Bring the Noise – Using Sound Machines for Sleep

I never tried a sound machine until after my son was born. To be honest, I thought “white noise” was a little creepy after seeing the horror movie with the same name. I got over my apprehension after discovering all the different types of white noise beyond the spooky static in the movie. From crashing waves to the sounds of a thunderstorm, it’s all great background noise to help lull you to sleep and block out other noises that might keep you awake.

Your brain is wired to respond to any kind of stimuli, so in a very quiet room, even the slightest creak of a floorboard might get your mind racing and wake you up. A white noise machine helps quiet your restless mind and sort of dull your senses so you won’t respond to all the little noises around you.

There are lots of different sound machines to choose from! So how do you narrow it down? Sometimes you don’t – I use four different ones!

Here are my favorite sound machines:

Fan Sound Machines – I’m a fan of the sound of a fan (or air conditioner) but it’s not always the best idea to keep them constantly running. And my bedroom fan has started to make a weird squeak that actually keeps me awake. That’s where fan machines come in. The E2 Fan Sleep Therapy Machine by AuCuTee is a really simple device that sounds like a fan and can be made louder or quieter just by twisting the top. It has the added bonus of a USB port to charge your phone too! It also has a timer, but I like to keep mine on all night.

2022 Update: The model above is no longer available, but this Easy Sleep Sound Conditioner operates on the same principle of using a real fan inside.

Baby Sounds Machines with Light Projector – For my son, our favorite has been the Munchkin Nursery Projector and Sound System. It has waves, rain, static, heartbeat and soft music plus an optional light show that projects on the ceiling. It comes with different disks to change out so you can have different light shows. It also has a voice activation option so you can set it to come on when the baby cries.

Travel Sound Machine – Regular size sound machines can get a little bulky when packing, so we always travel with our MyBaby Sound Spa On-the-Go. I should have added this one to my recent toddler travel tips article! It’s easy to pack, has waves, music, heartbeat and white noise plus a timer. It tends to turn on pretty easily when the front is pressed, so I recommend removing the batteries before packing. Also, always pack extra batteries! The light will turn color and start to flicker when it runs low.

White Noise Apps – When I’m traveling, I always use my White Noise Ambience iPhone app. I use the free light version and it still has lots of options. My favorite sound is called Sandstorm. I actually even use this one at the gym if I want to block out all the gym noise while I’m checking my email and slowly pedaling a stationary bike.

These are the four I have tried and use, but there are plenty more out there. You really just have to find the right noise for you! The apps have a really wide range of sound, while the machines will have anywhere from one to ten options.

So how about you? Have you tried a sound machine? What’s your favorite noise to drift off to?

7 replies »

  1. I’m a huge fan of sleeping with a fan too! I’ve never been able to make it through the night without having the fan running. I’ve been using an app call Bed TIme Fan – White Noise App from google for all my international trips and it’s been working great.

    I’m gonna give white noise ambiance app a shot maybe it has fewer ads than the one I’m using now! Thanks for sharing!


    • I think it has ads that pop up but it never interrupts the noise so I never even notice them! But it has a lot of different sounds – and some crazy ones that I can’t imagine anyone sleeping to, lol.


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