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Comparison of Natural Sleep Aids

Aug 17, 2007
Sleep problems affect approximately 70 million Americans according to the National Institute of Health. It's no wonder that so many suffer from insomnia when we have become subject to increasing amounts of stress, productivity demands, and negative news. Most people find themselves lying in the dark, stricken with anxiety and worrisome thoughts and would do anything just to fall asleep. As a result, the number of individuals between the ages of 20 and 44 who turned to sleeping pills has more than doubled since 2000.

However, no matter which studies you read, the majority will overwhelmingly disavow the use of drug treatment when it comes to general insomnia. Sleeping pills are highly addictive, contain harmful chemicals, and can result in a hangover effect the next day. If you're one of the millions of people that lie awake each night trying desperately to fall asleep, there are natural solutions such as white noise machines and relaxation CD's that can be more effective than sleeping pills.

White Noise Machines
White noise machines are by far the most popular type of natural sleep aid. The surprising cause of most insomnia is sounds that distract from falling asleep or interrupt sleep at night. Others describe rushing thoughts of stressful or terrifying images and thoughts in a silent dark room that prevent the relaxation needed to fall asleep. A white noise machine produces a comforting sound similar to that of the soothing hum of a fan, but without the negative effects of rattling, direct gusts of chilly air, and dust agitation.

Though it may sound like a fan, a white noise machine is engineered around the complex science of sound. The sound emitted by a white noise machine is actually a combination of every sound audible to the human ear. As a result, any one noise in the environment is absorbed by the menagerie of sounds just as one voice is difficult to pick out in a crowd. The reason for the success of the white noise machine is that it blocks out the sounds of even the noisiest neighbors while giving the brain something comforting to focus on instead of pure silence.

Relaxation CDs
Relaxation CDs come in many varieties from natural sounds like waterfalls and singing birds to simulated white noise. The soothing sounds work to free the mind of stressful thoughts while relaxing the body enough for sleep. When muscles relax, breath becomes deeper and anxiety fades away, making sleep possible.

Relaxing sounds work well to help many people get to sleep and stay asleep, but once the CD stops, many people are jarred awake by the change in atmosphere. Not everyone can fall asleep with "manufactured" sounds in their sleep environment. Even with the CD on repeat, many people still tend to wake up during the changing of the tracks. In this case, a white noise machine that naturally creates a gentle sound that masks noise instead of covering it up, is often more effective.

However you choice to handle insomnia don't take this very serious problem lying down. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that approximately 100,000 accidents are caused each year by drivers dozing off at the wheel. Lack of sleep greatly depletes the quality of life, causing people to be edgy, irritated, and many say that they spend their waking life in a daze, unable to truly enjoy life. Before turning to prescription or over the counter pills, try a while noise machine or other type of natural sleep aid.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on white noise machines and natural sound machines be sure to visit www.SleepWellBaby.com.
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