Archive for category white noise

White noise can help you sleep better

white noise app

What is white noise?

White noise is simply a constant background sound that drowns out other sounds.

How does it help you sleep?

When you’re awakened by a noise, it’s not the noise itself that causes you to wake up – it’s the CHANGE in the noise level that wakes you. When you’re falling asleep in a quiet room, have you ever noticed that you hear every noise in the house? You hear the sound of the house shifting, the wind outside, the clock ticking in another room, a car driving by outside, etc. These same noises will still be processed by your brain whenever you fall asleep and the louder ones can wake you or disturb your sleep. Sounds that you hear in the night may disturb your sleep, even if they do not wake you up.

fan sound helps you fall asleep and stay asleepWhen a consistent sound (such as a fan) plays in the background while you sleep, it masks the abrupt changes in noise levels that may occur. This helps you fall asleep easier and makes it less likely that your sleep will be disturbed by noise during the night.

As you’re falling asleep, try turning on a source of white noise, such as the NiteFan app for iOS or the Marpac White Noise Machine

After falling asleep to white noise, you’ll notice how the noises that you normally hear are now barely noticeable and how you feel more rested in the morning.

Scientific sources

The following articles detail sleep research that support the statements made in this article:

The influence of white noise on sleep in subjects exposed to ICU noise
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16139772

Listen to the noise: noise is beneficial for cognitive performance in ADHD.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17683456

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How to sleep better when you travel

Do you find it hard to sleep whenever you travel? You’re not alone. Among the many things that can keep you awake when traveling, you usually have to cope with strange noises and lights, unfamiliar surroundings, a different pillow, and possibly even a different temperature than you’re used to.

This list of tips will help you sleep better when you’re away from home. Be sure to pin this or bookmark it for your next trip.

Sleep better at the hotel

sleep better when you travel

Eliminate stimuli

Turn off the TV, close the blinds, turn off all but the most dim light. You want to leave at least one light on so you don’t hurt yourself if you have to get up in the middle of the night.

Bring an eye mask with you, even if you’re not used to wearing one at home. You may not realize how annoying the outside lights can be until you’ve turned out the lights to go to bed.

Listen to a white noise app to mask unfamiliar sounds in the night. Hotels are notorious for strange sounds… the A/C unit, the neighbors, the whirlpool tub upstairs… and all of these can wake you up at night. If you use a white noise app like NiteFan that plays a consistent, multi-pitched sound throughout the night, your mind will focus on that sound and other sounds will not be as distracting.

If you have a room mate who doesn’t appreciate your white noise app, bring a pair of sleep headphones to wear at night. These are headphones designed exclusively for sleeping and will allow you to rest your head in any position. They will make your white noise app even more powerful in masking out unwanted sounds.

Make your atmosphere more familiar

Bring your own pillowcase from home. The familiar smell and feel may help you to fall asleep easier.

Bring an extension cord so you can keep your electronics as close or as far away from the bed as you’re used to. This is especially important if you’re using your phone for white noise or an alarm clock. Some hotels do not have outlets available on both sides of the bed.

Bring a night light. This may seem odd, but plugging in a night light is less distracting than leaving the bathroom light on.

Ask for a different type of pillow if necessary. Some hotels have more firmness and size options available if you call the front desk.

Bring a cup of herbal tea from home that helps you sleep. Brew it in your room’s coffee maker.

Sleeping on a train or plane

  • Let your flight attendant know that you are going to try to sleep so you won’t be disturbed for drinks or other questions.
  • Bring a neck pillow and/or a small blanket from home to allow you to rest in a comfortable position.
  • Wear an eye mask to block out the overhead lights or other traveler’s electronics
  • Eliminate the noise of the engine and other passengers with a white noise app such as NiteFan.
  • Headphones are a must. You can order headphones that are made especially for sleeping for the most comfortable resting position.
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    How to Sleep on a Plane

    You’re going to board a plane soon. You’ll ride in a giant metal tube with a hundred or more other humans and land in a different part of the world. Sounds pretty awesome! Crying babies, turbulence, boredom, leg cramps… I’ll bet you can’t wait!

    Other than reading a good book, entertaining yourself with a game or video, or getting a bit of work done, sleeping on a plane is probably one of the best uses of your time in the air. It will make the time pass quicker, you’ll be less anxious, you won’t have to consciously deal with annoying passengers, and best of all, you’ll be well-rested and have less jet lag when you arrive at your destination.

    Have you ever tried sleeping on a plane, though? It sounds great in theory, but the distractions on the plane can keep you from getting some good zzzs. This article will offer a few good tips and product suggestions that can make sleep more likely when you travel.

    Get a window seat

    Unless you have a friendly seat-neighbor who doesn’t mind if you lean on his shoulder and snooze, the window seat is the only seat in the row that offers more than one place to rest your head. You also do not have to worry about being disturbed by passengers getting out of their seats, walking up and down the aisle, or by the flight attendants passing out snacks.

    Wear comfortable clothes

    You probably shouldn’t wear pajamas, but it would be tough to sleep in a business suit. Wear something less constrictive and more comfortable.

    Drink the right beverages

    Skip the caffeine in the airport or other food / beverages that will keep you awake. You should also avoid too much alcohol as it may have the opposite effect that you’re looking for. Have a cup of warm, herbal tea before your flight or something equally calming.

    Take medication, if necessary

    Talk to your doctor before you travel. If you have anxiety or motion sickness when you fly, ask for a prescription that will help you relax on the flight. You can also ask if an OTC medication such as an antihistamine or a sleeping pill, or a natural sleep aid that would be appropriate on your trip.

    Announce your intentions

    Let your flight attendant and passengers in the seats next to you know that you are going to try to sleep so you won’t be disturbed for drinks or other questions.

    Pack these items

    You’ll want to bring one or more of these products with you depending on your tolerance for light, noise and comfort:

  • Eye mask (sleep mask). This Dream Essentials® Silk Sleep Mask is one of the most highly rated masks on Amazon
  • Neck pillow
  • Your iPhone, with a free white noise app such as NiteFan loaded
  • Sleep headphones or comfortable earbuds
  • Small blanket
  • An extra battery to keep your phone charged, if necessary. Check TSA.gov to find out which types of batteries are allowed on US flights
  • If you cannot fit all of this in your carry-on, a soft jacket can be a substitute for a pillow or blanket and a scarf can be a great substitute for a pillow or eye mask.

  • The importance of white noise

    White noise is a constant sound that drowns out other sounds. When you’re awakened by a noise, it’s not the noise itself that causes you to wake up, but the CHANGE in the noise level that wakes you. On an airplane, you will hear many different sounds from the airplane engines, the other passengers, and the flight attendants. If you are a nervous flyer, the changing sounds of the engine and other equipment can make you anxious. If you are trying to sleep, changes in the volume of sound can wake you or keep you from falling asleep in the first place. When you have a constant sound playing in your ear, such as the sound of the fan that you hear in the NiteFan app, your mind will focus on this sound and the other sounds will register as abruptly in your sleeping brain.

    The NiteFan app will play the sound of a fan until you’re ready to turn it off. You can mix the sounds of 4 different fans together until you find the frequency that works best for you. In version 1.2, you can also add extra sound characteristics such as clicks or rain to the sound of the fan. In combination with a comfortable set of headphones (I recommend these), this app will help you fall asleep in the most distracting environments.

    TL;DR

    In conclusion, the best way to sleep on a plane is to dress comfortably, let people know that you intend to sleep, take medication if recommended by your doctor, get a window seat, block out the light with a mask and fall asleep to the sound of a fan with the NiteFan app.

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