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The term 'White Noise' creates a synaesthetic effect, where the audio experience of sound is given a visual quality of colour. What is white noise really? It is the buzzing sound that you hear when you switch between radio stations. It is what you hear on TV when the cable connection suddenly gets interrupted. White light or white colour, as we know, is a combination of VIBGYOR or all the colours of the spectrum. Similarly, white noise is what we get to hear when all the frequencies of sounds are combined. It also known as static.
It's not as pleasant as listening to peppy number but researchers have discovered that white noise can translate to a lot of health benefits. The soft buzzing count is especially helpful if you live in a noisy area and the constant honking and screeching of vehicles are causing disturbance. White noise has the capacity to mask all the harsh background noises, making it less distracting. Here are some of the amazing health benefits of white noise.
It calms you down:
If you had a bad day, chances are you will be in a lousy mood all day. Instantly calm down by listening to white noise for 10-15 minutes. By the time you are done, you will feel instantly refreshed and relatively calmer.1
It helps elderly people with dementia:
Elderly patients with dementia are prone to agitated behaviour and controlling and caring for them are challenging for the caregivers. According to a recent 2017 research published in Journal of Nursing Research1, it was found that the flustered behaviour of the elderly could be easily calmed down by white noise.
It helps children study better:
Remember the time your parents asked you to switch off the TV while studying? Well, they have a point. Noise causes cognitive disturbances when you trying to memorise something. The antidote to that is white noise. If you live in a noisy environment, your child may experience difficulties while studying. If they listened to white noise while studying, they will be able to concentrate better since white noise drowns all the other background noise and eliminates distraction.2
It helps children who are inattentive in class:
Ask any teacher; dealing with inattentive children in the class is a real stressor. These children also have a hard time keeping up with their peers as their academic performance gets affected due to the problem. School authorities can introduce a calming white noise session before the class starts to help the children focus in class. In a 2010 study, external background white noise helped school children be more attentive in class, improved their memory and get good grades.3
It helps calm hyperactive children:
Moms and dads having to deal with attention deficit, hyperactive children will tell you that they can be quite a handful. In 2016 study conducted on hyperactive children, kids were exposed to white noise without being given any medication. After listening to the sound, the children were able to carry out their tasks calmly, without any distractions.4
It helps soothe vaccination pain in premature babies:
In a 2016 study, premature babies who had to be vaccinated were exposed to white noise a minute they were vaccinated and continued for a minute after. It was noticed that they didn't experience much pain while they were getting vaccinated. The white noise served as a distraction for the baby who didn't register the pain as much as the others. 5
It helps you sleep better:
Although there is no need for a scientific validation, white noise has been proven to help you sleep better. It works by drowning all the ambient distracting noises, letting you sleep peacefully. A 2016 study on patients in a critical care proved that white noise helped in improving the quality of their sleep, aiding them in a faster recovery.6
(Read: Apps that help you sleep better)
The best part is, you don't need any special equipment to listen to white noise. If you have a radio, set the frequency between two stations till you hear a pleasant buzzing sound. You could also download white noise apps from Google Play or listen to white noise tracks on YouTube. For best results, listen to it with a pair of earphones or headphones. Take it from us, but you will see a marked difference in your mood with just one session. Try this amazing white noise track from YouTube.
1. Lin LW, Weng SC, Wu HS, Tsai LJ, Lin YL, Yeh SH. The Effects of White Noise on Agitated Behaviors, Mental Status, and Activities of Daily Living in Older Adults With Dementia. J Nurs Res. 2017 Jul 13. doi: 10.1097/jnr.0000000000000211. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28708800
2. Herweg, N. A., & Bunzeck, N. (2015). Differential effects of white noise in cognitive and perceptual tasks. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1639. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01639
3.S derlund GB, Sikstr m S, Loftesnes JM, Sonuga-Barke EJ. The effects of
background white noise on memory performance in inattentive school children. Behav Brain Funct. 2010 Sep 29;6:55. doi: 10.1186/1744-9081-6-55. PubMed PMID: 20920224; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2955636.
4.S derlund, G. B. W., Bj rk, C., & Gustafsson, P. (2016). Comparing Auditory Noise Treatment with Stimulant Medication on Cognitive Task Performance in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Results from a Pilot Study. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1331. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01331
5.Kucukoglu S, Aytekin A, Celebioglu A, Celebi A, Caner I, Maden R. Effect of White Noise in Relieving Vaccination Pain in Premature Infants. Pain Manag Nurs. 2016 Dec;17(6):392-400. doi: 10.1016/j.pmn.2016.08.006. Epub 2016 Oct 15.
6.Farokhnezhad Afshar, P., Bahramnezhad, F., Asgari, P., & Shiri, M. (2016). Effect of White Noise on Sleep in Patients Admitted to a Coronary Care . Journal of Caring Sciences, 5(2), 103 109. http://doi.org/10.15171/jcs.2016.011
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