Hoom secret #2: white noise

White noise has saved many sleepless nights among insomniacs.

Particularly effective in avoiding insomnia due to stormy noise, today it has a fair share in the arsenal of ambiances used for sleeping.

Hoom, it is not only immersive stories that we listen to fall asleep.

Because there are as many sleeper profiles as sleepers, the HoomBand application (available for Android and Iphone) wants to be the most complete possible, to provide a customisable solution, depending on the mood or sensitivity of each.

In this article, we try to understand why white noise is also effective for falling asleep AND staying asleep.

Summary :

1- What exactly is white noise?

If we leave aside the scientific definition of white noise, we can sum it up like this: it’s a noise which reduces the difference between the background noise of an environment and an irregular sound which disturbs this environment.[1]

It is therefore a monotone sound, constant, and having a strong “covering” power over other sounds.

It is made up of all frequencies that the human ear can perceive (from 20 Hertz to 20,000 Hertz).

Why is it called “white”? (strange idea to give colours to noises!)

No official explanation but according to us, since the colour white is a mixture of all colour waves, one can thus imagine that its sound is also a joyful hubbub able to cover all the others!

“Pure” white noise would resemble the encrypted sound of a TV or improperly adjusted radio. This is thus not very pleasant to hear, because this sound contains a lot of high energy frequencies.

Contrary to what a lot of people think, the sound of a river, birds, or wind in a forest does not fall into the category of white noise: they are not monotone.

Used in everyday language, the term “white noise” is today used incorrectly for sounds of nature (waves, forest, birds, etc.) or the noises of electronic devices (fan, air conditioner TV, etc.).

According to some, we can be more or less sensitive to white noise.

Not only do they allow you to fall asleep faster by covering surrounding noises, but they also allow reducing your sensitivity to noises that wake you.

Those who can be woken due to a door slamming in the morning or dogs barking in the middle of the night will find there an ingenious way to get around these problems.

And even if you wake up, the reassuring sound of the white noise lets you reduce the time of falling back asleep.

2- It’s effectiveness on the quality of your sleep

White noise therefore has the specificity for creating ideal conditions for you to fall asleep and to remain asleep.

In an environment as noisy as a hospital, researchers wanted to demonstrate the effects of white noise on the sleep quality of a group of hospitalised patients. The response is affirmative! According to them, white noise is effective because they can cover the surrounding noises, helping people fall asleep faster, and stay asleep even in a noisy environment. [2]

This same study shows that white noise was able to increase sleep duration by about 2 hours, with the persons participating in the experience.

That is significant!

Psychiatrist David Neubauer, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine is resolute:

“White noise forms a sort of “sound cocoon”, which can be very relaxing. When an environment is completely calm, people suffering from insomnia concentrate even more on the small noisy details, which hinders them from falling asleep easily”.

Another study conducted on 20 infants between the ages of 2 and 7, shows that 80% among them fall asleep in less than 5 minutes after having listened to white noise: these sounds are thus effective for the entire family. [3]

3- Improving sleep, but not only...

Researchers have discovered that white noise allows not only falling asleep faster, but they also increase our memory and learning capacities. [4]

There are red, violet, grey, and pink noises, depending on their spectral density. Some studies are currently looking at pink noise, with particularly promising results on memory and falling asleep. [5]

With your HoomBand adjusted right and your white noise active, nothing can disturb you!

To recap

White noise and your HoomBand are thus especially effective:

  • if you have insomnia problems
  • if you are particularly sensitive to noises
  • if you are travelling, for you to fall asleep in transportation
  • if you wish to improve your memory capacities

Here is an example of white noise available in the HoomBand application (available for Android and Iphone):

00:00

New white noise is regularly added. Every night, your sound!

With your headband properly adjusted and white noise active, there is little chance of disturbing your rendezvous with Morpheus.

Discover other HoomBand secrets for you to fall asleep:

Sources

[1] The influence of white noise on sleep in subjects exposed to ICU noise, Michael L.Stanchina, Muhanned Abu-Hijleh et al, Sleep Medicine, 2005

[2] Effect of White Noise on Sleep in Patients Admitted to a Coronary Care, Pouya Farokhnezhad Afshar et al, J Caring Sci. 2016 Jun

[3] White noise and sleep induction, JA Spencer et al, Arch Dis Child, 1990

[4] Vanessa H Rausch et al, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 2014, Ran D Anbar and Molly P Slothower, BMC Pediatre 2006

[5] Acoustic Enhancement of Sleep Slow Oscillations and Concomitant Memory Improvement in Older Adults, Papalambros NA et al, Front Hum Neurosci. 2017 Mar