White Noise Apps
Want to catch better sleep? White noise could be the answer. Numerous studies show that using white noise to mask environmental noises can improve sleep quality and duration.
For example, this study into the effects of sleep on people living in noisy New York found white noise significantly improved sleep based on subjective and objective measurements in subjects complaining of difficulty sleeping.
Additionally, this study found that white noise significantly improves sleep in hospital wards by drowning out environmental noises.
What is white noise?
White noise contains all the frequencies across the sound spectrum in equal measure, creating a static-like sound. The different frequencies at equal intensity comfort our ears and drown out environmental noises.
White noise also helps the brain relax by giving it a sound to focus on – this can reduce the worrying or stressful thoughts in your head. It provides the brain’s auditory system focus, which may help induce sleep and reduce anxiety.
Best white noise apps to sleep better
Now that you know white noise can improve your sleep, you can check out a few apps that will play it while you sleep.
White noise apps are one of the only reasons to have your smartphone switched on at night due to blue light inhibiting sleep. Alternatively, you can play white noise on an intelligent hub like an Echo or Google Nest Mini.
myNoise (Google Play, Apple) lets you play white noise, pink noise, brown noise, radio static, bells, rain, and many more sounds. You can also mix sounds from music apps and listen to music with a white noise overlay.
The Atmosphere app (Google Play, Apple) has more than one hundred sounds to try, including white noise, rain, and storm. You can set sounds on a timer, and they can maybe split into groups like Beach, Forest, and Urban.
BetterSleep (Google Play, Apple) is a sleep tracker and sound app with white noise, waves, rain, fan sounds, and even a distant vacuum cleaner sound. We love the option to switch up white noise between air dryer, airplane, dryer, vacuum, and fan.
White Noise Lite
White Noise Lite (Google Play, Apple lets you cycle through over 40 sounds and mix them to create great sleep aids. The white noise is excellent; you can add rainfall, waves, and other relaxing sounds to enhance the effects.
White Noise Deep Sleep Sounds
White Noise Deep Sleep Sounds (Google Play) offers white noise and other sounds like driving in the rain, rolling thunder, winter wind, and ocean waves. You can mix sounds and add a crossfade between sounds on repeat.
Why does white noise help you sleep?
White noise is a relaxing sound to humans because it masks out other environmental sounds, providing clarity of thought. It can take away stress and anxiety, giving your mind a break from the struggles of everyday life.
When you close your eyes to sleep, white noise gives your brain something to concentrate on, and the consistent, relaxing frequencies help induce sleep. Listening to white noise is like hearing a lullaby.
What about pink and brown noise?
Like white noise, pink noise also contains all the frequencies humans can hear, but the higher frequencies have less intensity. Some people dislike high-frequency sounds, so pink noise provides a less intense sound.
Brown noise goes one step further than pink noise by lowering the high-frequency sounds and prioritising low-frequency sounds. This creates a rougher noise with a lower tone, most suited to quiet areas.
White noise is scientifically proven beneficial to sleep, and the apps in this article all do a great job playing it for you.
While white noise doesn’t work for everyone, you can try pink or brown noise to dial down the high-frequency sounds or specific sounds like birds and waves.