Good Morning You Sleepers and Non:
Several installments of Body Designs have focused on the benefits of sleep and how to better one’s sleep – like sleeping naked for example.
And while that may be how some of you (Tracy) get the best of your bed rest, I, on-the-other-hand turn to and on my white noise machine. Yes my dear insomniacs, many people like Yours Truly cringe at the “deafening” silence of nighttime. To me, there’s nothing Holy about a Silent Night!
If falling asleep or being easily awakened during the night are issues you often suffer, a sound machine might be right for you because they not only block distracting noises, they actually help to induce sleep by producing tranquilizing sounds that have proven to be relaxing. And, according to psychiatrist David Neubauer, associate director of the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center, the machines are more than “anecdotal”. “I am a true believer,” he says. White noise, which results when sound waves of a broad spectrum of frequencies are combined to form the type of constant hum a fan creates when circulating air, “provide a kind of ‘sound cocoon,’ which is very soothing.
Studies have shown that white noise is incredibly effective for developing deeply relaxed states of consciousness as well as therapeutically enhancing one’s meditative state – especially when combined with binaural beats. It has even been used for calming restless babies, especially crying babies with colic.
A Swedish study in 2007 even found that the playing of white noise helped children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to concentrate and pay better attention while learning.
In a 2008 Consumers Reports survey of 2,021 problem sleepers, sound machines were found to work almost as well as medication in getting subjects to fall asleep. White noise is also recommended by researchers to help people with tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. It has even been used successfully in hospitals for blocking out the commonly heard ambient sounds found in the Intensive Care Units; aiding the healing process of patients where sleep quality was “instrumental” to their recovery.
I know that some of you like to fall asleep with the television on. However, experts have found that whether the TV is set to news, music or regular programming, part of the brain tries to pay attention even when the body is “asleep”, diminishing sleep quality.
However, if the idea of basically listening to “static” turns you off, but you still have trouble sleeping, try another setting on a sound machine other than white noise. Every machine has several “soothing” sounds to choose from including rainfall, ocean waves crashing on a shore’s rocks and chirping birds. You’ll be surprised how rested and relaxed you’ll be when you wake up.
This week, I am not choosing to post a This Date In History, instead…