From night owls to chronic insomniacs, a myriad of sleep aids have been developed to assist our nighttime snoozing.
One method that seems to work for most is the use of ambient noise. Ambient noise is any soothing noise that plays at a low volume to aid the sleeper in falling asleep.
For some, quiet music can be a lullaby. For others, a soundscape like crickets, rain or thunderstorms can work.
Why is it that these types of sounds help us sleep?
First of all, not every sound can be classified as relaxing. Light sleepers may wake up to the sound of a thunderstorm track when the thunder booms, however low the audio may be.
On the other hand, they may sleep peacefully through the night when listening to white noise. The part of our brains called the auditory cortex keeps responding to sounds even after we fall asleep, so a relaxing sound keeps us snoring away until it’s time to wake up.
It’s especially important to keep the sound constant during hypnagogia, the state between being awake and sleeping. Interruption during this time can undo any positive effects from sleep sounds.
White and pink noise have been the most successful sleep sounds, though it may take some experimenting with different sounds to see which one is right for you.
White noise uses all frequencies that the human ear can hear, whereas pink noise uses a variant of white noise in lower octaves and volume.
It’s basically a sound-blocking technique that fools the brain into ignoring all sounds so that you can get a good night’s rest.
Speaking of sound-blocking, AcousticSheep has come out with SleepPhones, a pair of headphones that are made specifically for the difficult sleeper or anyone looking for an easier way to fall asleep.
Quiet speakers fit snugly in a headband around the wearer’s ears and can be used to play whatever sleep sounds you want. You can hook the headphones up to your mp3 player, CD player or computer and play your favorite track. The device has a standard 3.5 millimeter jack that’s compatible with most audio players.
SleepPhones have slim speakers that can be removed in order to wash the headband, so you won’t have to worry about buildup of oils and dead skin. The thinner speakers allow even side sleepers to snooze comfortably with the headband’s soft recycled materials.
The cord is almost four feet long and resistant to tangling. After all, you don’t want a cord wrapped around you in the middle of the night; it doesn’t make for a good sleeping session.
Whether you’re an insomniac or someone who wants a better way of going to bed, SleepPhones can help you attain a good night’s rest without having to use medicated sleep aids. Perhaps you’ll want to listen to some binaural beats while blissfully drifting off. Chances are you may develop the abillity to lucid dreaming too. Well maybe that’s not on your list right now.
Anyway, dozing off to the quiet sounds of ambient noise is a more natural, more effective way to get the sleep you’ve been looking for.