Some people need complete silence to sleep, and, generally, I like to sleep in quiet environments. But occasionally I have trouble sleeping, usually because I can’t ‘switch off’ – my brain gets stuck thinking about things over and over, stopping me from getting off to sleep.
One thing I’ve found that helps is having some artificial background noise in the room, and White Noise is an app for iOS devices that can generate so-called ‘white noise’. You can choose from common background sounds such as crashing waves, a flowing stream or wind in the trees, and then leave your device to play in the background whilst you try to sleep. Concentrating on the sound usually distracts me enough to get me to sleep if I’m struggling. I originally downloaded it to encourage Elizabeth to sleep, although we’ve generally found that if she won’t sleep it’s because she’s hungry.
The app has a few more advanced features. One is a timer, so you can set your device to play white noise for a period of time and then turn off (when you’re hopefully asleep). You can also create playlists, if you want to mix up your sounds, or select a ‘mix’ of sounds.
A premium version costing £1.49 removes in-app advertising, and lets you download additional sounds, but I’ve found the free version to be adequate for my needs.
White Noise is free from the App Store, and is a universal app for iPhone and iPad.