Are your noisy neighbors annoying you? Are you fed up with these barking dogs? White noise machines can help drown out these upsetting interferences with your normal life. Not only that, but it can mask your spouse’s snoring! How’s that for an essential service!
You ‘drown out’ the barking dogs, incidentally, not ‘drown’ them!
A white noise machine produces a sound pattern that covers the whole audible range of sound and masks out unwanted noise in a way that is calming and can induce much needed sleep. This is modern high technology being used to create an environment of continuous, pleasant sound, that you brain interprets as being soothing and calming. It is the way that the frequencies of sound work on the brain, rather than on the ear itself, that is so important.
The harsh and unwanted noise of barking dogs, televisions, hi-fi stereos, and air and road traffic are pushed to the background in favor of the sound that the brain finds more appealing and soothing. It does not work by providing an even louder and harsher noise to drown out the one you don’t want to hear. White noise machines are not the same as the high pitched frequencies used to stop barking dogs, while also damaging the ears of yourself and your neighbors.
Sound conditioners are recommended by doctors for people upset by extraneous noises, and the great thing about them is that they are portable. If your mom or dad is being upset by noisy neighbors or barking dogs, take your white noise machine with you and show them how effective it is. It’s a godsend for people unable to sleep to at night due to all these noises of other people’s lives. White noise can even be used in the office to drown out incessant keyboard clackering (if that’s not a word it should be) and office chattering.
So how does it work? Consider silence. No sound at all. Then something breaks that silence, no matter how faintly. You can hear it – and if you are seeking silence a whisper can be annoying. Now consider normal household noise. You get used to it. It does not annoy you when you try to sleep. Then a dog barks. It is the only dog barking and you pick it out from all the other noises because it is different. It is at a different frequency, or wavelength, to the other noises so can be detected as a separate noise by the ear, and it can be annoying and keep you awake. If a second dog barked in response to the first, you could tell one dog from the other.
Now consider if ten thousand dogs were barking all at once. You would not be able to detect any individual dog: it would sound a lot like white noise, all sorts of sounds covering the entire range of sound that your ear is capable of detecting. It would be the same as turning a fan on, or even a white noise machine. It would, believe it or not, be soothing.
That’s how white noise machines work. When they are turned on, your ear no longer hears one dog, or one noise from a hi-fi, or a person snoring at his or her own frequency. Instead it hears a whole range of sounds over the audible spectrum and since you cannot detect any single sound, you are not annoyed. In fact it has been shown to a very soothing effect on people previously deprived of sleep due to that one singe sound their ears picked up.
It is not easy to explain in simple terms, and you might think that you would be annoyed by a whole cacophony of sound, but it works. All you hear is a soothing hum. So the next time you hear that noisome dog, or your neighbors arguing through the wall, turn on a white noise machine and mix it with so many other sounds that it soothes you rather that irritates you.