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How Different Sounds Affect Our Sleep

Different Sounds Affect Our Sleep

Whether you are sensitive to traffic noise at night or find it hard to fall asleep, different sounds have different effects on sleep quality and overall health. Some sounds have been shown to affect your rest and your health. It is easy to overlook the importance of sensory cues during sleep since sleep seems to make us oblivious to the outside world.

However, if you think about it, you will likely recall a time when a specific sound woke you up, or a noisy locale disturbed your sleep and made it hard to fall asleep again. To be more specific, smell, temperature, light, pillow, physical comfort, and sounds all have the potential to affect night rest.

Scientists found out that different sounds have both positive and negative effects, depending on their type, noise levels, individual's personal preferences and many more factors. For instance, those who have grown up in a city where traffic noise usually can't fall asleep without this sound when they grow up. Many people also like the sounds of rain, as it has been shown to deliver a soothing effect.

How Sounds Influence Sleep

A noisy environment can greatly disrupt sleep, while chronic lack of sleep significantly increases the risk of long-term health effects. The World Health Organization says that a healthy adult should get about 7-9 hours of sleep per day. Some people, like professional athletes, may require more. But here we talk about quality sleep, meaning when you can easily fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

Experts recommend keeping environmental noise levels below 40 decibels during the night. But based on your location, it may be either hard or impossible to organize a sufficiently quiet bedroom environment. As a result, experts see a growing interest in using sounds like music and white noise that reduce the effects of unpleasant sounds. 

While sounds can negatively affect your sleep, they can also work as an easy, convenient and effective way to improve sleep. While research shows that certain sounds allow us to relax and calm down, more research is needed. While some sounds are best for most people, the perfect one will depend on your personal preference, sleep environment, and the nature of sleep issues. 

Sleep Applications

Since sleep issues are common in modern society, you can also experiment with different sleep applications. This software is specially developed for those who have sleep problems and want to improve their night rest. A sleep app allows people that suffer from sleep disorders to enjoy various sounds that may positively affect mood, create a more soothing atmosphere and make them fall asleep faster.

But listening to sounds when trying to fall asleep may not work for everyone. If you used to fall asleep when there is peace and your bedroom is completely quiet, you may not find sounds effective. Some people also like wearing earplugs that are enough to block out disruptive noises.


Even though there are conflicting studies, some anecdotal evidence found that music may decrease the time it takes to fall asleep, prolong sleep and improve sleep quality. Based on the latest reviews, scientists reported that listening to music to achieve better sleep may be most effective when doing it regularly for at least three weeks. 

The preferred genre of music you listen to also has a role in success, so it is best to choose soothing quiet songs. When listening to this music becomes a habit, it will gradually teach your brain to associate these songs with relaxation instead of other activities.

Listening to music may also help your brain focus on it rather than on other noises. You can find specific playlists that are marketed for sleep, and they feature slow, calming music.

Nature Sounds 

Scientists believe that listening to nature sounds is great for people to calm down and fall asleep. In case you are a true nature lover, you will enjoy the sound of rain app and fall asleep faster. In fact, sounds of nature have been shown to reduce stress and racing thoughts as they are associated with calming walks in the forest we all had when we were kids.

White Noise 

White noise is considered one of the best ways to fall asleep. This sound has been shown to help people with sleep disorders fall asleep faster and spend less time awake in bed when other noises distract their brains.

White noises are not only great for better sleep but also may be used for effectively masking the effects of noisy interruptions, including door slamming or cars honking, allowing you to sleep like a rock.

White noise is a term used to define a sound that contains equal levels of every frequency. This even distribution is exactly what may help reduce the brain's reactivity to other noises. 

Pink Noise 

Pink noise is another sound containing a random assortment of all the audible frequencies, having a higher power in the lower frequencies. Anecdotal evidence suggests that listening to pink noise when trying to fall asleep may optimize brain waves to greatly improve sleep quality. Pink noise is similar to the sound of ocean waves, which makes this sound more soothing and comfortable than white noise for most people.

Meditation Soundtracks 

Meditation, in general, is an excellent choice for everyone experiencing sleep issues. That is because it helps to reduce stress, calm down the nervous system, eliminate racing thoughts and relax the body and mind.

However, not everyone knows that meditation also involves specific sounds that seem to improve sleep by helping people calm down and prepare their minds for sleep. In fact, combining meditation and its sounds may help improve overall sleep quality and prolong sleep.

In addition, you can use the benefits of software since the market offers many smartphone apps containing meditation soundtracks. These applications are specially designed for those who want to achieve better sleep.

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