I just listened to one of my favorite radio programs, This American Life, on NPR. This week the topic of the show is “Fear of Sleep.” This reminded me of the fact that there are indeed some instances where a sound machine actually can’t help you sleep better. So, here is a helpful list so you can figure out whether you need a sound machine or a professional.
White noise can’t help you if:
- You sleepwalk and accidentally jump out a second story window. In your underwear. (This guys is seriously hilarious. If you don’t listen to anything else in this readio program, listen to Mike Birbiglia‘s monologue.) In this instance, you need a doctor, a sleeping bag, and some mittens. (So you can’t get the sleeping bag off.) (I can’t tell if he is serious about that part or not….)
- You have roaches crawling in your ears or bed bugs biting you causing you to awaken several times a night. You need an exterminator and a new mattress for this situation.
- You have nightmares because a careless relative let you watch a horror movie at a very young age. You need a psychologist.
White noise CAN help you sleep if:
- small noises often awaken you at night.
- you are a light sleeper.
- you live on a busy road and therefore have lots of noise all night long.
- you are co-sleeping with your baby, who makes lots of little baby grunting and gurgling noises
Using a sound machine at night (unfortunately) will not solve all of your sleep issues. However, the reason most of the population is not sleeping well at night is not sleep walking or dealing with bugs. The majority of us could greatly benefit from a restful night’s sleep thanks to hearing the soothing sounds of the sound machine.