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White noise as sleep aid may do more harm than good, say scientists | Sleep


Whether it’s nature sounds, the whine of a hairdryer or the incessant hum of a ceiling fan, white noise apps have been downloaded by millions of people around the world in the hope of getting a better night’s sleep. However, new research suggests there’s no good evidence that they work, and they may even be making things worse.

True white noise is the hissy fizzing sound of all the frequencies that humans can hear being fired off randomly and at the same intensity. In recent years, numerous apps and devices have been developed that use it – or other “relaxing” sounds such as the hum of a fan or crashing waves – to help people fall asleep.

They have been hugely successful – the Bedtime Fan app, available on Apple devices,…



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