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

White noise

White noise? What is it? 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, like white noise, for better sleep and better focus.

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 different types of innovative electronic products.

A study by Scientific Reports showed that the sounds 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:

What are the benefits of white noise?

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

What are some examples?

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 be a little calming sound. This small thing can come from anywhere–air conditioners, cars, showers–but it can bring people somewhere.

Amidst the white noise of daily life, it can be challenging to decipher signals, such as understanding if a guy likes you during a call.

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.