Sleeping Without White Noise
Sleep, for many people, is elusive; it is the one goal many people fail to attain on a nightly basis. The pharmaceutical industry has made millions upon millions of dollars trying to coax people into a deep and satisfying sleep. Americans spend 13,000,000,000 (!) dollars per year on mattresses trying to attain their perfect sleeping environment and that doesn’t cover what they’re spending on sheets, pillows, comfortable, and the beds themselves. Yet, sleep still doesn’t come easily.
It is recommended that the average adult human gets eight hours of sleep per night, yet people are averaging only about six hours, whether chemically enhanced or not. Sleep tracking applications on our Apple Watches or Fitbit devices are showing that even though we are sleeping a respectable number of hours per night, we’re sleeping fitfully or waking on a regular basis. Why is this happening? Why is sleep the hardest thing to get?
Overstimulation is the Enemy
Americans have, on average, up to six televisions in their homes, so it can be easily deduced that one of them is in the bedroom. More and more people have begun falling asleep to the sound of a television, but is it impacting our sleep patterns? The short answer is yes. The television’s light is interrupting our optimal sleeping conditions, and the same goes for our laptops, iPads, eReaders, and the like. We’re saturating our brains and our eyeballs with lights and sounds and thus, not obtaining the relaxed state we need in order to sleep soundly.
As adults, we require sleep to function properly in our jobs, but it has also been found that the right amount of sleep, or lack thereof, can affect our metabolism and the way our bodies are processing foods. Essentially, our terrible sleep habits are breaking down our bodies in ways that can’t be seen and yet, it isn’t something we consider as important as squeezing in the next episode of our favorite show or sending off that last email.
Many of us just figure we can live without sleep, or we’ll catch up some other time and this is how drug companies are getting rich pitching us sleep aids with side effects lists as long as our legs. There has to be a better way!
As many people have discovered, white noise is key for healthy sleep habits. White noise is described as sounds coming in at equal intensity but different frequencies. That’s the technical definition, at least, but who really understands that? Basically, the term white noise is used to describe any type of ambient noise that doesn’t interrupt your daily functioning; perhaps made by a fan or a sound machine.
For those for whom sleep is elusive, white noise is a great way to relax your mind enough to get in a solid eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Another great technique to achieve a good night’s rest is to cut off your electronic consumption an hour before you intend to close your eyes. Avoid caffeine, food, and too many beverages and you may find that achieving your required amount of sleep is easier.
One thing you may find, however, is that once you introduce some sort of white noise into your sleep pattern, sleeping without it may be troublesome. Those who have become accustomed to sleeping with the sound of a whirring fan in the background may lie awake at night staring at the ceiling when they don’t have the comfort of that noise. If you find that you’ve become one of these people, your best bet is to find an app on your phone that assists in achieving the same results and use the two interchangeably.
It only takes a 20 to 25 hours for your body to start feeling the impairment of not sleeping, so find your balance and maintain it. Sleeping is just as important as working out, eating, and drinking water and your body can feel ill effects after a short period of time.