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how and why to choose a white noise device

White noise devices help block out ambient noise, which can help some people sleep. Some people also use white noise devices to help focus or soothe toddlers.

What is a white noise device?

White noise devices emit sounds intended to help people relax or fall asleep. White noise has a fixed frequency and pitch that can mask disruptive sounds like snoring, noise from outside the neighborhood, or thunderstorms. People can use white noise wearable devices to block out noise while traveling or at work.

Benefits of White Noise Machines

White noise devices can promote restful sleep, improve cognitive skills, and help children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) focus on tasks. A small 2020 study found that listening to 75 decibels of white noise helped elementary school students with ADHD focus in class and develop better sleep habits at home, even though white noise was only played during class. Authors of a small 2021 study wrote about how white noise can improve sleep in people living in noisy environments and said white noise devices helped reduce sleep disturbances.

A 2016 study looking at the effect of white noise on people in coronary care found that white noise devices also helped participants block out ambient noise. White noise also reduced the time it took them to fall asleep and increased the quality and duration of their sleep.

Additionally, a 2017 study found that using white noise in study exercises helped adults without health or cognitive problems memorize and retain new words better than those who didn’t. This suggests that white noise devices can improve cognitive performance.

How to choose a white noise machine

Here are some factors to consider when purchasing a white noise machine:

– Non-repeating sounds: Some people may find it easier to sleep when the white noise machine plays non-repeating sounds.

– Volume and Tone Control: You might want to buy a machine that allows you to adjust the volume and tone of tones.

– Sleep Timer: Some people may want to buy a white noise machine that has a sleep timer. These devices automatically stop transmitting sounds after a specified time.

– Headphone Jack: People who share their room with other people may want to buy a white noise machine that has a headphone jack or Bluetooth connectivity.

– Image projection: Some devices project images onto the wall while transmitting sounds. This can be beneficial for infants and young children.

– Price: When buying a white noise machine, you need to consider your budget. More expensive devices can output a wider range of white and ambient noise, e.g. B. the sound of the ocean.

How to use a white noise machine?

One can use white noise devices to block out ambient noise when one is sleeping, working, or traveling.
Although each white noise machine may have a different instruction manual, it generally requires:

1 Connect the device to the mains or insert batteries and switch it on.
2 Scroll through the tones.
3 Adjust the volume and frequency of the tones.
4 Set an auto off sleep timer.

If a person uses headphones, they must connect them to the white noise machine.

Can white noise be harmful?

Although white noise can be beneficial, people should be mindful of their machine’s white noise volume. Especially if they use it to soothe infants.
A 2014 study published in the journal Pediatrics found that white noise devices can make noises loud enough when improperly adjusted to cause hearing damage in infants. This noise level can also affect certain aspects of development, such as: B. Speech and language development.

Therefore, parents and caregivers should use white noise devices:

– at the lowest volume setting
– for a short time
– remotely by placing the machine as far away from the child as possible.

Devices with white noise and a sleep timer automatically turn off the noise once the child falls asleep.
Adults should not increase the volume of a white noise device above 70 decibels. . Any sound above 85 decibels can cause long-term hearing damage.

Other options

Various white noise apps are available on smartphones and other smart devices. People may prefer an app as a more portable alternative to a white noise machine.

Alternative methods to mask distracting noises while resting or sleeping are sleep headphones and earplugs.
In addition to masking noise, people can try other methods to induce sleep, such as:

– go to bed at the same time every day
– Do something relaxing before bed, such as B. a warm bath
– Use blinds or blackout drapes to block the light in the room
– Minimize background noise and interference
– soundproof the bedroom if the person lives in a noisy environment.

If a person is unable to sleep because of another family member’s snoring, they can use earplugs. When possible, people can reduce the risk of snoring by avoiding alcohol before bed and sleeping on their backs. Sleeping on your side or with your head slightly elevated can also help.

Frequently asked questions about white noise devices

Is it better to sleep without a white noise device?

Whether you sleep with or without a white noise device is a matter of personal preference. White noise can help people fall asleep faster and provide them with a more restful night’s sleep. Some people may use a white noise machine to block out ambient noise at work or when traveling.

What is the best white noise machine?

There is no better white noise device. People should consider their individual needs when purchasing a white noise machine. Some people will prefer a portable device, while others will prefer a product with a wider range of sounds.

Is rain white noise?

Many white noise machines feature rain sounds. However, rain is pink noise because it is usually lower in frequency than white noise.


White noise devices can help improve sleep quality and concentration for both adults and children. Many white noise devices are available with various additional features, including sleep timers, natural sounds, and portability. Although white noise devices can be beneficial, they can cause hearing damage if a person uses them for long periods of time. They can also exceed the volume limits that experts recommend for infants. It is therefore recommended to use white noise devices with low volume and place the device away from the bed or cot.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.

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