why is it so hard for me to sleep without background noise like TV or the radio?


why is it so hard for me to sleep without background noise like TV or the radio?

In: Biology

IMO it’s because it distracts you from having thought trains that go on for an unpredictable amount of time

You probably learned this behavior overtime. By intentionally or accidentally sleeping with background noise, you developed a sleep pattern that now requires external noise… so its a routine. These sleep routines can be both good and bad. But they can be broken with time and patience. Try sleeping without noise…. it may take a few weeks.

Follow up question, is this okay to do, I feel like I can’t really sleep in complete silence and just want to know if it’s bad for you or something

Different frequency profiles of white noise actually set up a real and physical soothing resonant cascading neuron firing pattern in your brain!

Some people above are saying it’s learned, but even many newborn babies respond immediately to the soothing effects of white noise upon their brain.

So there’s something physically and biochemically fundamental to the brain that responds to it in many people.

(Even some animals respond to its soothing effects!)


In that sense I guess you could say that white noise is a bit of a “drug”! If you want to use the term loosely.

Just as with many drugs, they interact with your brain, to change brain behavior. In one case drugs access your brain through the blood system. In another case the white noise accesses your brain through the auditory system.

Also… those above who say it is learned, are in the end actually at least partially right, because your brain can reinforce associations between sleep and resonant pattern firing generating by white noise, making the link between the two even stronger, just as it does with drugs.


Finally, keep in mind I’m using the term “drug” loosely.

Yes, you can get “addicted” to white noise to help you fall asleep in a sense, because of it’s real effects upon your brain.

But given a few miserable painful sleepless and restless nights of withdrawal without the white noise, you’ll re-adapt in a few days to gradually get more and more sleep without it playing in the background.

I live on a busy street corner, so I’ve used white noise to drawn out the traffic for over 15 years now! But when my CD bed side player broke, I re-adapted to sleeping without it.

It took several nights of me tossing and turning, but gradually I slept more and more, and by the second week, I had adapted to sleep without it.

But I eventually went back to it, because dang that street below is noisy sometimes!

And the lure of the white noise is just… so… soothing…

Can… not… resist…