Best Sounds for Sleep

Updated May 24, 2022

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Noisy Sleep

For many people, sleeping is much easier with relaxing sounds in the background. While there are plenty of machines on the market that creates a myriad of sounds intended to soothe and help you get to sleep, sleep professionals believe that white noise is the best for lulling us to sleep. For those having difficulty falling and staying asleep, white noise machines can be a great help by emitting a calm ambient noise while blocking out other sleep distractions and background noise. A comfortable sleeping environment is essential for better sleep. 

What is White Noise?

Much in the same way that white light is comprised of the entire color spectrum, white noise is comprised of all sound frequencies. Constant white noise makes it harder for your brain to pick out other sounds that could distract you and keep you from sleeping, allowing you to spend more time in deep, undisturbed sleep.

Benefits of White Noise Machines

  • They reduce sleep disturbances.

  • They are easy to travel with, so you can sleep well wherever you go.

  • You only pay for the machine once, so over time, it will cost less than other sleep aids.

  • There are no side effects or health risks as there are with sleeping pills.

  • Years of research have yielded positive results.

  • Some studies suggest they boost cognitive performance.

Using White Noise Machines in Moderation

There are few things as frustrating as not being able to sleep, and most of us will try anything to get the rest we need. If you're having trouble sleeping, we suggest trying a white noise machine before turning to sleeping pills or other remedies. We always suggest taking the safer route to better sleep.

Keep in mind, however, that white noise machines, as with most other sleep aids, should be used in moderation. If you use a white noise machine every night at your home, you may experience difficulty falling asleep in the absence of one, such as in a hotel room or at a friend's home.

Pink Noise

Pink noise helps some people sleep better in a similar way to white noise. With pink noise, high-frequency noises are less intense than white noise. This allows you to focus on the calming lower frequencies which make pink noise more soothing to certain sleepers than white noise.

How Do Ocean Waves and Other Water Sounds Help Sleep?

Science has proven that listening to waves hitting the sand and other ocean sounds can be meditative for people. Other noises from water such as rain sounds, rivers, or waterfalls can have a calming effect. The water drowns out different sounds that could be more disruptive and could cause you to wake up before you are ready. Strong sounds of rain or waterfalls can be classified as brown noise which is deeper than white or pink noise. 

Nature Sounds

Similar to water, sounds of the great outdoors have been found to be soothing sounds to the brain. These sounds help your nervous system and reduce stress and anxiety. Some sounds of nature include birds chirping, crickets, or thunderstorms.

What is ASMR?

One rising trend is ASMR or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.  ASMR describes the euphoric tingling sensation people feel in response to certain visuals and sounds. The tingling often begins in the head, shoulders, or spine before spreading to other areas of the body, ultimately creating a blissful sense of relaxation.

Some sounds could be someone quietly talking into a microphone, hair brushing, finger-tapping, crinkling of paper, and several other random quiet sounds.


One way to lower blood pressure or your heart rate is to play some relaxing music. Smooth, classical music is the most recommended type of music to help you sink into a deep sleep. Songs that you use to get the juices flowing for a workout will be counterproductive and will keep you awake.


If none of these work, simply fall asleep to whatever sound you find relaxing. If one of the above sleep sounds calls out to you, use a sound machine or download one of the many mobile apps that are available to help you get the best sleep at night.

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