When it comes to sleep, there are several things you can do to improve the kind of rest you’re getting a night. Simply being asleep is not enough to get a good night's rest. Most likely you’re already aware the average adult needs 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night. What most don’t know, however, is that the depth of your sleep plays a huge role and determine whether you have slept through those 7 -8 hours.
How Sleep Works
There are 4 stages of sleep total. For a full night's rest, your body must make it through all. Stage 1 is non-REM sleep that you will enter as you fall asleep. Typically, your heart rate beings to slow and it’s not uncommon to have a few muscle twitches as well.
In stage 2, which is the longest stage of sleep, you’re only in a light sleep mode. This is the time that most people are awakened by the smallest of sounds or even movement. At the point, your body will increasingly relax. Stage 3 is the deep period of sleep in which your body is also the most relaxed including muscles, breathing, and heartbeat.
Stage 4, otherwise known as REM (rapid-eye-movement) takes place about within 1 -2 hours after falling asleep. This is the period of dreaming as well although it can happen in other states as well.
If you’re having trouble getting deep sleep, there’s a chance you may be experiencing disruptions in the 2nd stage. Typically, it’s easy to be woken in this stage and that will delay or even prevent deep sleep. Having background noise can help decrease or eliminate this issue. White noise the best choice for most. A white noise machine doesn’t produce light or change volume sporadically the way a TV would, as a consistent sound, and doesn’t blow air on cold nights where a fan would. You can also get white noise through headphones for sleeping.
Benefits of White Noise
Of course, white noise machines can help drown out the noise, but for some, it’s not disruption of noise that causes them to lose sleep. Often, it’s stress or just not being able to stop thinking about things once it’s time to turn off and go to bed. White noise can help you focus on the calm soothing noise and relax. Helping set a ritual every night for bed can also help. Once you’re used to the sounds of white noise, your body will automatically know it’s time to wind down.
Sleeping Away from Home
While we think of white noise machines only in bedrooms, they can be a good idea for travel as well. Anyone who’s ever flown knows just how hard it can be to sleep on a long flight or in an unfamiliar setting such as a hotel. Traveling with a big fan isn’t practical, but white noise machines are portable.
Listening to White Noise
Listening to white noise isn’t just for adults. Many families find that their babies, toddlers, and even children respond well to white noise. This is especially true for adults or children who have issues falling asleep due to ADHD or going through any life changes such as starting a new job/school, new medication, or moving from a rural area and into the city.
Types of White Noise Machines
There are a variety of different types of white noise machines that vary in color and style. Some can double as a night light as well. White noise machines are typically smaller to make them easier to carry and some are designed with babies or children in mind. While they may be called white noise machines, you can find some that will have additional noises available such as chimes, ocean waves, and rainfall for example.