How a fan’s secondary benefit makes the best white noise machine

When it comes to white noise, it’s often a love or hate relationship depending on who you talk to. Simply defined as a signal or sound with a flat frequency spectrum, it’s said to aid in sleep, concentration, and even sooth a crying baby. White noise playlists have increasingly emerged on Spotify and YouTube to provide selection and even visuals, only to simulate a sound that was traditionally found in electric fans.

So what’s the deal with white noise? There’s really no sorcery to it. Since white noise contains all audible frequencies, it’s used to drown out the noise which can keep your brain stimulated and affect your ability to relax. This is what makes a simple solution like white noise so helpful, especially in the early stages of falling asleep. While many people are fortunate enough to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep through excessive noise, lovers of white noise are typically not so lucky. These are often light sleepers who experience difficulty blocking out background noise and are easily disturbed by loud sounds which in effect is a sudden change in frequency.

Because white noise produces such a monotonous and constant noise, it’s quite easy to ignore. In fact, we’re regularly exposed to different types of white noise without even noticing. Some other types of white noise include nature sounds (i.e. rain, waterfalls), fans, and ambient sounds that we experience from inside an airplane or next to a busy freeway. Containing all frequencies of the sound spectrum, white noise can mask other sounds, effectively helping to reduce anxiety, treat insomnia, and even allow a student to study in a raucous dorm.

Of course, you can buy a specialized white noise machine to generate electronic white noise for you, but why spend the extra cash on another device that serves one single purpose. If you’re a purist like us, you know that a fan will do just the trick, supplying white noise that will lull you to sleep while circulating airflow at the same time – making your sleep the most comfortable possible. Ideally, you’ll want to use an energy efficient fan like Chinook – the most minimalist fan - as it fits on just about any surface. Being grill-free, it’s also the easiest fan to clean.

Sometimes the best solutions are the simplest.