Alaska Sleep Education Center

8 Relaxing Sounds to Help You Sleep

Posted by Guest Blogger, Caitlin Reynolds from Reader's Digest on Sep 14, 2018 2:01:00 PM

Noise at night can be disruptive—or it can lead to better rest. These are some of the most potent sounds for sleep.

White noise

If you regularly struggle with insomnia, make sure you’re aware of these easy fixes. And if you’re trying to sleep in a loud environment, white noise might help you nod off more easily. A mixture of all sound frequencies at once, at the same level of intensity, white noise does a good job of masking other noises that can disrupt your sleep. Like a whirring fan or the hum of an air conditioner, white noise provides an even, steady stream of sound. In a study published in the journal Sleep Medicine, researchers at Brown University Medical School reported patients in a hospital intensive care unit awakened less frequently during the night with white noise present, because it decreased the difference between background noise and the “peak” noises that punctuated the hospital’s noise environment.

Ocean Sounds

It’s no surprise that ocean waves are a popular choice for soothing sleep sounds. For many people, the rhythmic crashing of water onto sand and rock can be meditative—and meditation carries some surprising health benefits. By creating a mental state of relaxation, contentment, and gentle focus, the wave sound can be deeply relaxing. In an interview with LiveScience, Dr. Orfeu Buxton, an associate professor of behavioral health at Penn State University, described how the sound of the ocean can promote sleep. “These slow, whooshing noises are the sounds of non-threats, which is why they work to calm people, “Buxton explained. “It’s like they’re saying: ‘Don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t worry.’”

Other water sounds

It’s not just ocean waves that can provide soothing sounds to go to sleep. Maybe it’s the light patter of a rain shower, or the steady flow of a running stream that helps you wind down at the end of a long day. One key to the power of water sounds to help us sleep, said Buxton, is the relatively gentle, gradual variations in the intensity of moving water sounds. Even more than volume, the abrupt, sudden presence of a noise can be jarring to sleep, Buxton and fellow researchers found in their 2012 study of how hospital noises disrupt sleep, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Topics: REM sleep, stress, sleep habits, wellness

Child Anxiety and Sleep

Posted by Julia Higginson on Jun 5, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Are the phrases “There’s a monster under my bed! I’m too scared to sleep!” or “Don’t leave. Just one more story, please!” part of your nighttime battle to get your child to sleep? You might be thinking your child is just being difficult but the reality is that your child might be having sleep related anxiety.

You child might be afraid of the dark, of a monster under the bed, or bad guys coming into the room, just to name a few fears. The fear of something scary happening while a child sleeps can cause them to feel anxious about wanting to fall asleep.

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Topics: Pediatrics, stress, moms, baby, anxiety

Yoga Your Way to Better Sleep

Posted by Stefanie Leiter on Sep 13, 2017 7:36:35 AM

We all have those mornings when, like this little puppy, we did not get an adequate amount of sleep. We push through the day tired, unproductive, and grumpy.

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Topics: alaska sleep clinic, stress, exercise, yoga

What Your Body Does When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

Posted by Rich Crane on Nov 17, 2016 2:17:15 PM

 

It’s no secret we’re sleeping less.  Our fast-paced lives demand more time, and often that comes at the expense of our sleep.  It also should be no surprise that there is a strong correlation between the amount, and more importantly, the quality of sleep we get, and the effect it has on our bodies. 

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Topics: Sleep, sleep disorders, apnea, treatment, health, stress, sleep deprivation

Exercising Before Bedtime

Posted by Rich Crane on Aug 24, 2016 5:00:00 AM

In the debate of regular exercise versus not exercising at all, regular exercise is the undisputed heavy-weight champion of the world. You just don’t hear arguments otherwise. Although we know exercising is good for us, it’s often the first thing we abandon when life gets busy. Significantly cutting back exercising, or not exercising at all, can have serious repercussions on our physical and mental health. We’re not arguing the fact that we need more exercise. Most of us are simply trying to find time to do it.
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Topics: Sleep, tired, exercises, breathing, health, stress, workout

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