Are you kept awake by night-owl neighbors, or other creaky, screechy noises that go more than just bump in the night? You may want to consider white noise machines and their dependable, sound-drowning capabilities. First, you’ll want to understand what noise is before you run out and buy a sleep machine, one of the trusty go-to solutions for insomniacs everywhere.
“White noise is basically a constant noise that covers all hearable frequencies,” says Rajkumar (Raj) Dasgupta, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. “We [often] use the terminology of ‘white noise’ wrong. Not everything that is labeled ‘white noise’ is truly white noise. People love the sound of rainfall in the background and find it soothing and peaceful—but that’s not meeting the definition of white noise.”