It's hard if not impossible to fall asleep sometimes. Your mind is racing, you're worried about that thing you've got to do tomorrow, and your bed is a bit cold. When most people have these troubles, they'll put on background noise. They'll usually play the sounds of nature because they're effective at putting people to sleep.Related Blog: Can A Change in Weather Affect Your Sleep?
Natural sounds are considered to be pink noise, meaning that they have a consistent frequency. These sounds improve the quality of your sleep by slowing down your brain waves. While natural sounds can do that, they're a bit more complex too. The bonuses they provide are just as psychological, and understanding them might help you get more sleep on a consistent basis.
Why Do Nature Sounds Help Me Sleep?
The brain seems to have a specific response to everything. Something as simple as your preference for cheeseburgers over sub sandwiches might be due to how your brain operates. Nature sounds are no different.
Your brain perceives certain sounds differently. Some are louder and harsher than others, so they're harder to sleep through. An alarm clock is one such example. Your brain will perceive an annoying sound like that to be a threat, so it'll jolt you awake to fight it off. Even though you're really just hitting the snooze button. Your brain considers natural sounds to be non-threats, so it'll happily sleep through them. If your brain hears the ocean, it'll feel perfectly safe.
Your brain also views those natural sounds as acoustic camouflage. This means that it'll use those sounds to block out any sound that would usually disturb you. Don't like how loud your toilet is? Just play some natural sounds and you're less likely to notice if someone flushes it while you're asleep.
What Psychological Effect Do the Sounds Have?
17 healthy adults were once recruited by researchers in England to help study the connection between the human body and background noise. The adults were asked to perform tasks while listening to the sounds of natural and manmade environments.
After the experiments, researchers discovered that listening to artificial sounds increased one's inward-focused attention (worrying, stress, depression, anxiety), and listening to nature sounds brought out one's external-focused attention (focus on something outside the body, like a tennis ball). The latter ultimately reduced the body's stress responses and allowed it to relax.
Which Sounds Are the Best?
Everyone has their preference, but the most popular natural sound would have to be ocean waves. There's something about the rising and crashing of the tides that instantly relaxes everyone. It helps that ocean waves have a clear rise and fall to their audio. This will help reassure the brain that it's not a threat.
Threats usually don't offer a warning, which is why the body will perceive them as dangerous. That's why jump scares are so effective. This is also why the chirp of your alarm will always wake you: it skipped straight to its highest pitch instead of warming up.
Why Do People Prefer Some Natural Sounds Over Others?
Not all sounds affect people equally. Some might find howling winds alarming while others bask in the roars of animals. Everyone has a different experience with nature.
Experiences shape our brains. If you often visited the beach as a kid, you'll find the ocean more relaxing than other sounds. Certain natural sounds might also remind you of a bad experience, so it'll be harder to sleep through those.
Nature sounds are a great and natural way to have an easier time falling asleep. It'll help your brain and body relax, and it'll lead to deeper sleep. If you need help with that, feel free to contact us! We can help you find the best mattress to complement those natural sounds and get you the deepest sleep possible.