White Noise: A little something for better sleep and better focus

When the pandemic hit, people developed and discovered various habits in order to adapt to remote working and remote learning. And now that the world has ‘survived’ the health crisis, the remote set-up has lessened, but these habits are still used.

One of these habits is listening to white noise. Before the existence of COVID-19, people are used to working in an office full of employees, hearing the busy streets and the beeping of cars. They are used to studying in a room and hearing other people’s chitchats. But since the world stopped during the pandemic, everyone had to find the motivation to function. People needed something to fill the silence to be able to focus.

According to Dr. William Klemm, a memory medic, white noise is a “random mixture of sound frequencies that, when heard in low volume, can improve detection of simultaneous isolated signal with equal power of any frequency.” It usually occurs naturally but can also be produced digitally or through a white noise machine.

A study by Scientific Reports showed that white noise should be in the right amount of decibels to be effective. It found that 45dB of white noise improved focus and creativity, but 65dB increased stress. When appropriately executed, white noise can produce lots of benefits. Here are some:

Benefits of White Noise

  1. White noise can reduce anxiety
  2. White noise can help in improving sleep
  3. White noise can improve focus
  4. White noise can sharpen your memory
  5. White noise can help soothe babies

 Examples of White Noise

For sleeping:

  1. Whirring fan
  2. TV or radio static
  3. Humming air conditioner
  4. Campfire and wind
  5. Rain on a tent
  6. Crickets
  7. Rustling leaves
  8. Distant thunder
  9. Meditation Music

For studying or working:

  1. Rain drizzle
  2. Pounding ocean waves
  3. Flowing rivers
  4. Coffee machines whirring
  5. Sounds of coffee shops or libraries
  6. Hummingbirds
  7. Busy streets
  8. Travel sounds

Where to access digitally-produced white sounds:

  1. YouTube
  2. myNoise
  3. Relax Melodies
  4. White Noise Lite
  5. Better Sleep
  6. Calm
  7. White Noise HQ
  8. Headspace

Sometimes, people may need a little push in order to function. And sometimes, this little push might just be a little white noise. This small thing can come from anywhere–air conditioners, cars, showers–but it can bring people somewhere.

I am a student-journalist pursuing a bachelor's degree in Journalism at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. My experiences mostly revolve around campus publications that helped and prepared me to pursue a writing and editing career.

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