We live in a very stressful society. Part of the problem is that we are exposed to so many harsh sounds that cause our cortisol levels to spike. Listening to white noise can reverse some of these problems and carries other important health benefits. Here are some reasons listening to white noise can be beneficial.
Listening to White Noise Can Improve Sleep Patterns
Sleeping problems are very common these days. According to the American Sleep Association, at least 50 million Americans suffer from insomnia in any given year. Many problems lead to sleep disorders. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that one of the biggest causes is chronic stress. “Stress and anxiety may cause sleeping problems or make existing problems worse. And having an anxiety disorder exacerbates the problem. Sleep disorders are characterized by abnormal sleep patterns that interfere with physical, mental, and emotional functioning. Stress or anxiety can cause a serious night without sleep, as do a variety of other problems.” Fortunately, white noise can help minimize the effects of stress. Psychiatrist David Neubauer, associate director of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Sleep Disorders Center, states that white noise machines appear to have a strong benefit for people with sleeping problems. “I am a true believer [of white noise],” says Neubauer. “I sleep with white noise myself. While most of the evidence showing that these machines help people sleep is anecdotal, we know they provide a kind of ‘sound cocoon,’ which is very soothing. When it’s completely quiet, people with insomnia or other sleep difficulties focus more closely on small noises, which can interfere with their getting to sleep.”
Listening to White Noise Can Improve Your Memory
Memory problems are becoming more common today. There appear to be a variety of reasons:
- A growing portion of society is over the age of 65, as more baby boomers age every day.
- Growing prevalence of substance abuse disorders lead to neurological damage.
- Recent research indicates that electronic use may be affecting brain activity in many adults.
- Stress can have a long-term impact on our mental health and cause cognitive problems.
While you can’t do much to stop the progressive effects of aging, you can reduce the impact of stress on your brain. Recent research shows that listening to white noise may improve long-term memory by reducing the harmful effects of stress. In 2014, a team of researchers from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf published a study in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, which showed the impact could be very significant. “What really surprised me was the strength of effect of white noise in the mesolimbic midbrain,” said Nico Bunzeck, one of the researchers. “For instance, we suppose that some populations might benefit more than others – depending, for example, on personality or the structural integrity of their individual mesolimbic system,” he says. “Also, the effects of loudness and frequency range of auditory white noise might play an important role.” This research suggests that installing water features for indoors or using a white noise machine can have a substantial effect on improving long-term memory.
Minimizing Risks of Anxiety
An estimated 18.1% of adults suffer from a chronic anxiety disorder. Many people treat anxiety with medication, but there are long-term health implications of it. It makes more sense to treat anxiety with exercise, white noise and a better diet. Dr. Ryan Howes, a psychotherapist, claims that white noise can be highly valuable for treating anxiety and depression. He even uses them in his practice to help patients feel more relaxed: “The white noise spewer also has a comical side-effect: these machines are primarily sold as sleep aids, and they work. My warm, cozy, boring little waiting room with the constant “ssssshhhhhhh” of the machine spells nap time for many client-bringers, making for some awkward “see you guys next week” moments. I’ve got no problem with waiting room dozing, naps are healthy. If you are a client in therapy, look for the white noise machine the next time you’re in the waiting room and appreciate the sanctity of your session. Unless you’re a big horror movie fan, keep it off the heartbeat mode.”
Look Into the Benefits of a White Noise Machine or Indoor Fountain
Research has shown that white noise can be very effective for helping deal with anxiety problems and the issues they create. Using a white noise machine or an indoor fountain to create white noise can help you sleep easier and improve your long-term cognitive health.