Does White Noise Actually Help You Sleep?


Most people typically seek the quietest places to fall asleep as extra stimulation from outside noise can affect the process of falling asleep. But what if noise could help you fall asleep faster? 

White noise is one of the popular remedies for sleeplessness. In this article, we’ll explore what white noise is, how it works and if it has any benefits. 

What is White Noise? 

White noise is an equal mixture of all the different frequencies of sound between 20 and 20,000 Hertz. You can think of it as a sound that contains all other sounds, just like white light contains all other colours. White noise may contain all audible sounds, but far from being a chaotic sound, it sounds like the humming ‘shhh’ sound you get from static TV or a humming air conditioner. 

How Does White Noise Work?

White noise helps you to sleep by masking all other environmental sounds. When you’re trying to sleep, what wakes you up isn’t the noise per se but the deviation from the background noise. So, if you’re sleeping in a room where the TV is on, increasing the volume and introducing a sound that deviates from the background sound will wake you up. 

White noise masks these other sounds and allows your mind to focus on relaxing. It also gives the mind something to focus on while relaxing, which is especially helpful for people who struggle with an overactive mind. 

But if the brain is disturbed by the sound, why isn’t white noise also irritating? The brain considers white noise a “background” sound, so it doesn’t disrupt the relaxing process.

Benefits Of White Noise 

Everyone says white noise is great for falling asleep and maintaining deep sleep, but what are the benefits of using white noise to fall asleep?

Quietens The Room 

White noise “quietens” the room by masking all other background sounds from outside or inside. If you have noisy neighbours or loud housemates, white noise can quieten the room enough for you to sleep. White noise can mask other sounds and improve your sleep if you’re very sensitive to outside sounds. 

Helps The Brain Relax 

As mentioned earlier, the brain doesn’t consider white noise irritating or jarring enough to make a difference, so it can relax into sleep regardless of white noise playing in the background. 

Keeps You Asleep 

White noise doesn’t just help you fall asleep, it also keeps you asleep. By masking other sounds in the background, white noise doesn’t allow the brain’s relaxed state to be affected by any jarring noises deviating from the white noise hum. This is why people who use the best white noise apps fall asleep faster and experience deeper, more refreshing sleep than those who don’t. 

Helps In Building A Sleep Routine 

A sleep routine is essential if you struggle with insomnia. Maintaining a routine signals to the brain that it’s time to fall asleep. Studies show that people with sleep routines have a healthier sleep. White noise can be a key part of building a sleep routine. If you regularly fall asleep to white noise, your brain registers it and associates white noise with sleep. That way, you’ll find it easier to fall asleep.

Where Can You Get White Noise? 

Now that you know what white noise is and how beneficial it is to sleep, where can you get it? 

Aside from the everyday occurrences of white noise via TV static and whirring fans, there are other sources of white noise. 

White Noise Apps Or Sleep Aid Apps

Can’t sleep audio app is designed to help users fall asleep using a collection of effective scientifically-proven sounds, including white noise. Most sleep aid apps contain white noise, but these apps have great white noise selections – Calm, Pzizz, and Atmosphere. These apps also have other features that can help improve sleep. 

White Noise Machines

Some machines emit white noise. You can find them at any Walmart near you or on Amazon. 

Music Streaming Platforms

Some music streaming platforms like Spotify have some white noise playlists if you can’t afford to use an app or don’t need white noise’s help too often. 


White noise is a sound that contains all audible sounds and emits a non-jarring ‘shhh’ sound. With white noise, the brain can relax and fall asleep without being disturbed by other background sounds. 

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