I Want to Sleep but My Brain Won’t Shut Up! Tools for Better Sleep

It seems counterintuitive that noise can help you fall asleep, but white noise is commonly used to promote sleep. 

By Joe Castignani

Background noise can be a helpful sleep tool.

Picture this: You’re on a beach somewhere, basking in the warmth of the sun. As the waves crash rhythmically against the shore, the world disappears, and you’re lulled into a peaceful sleep. Unfortunately, when we tuck ourselves into our beds at night, we aren’t on a beach listening to the tide roll in to help us drift off.

But there are many other options for background noise, often referred to as white noise, which may decrease ‘sleep latency’ (the time it takes you to fall asleep).

It seems counterintuitive that noise can help you fall asleep, but it’s relatively common for people to choose a soothing background noise when their heads hit their comfy pillows (if yours isn’t so comfy, try the 6-Chamber Pillow with free shipping and returns).

White noise, which can calm a racing mind, can be as simple as half-listening to a podcast, turning on an instrumental playlist, or even switching on a bedside fan. Available on meditation apps such as Calm, “sleep stories,” often read by a soothing baritone voice, can be an effective tool for sleep too.

If you choose to use white noise as a sleep aid, consider limiting the length of its nightly use. It may be a good idea to have the sound switch off after a set time to allow the brain to get a good night’s sleep too!

My favorite option for drifting off to sleep

My personal preference for calming my mind for sleep is to read before bed. Like meditation, which helps quiet the mind and center reality on the present, reading allows zero room for intrusive thoughts to enter my brain. Reading drowns out the rest of my worries and prepares me for restful sleep.Frank Zappa might be right. “I think it is good that books still exist, but they do make me sleepy.”

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Dream big, work hard, sleep ambitiously,
Joe Castignani