Pros and Cons of Using a Sound Machine For Sleep

We’re living in a time that some would call a poor sleep epidemic. According to a CDC study, “more than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.” And this can have a ripple effect that can lead to numerous health issues like a lowered immune system, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and more.
One of the bigger breakthroughs for improving sleep, however, is a sound machine, a device that’s become extremely popular in recent years. But is it something you should use? Let’s find out by looking at the pros and cons of using a sound machine for sleep, along with supporting data.

Pros of Using a Sound Machine for Sleep

It Helps You Fall Asleep Faster

One of the more common problems for many people is falling asleep, as that’s the time when you’re most easily disturbed by noises. It can be especially tough if you live in a noisy area with traffic, frequent sirens, loud neighbors, and so on.
Using a sound machine for sleep is helpful because it blocks out most of the noise in your environment, which makes it easier to fall asleep quicker than you would otherwise.

You Can Experience Longer Periods of Uninterrupted Sleep

Another key benefit is that a sleep machine helps you sleep for longer. “After it helps you fall asleep, white noise also helps you stay asleep by blocking out any noises or loud disturbances that may wake you up,” explains Molly Szkotak, community manager at Yogasleep.
This acts as the perfect one-two punch that helps you fall asleep quicker and stay that way without interruptions, which brings us to our third main advantage.

It Helps Improve Overall Sleep Quality

According to a 2021 clinical study, “White noise significantly improved sleep for people who experience difficulty sleeping due to high levels of environmental noise.” In particular, the study found that it can be an effective tool for helping people living in urban areas to get a better night’s sleep.
So the data objectively shows that using a sound machine can, in fact, improve your overall sleep quality.

Cons of Using a Sound Machine for Sleep

It Can Create Dependency

Arguably the biggest issue is that you can quickly become dependent on a sound machine. For example, you may be fine when you’re at home with your sound machine by your side. But if you forget it while you’re on vacation, you’re likely in for a rough night.
It can also be problematic for children who start using a sound machine from a young age, as they never get used to sleeping in a normal environment with background noise. Some studies even suggest that it can potentially delay hearing and language development in infants.

You May Not Wake Up in Dangerous Situations

Say you have a young child crying in the night who needs attention or there’s a break-in. You may not always wake up to respond to these issues because of the white noise. The sound machine will block out important noises that should wake you up.

A Sound Machine Can Potentially Hurt Your Hearing

While a sound machine running at a low to medium level volume shouldn’t create any issues, it can possibly affect your hearing if you consistently run it at a high volume, sleep right beside it, or both. That’s why you should always be cognizant of white noise volume and proximity.

The Bottom Line

There’s no denying the positive impact a sound machine for sleep can have. Multiple studies have confirmed that it can significantly improve sleep quality and is especially beneficial for people who sleep in noisy environments.
That said, there are some drawbacks, which you should be aware of. But overall, when used responsibly, a sound machine can be a smart investment.

Should You Get an Extended Sound Machine Warranty?

Sound machines can be quite affordable, with many priced under $50. However, other higher-end products can easily be over $100, with some costing as much as $500.
While an extended warranty for a product under $50 may not make sense, it’s definitely worth considering if it’s bigger than that. Coverage from Upsie for sound machines not only protects against defects but also against power failure, WiFi failure, and more. And with prices up to 70% less than in-store offers, Upsie provides comprehensive coverage at a reasonable cost.
You can get the full details on how Upsie works here.

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.