Familiar, repetitive sounds induce sleep

Have soft, familiar and repetitive sound when you sleep

Ocean sunset

As mentioned earlier, investing in quality sleep is one of the safest and and most durable health strategy.

Smooth, familiar and repetitive sounds produce drowsiness and sleep. Conversely, the lack of these tend to produce alertness and wakefulness.

Research shows sounds which effect a individual are dependent upon his environment. A city dweller may sleep with the steady rumble of traffic but he might find the sound of crickets to be too noisy. Someone who lives in the countryside might respond better to sounds of leaves stirred by gentle wind.

Some of the sounds which tend to induce sleep are rain on a roof, machinery hum, gentle wind, waves upon a beach, or the sounds of slow breathing and heart beat. The gentle sound of a human voice also induce sleep if it is non-communicative.

Sounds such as  baby cries, auto horns, cars accelerating or breaking, alarms, clunky fridges or slammed doors produce alertness. Water sounds such as falls or a flowing river can also rush a person to the bathroom.

Sounds generated should be at a sufficient volume to mask the ambiant noise of the environment, but below 45db.

Sounds also must be at a lower frequency than the person’s resting heart rate. For example, if your resting heart rate is 60 beats per minute, a sound around 45Hz can induce sleep.

In summary, make sure you sleep in a quiet, comforting environment.


  • If your bedroom is near a highway or train track, consider moving to another area or complete sound isolation. Passing cars or trains will alarm the body. Sleep will be light, if there is any at all.
  • If environment is too noisy, ear plugs are not ideal. We are soothed by smooth repetitive sounds. Complete silence and emptiness create anxiety.
  • A fan operating at a slow 50 turns per minute is a cheap solution to have a repetitive sound. Another is a sound app plugged to speakers.


  • J.H.M. Tulen, A. Kumar, A.A. Jurriëns. 1998. Psychophysiological acoustics of indoor sound due to traffic noise during sleep. Journal of Science and Vibration.
  • Barry Krakow, MD. 2007. Sound Sleep, Sound Mind: 7 Keys to Sleeping Through the Night. John Wiley & Sons

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