The term "white noise" refers to sounds that are used to mask other, naturally occurring sounds in your environment. It is similar to the sound of a bedroom fan running in the background, an air conditioner or to the sound of a radio tuned to an unused frequency. With its equal power across all ranges, it is quite monotonous, which helps your brain ignore high-pitched, or other unpleasant sounds.
To understand what white noise is, we have to take a closer look at what sound waves are made of. If you could take apart a sound wave, you would find two fundamental elements:
- Frequency, which is how fast the waveform is vibrating per second.
- Amplitude, which indicates the size of the waves.
The names of noise types are based on a loose analogy to the colors of light. While white noise contains all the audible frequencies, white light contains all the frequencies in the visible range.
If you live in the city, you know exactly how irritating the sounds of traffic can be, especially when you try to fall asleep at night. Have you ever run a fan at night just to create your very own sound machine? White noise can help cancel out some of the unwanted sounds in your surroundings and help you drift off to sleep.
If you are wondering right now if there is any evidence to any of these benefits, the answer is yes. According to one study, white noise can be especially helpful with putting your newborn to sleep. You can find various types of baby sound machines to help your baby sleep.
Reduces stress Increases focus
Enhances privacy Soothes headaches and migraines Masks tinnitus (ringing in the ears)