Q. For more than 40 years, I have needed to use a white-noise machine to get to sleep. Should I worry?
A. “There isn’t much science behind the white-noise effect in inducing sleep, except for its use to block other intruding sounds,” said Dr. Ana Krieger, the medical director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
In this case, Dr. Krieger said, the person may have become acclimated to the sound generated by the machine, which is not a problem in itself unless the machine delivers a loud sound. “Chronic exposure to noise is not beneficial to our health, as it may induce the release of stress hormones and interfere with cardiovascular health,” she said.
When loud sounds are detected by the brain during sleep, they often interfere with sleep architecture and quality, Dr. Krieger said, and white-noise equipment can then be used to diminish or disguise environmental noise. Many machines also deliver soothing and softer sounds instead of or in addition to random white noise; some other alternatives, Dr. Krieger said, are opening a window, turning on a ceiling fan, turning on a radio and tuning it between stations at low volume, or programming soothing sounds on a smartphone.
Fuente: firstname.lastname@example.org, The New York Times
Autor: Claiborne Ray