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White Noise/ocean/rain Sounds


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Do you use these noise modifiers at home or at work? Some people love them and swear by their effectiveness and others seem actually irritated by them. My partner just gets aggravated when he hears white noise and yet it puts me to sleep. Does anyone have a good background in this to explain why they seems to have such different effects on people?

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Interesting question. It is likely another example of the Nature versus Nurture dichotomy. I suspect there is a bunch of research out there addressing this. I would not deliberately choose to listen to them. In thinking about my reaction to them I tend feel "what's the point? When is something actually going to happen?" When I want something to relax me into sleep I play the latest comedy show on BBC iplayer.

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In the 1970's, a record company in Los Angeles issued a record called "the Best of Macel Marceau".

It was 40 minutes of Silence followed by a burst of applause.

It actually sold very well.


I don't normally listen to CDs of rainforest sounds and such, but occasionally play one a whim.

Classical Jazz usually does it for me when I want a good background noise.

Edited by Racoon
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I came across a very interesting video that explains the science and mathematics of sound, frequency and pitch.


Our brain is constantly assessing patterns in our surrounding and I am of the opinion that white noise is comforting to many because it has a repetitive pattern and is capable of masking other more distracting sounds and patterns. Once we are familiar with many common sounds, our brain does not register them as cause for alarm and hubby can grind coffee while I am sleeping and I will not awaken, even as he does not register the loud sounds of my heavy duty kitchen blender.


Enjoy the video if you have several minutes to spare.



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