dohm DS generates noises similar to what you hear when you cup a palm over your ear. At 4 inches tall and 5.5 inches wide, it’s a little larger than the LectroFan, but it’s much simpler.
The Dohm’s acoustic housing contains a rotating fan. It has just two settings. The lower of these generates a sound that’s less than 55 decibels.
This should work if you normally sleep with a box fan running. Of course, you won’t get dust bunnies blown into your face all night with this device.
The Best Budget Option
If you’re on a budget but want a white-noise machine that works, consider the HoMedics White Noise Machine. HoMedics has been promoting health and well-being with its line of wellness products since 1987.
The company designed its portable white-noise machine to block out ambient distractions and create a sleep-inducing room environment.
“It has a classic design, works well, and is great for folks not looking to shell out a ton of money,” says one reviewer.
This device offers six soothing sounds, including white noise, thunder, ocean, rain, summer night, and brook – and it’s compact. This makes it excellent for moving around the house or packing into luggage when you travel.
Of course, it’s still worth noting that this a budget machine. You’ll be able to tell when you listen closely. That is, don’t expect a lavish spread when it comes to the variety of waves crashing.
Other Options and a Word of Caution
If you have an Echo Dot or any other Alexa speaker, you can enable Alexa skill’s Ambient Noise. You’ll get sounds ranging from a whale to a dishwasher or washing machine!
There are dozens of other available Alexa sleep sounds. Alexa may even suggest some if you ask for white noise or sleep sounds. You can also search for white-noise playlists on Prime Music.
Remember, however, that you shouldn’t turn any white-noise device up too loud around sleeping children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics warns parents to keep sound machines at around 50 decibels around slumbering children.
The organization likewise says you should keep white-noise machines about 6.5 feet away from babies.
Be that as it may, if you have trouble sleeping, we suggest you do some research on white-noise machines. The right one will help you sleep better a lot faster than counting sheep.