You may have heard of white noise generators before in a magazine or infomercial. It is a gadget that can easily be looked at as more hype than benefit but it really can be a life changer for some people. Doubt is certainly understandable so we'll have a look at what exactly white noise is and how it works. If nothing else you will come away a little more knowledgable about how the brain observes the world around us.
What is White Noise?
To understand what white noise generators do you need to understand what is white noise. Pretend you were standing next to two people who were having a conversation but talking over each other. If you concentrated, than you could tune out one person so you could hear what they were saying. Now enlarge that conversation to four people talking over each other. You could probably still focus your hearing on one person but it would be more difficult. Finally, lets increase it to five thousand people talking over each other. There is no chance you could successfully pull one person's voice out of the crowd. This is the basis of white noise.
White noise is the combination of every sound that the human ear can identify being played simultaneously. With your ear's entire scale being registered at once there is no additional sound it can listen to. It is the hearing equivalent of covering your eyes with your hands. In fact, white noise gets its name from white light. White light is a combination every color of the spectrum being shown at once.
What Are the Uses of White Noise Generators
So what are the possible uses for a machine that plays a sound that blanks out our hearing receptors? It actually comes in more useful than you might imagine. Here are three of the most popular reasons.Credit: Amazon.com
Sleeping: It is estimated that roughly half the population has sleeping issues to some degree. This can range from crippling insomnia to a regular bout of tossing and turning to find a comfortable spot. Maybe you have a leaky faucet or a pet that becomes very active at night. These are the times where white noise generators can make a sizable impact in your quality of life. By turning the machine on at night you can blank out all the stimuli that keeps your brain churning even though you need to sleep. Now that noisy neighbor you share a wall with can go on doing whatever it is they do without it impacting your sleep.
Concentration: I am personally guilty of getting up to check every little sound that creeps my way when I need to sit down and focus on a project. It's not that the project is boring but that my mind would rather solve small problems first before tackling something on a larger scale. By using white noise generators while I work I can put aside that annoying habit and concentrate on the work that needs to be done. You'd be amazed at how much clearer you think when you effectively turn off your hearing.
Privacy: You may be in a profession, such as the medical field, where you deal with private issues. Office space is expensive and you may not be able to be completely certain that the quiet waiting room can't make out what you're saying to a patient in the next room. It is not an issue of eavesdropping but that our minds will listen to conversations involuntarily. By using white noise generators in the waiting room you can be certain that they are not going to hear a quiet conversation the next room over.
Maybe none of these are issues for you. However, it does let you know that white noise generators are not just something that is sold in airline magazine but a technology that can truly increase some people's quality of life.