A new study is suggesting that you may want to think twice before putting on a noise machine to go to sleep. While they are popular this study is questioning their effectiveness. In fact, they are suggesting it might even degrade the quality of sleep that people are getting.
“I would just be careful,” Mathias Basner, who worked on the study in Sleep Medicine Reviews, says. “I wouldn’t broadly recommend them, because there is no evidence that they are actually working.” That is the main point made by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in the study.
They reviewed more than three dozen other studies on the subject and while many older studies suggested they might help people fall asleep quicker, apparently the science behind that is weak, per Science Times, and at least one of the studies found that the devices disrupt sleep.
They suggest the problem is not letting the inner ear to get any rest. “Whenever we’re exposed to sounds and noise, the inner ear is translating that into nerve signals that are then interpreted by the brain,” Basner explains. “It is an active process, which generates metabolites, some of which have been shown to be harmful to the inner ear.” His advice would be to let the auditory system have a rest as well.
The study itself concludes that more research is necessary before white noise can be recommended as a sleep aid, “especially since it may also negatively affect sleep and hearing.”