12 White Noise Apps to Fall Asleep Faster and Stay Asleep Longer

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Do you toss and turn at night, struggling to fall asleep? Do random noises or a snoring partner keep waking you up? You‘re not alone.

Insomnia and disrupted sleep affect roughly 30-35% of adults. This epidemic of sleep deprivation is damaging our health, productivity and quality of life.

The good news? There are simple, drug-free solutions to get better sleep. One scientifically proven method is listening to white noise.

In this comprehensive guide as your friendly sleep expert, I‘ll explain how white noise improves sleep and review the top 12 white noise apps for Android and iPhone.

Get ready to start sleeping better!

Why White Noise Helps You Sleep Better

Before we get to the apps, you‘re probably wondering – how exactly does white noise help you sleep?

Great question. Let me explain the science behind it.

White noise refers to a consistent ambient sound containing many different frequencies. It‘s called "white" noise because it spans the full range of audible sound frequencies, like white light contains all visible wavelengths.

Examples of real-world white noise include the hum of an air conditioner, the sound of falling rain, and radio static.

Decades of scientific research shows listening to white noise can induce faster sleep onset, deeper sleep stages, and fewer nightly awakenings.

Here are the main reasons why white noise is so effective for better sleep:

1. Blocks Disruptive Background Noise

One of the major sleep-disrupting culprits is noise pollution. Background sounds like traffic, noisy neighbors, and construction can prevent us from falling asleep and wake us up at night.

By masking these disruptive noises, white noise helps create a more restful sleep environment. Think of it like soundproofing your bedroom.

In one study, participants slept better with white noise – falling asleep 38% faster on average. For those living in loud environments, the improvements are even more significant.

2. Induces Relaxation and Sleep

In addition to blocking out sounds, white noise directly promotes relaxation and drowsiness.

The ambient noise activates your parasympathetic "rest and digest" nervous system, slowing heart rate and breathing. This helps take your body and mind into a calm, tranquil state perfect for quality sleep.

In a sense, white noise tricks your brain into thinking it‘s bedtime. You instinctively feel more sleepy.

3. Improves Sleep Quality and Brain Function

White noise doesn‘t just help you fall asleep faster – it enhances your overall sleep quality.

Studies show people who listen to white noise spend more time in slow-wave (NREM) and REM sleep. These are the deepest, most restorative stages of sleep.

By spending more time in slow-wave sleep, your body repairs itself and your brain processes memories and information. You wake up feeling refreshed and restored both physically and mentally.

For infants and young children, white noise has been shown to aid brain development and growth. No wonder hospitals place newborns in noisy NICUs!

The Proof Is In – White Noise Works

With decades of empirical research demonstrating clear benefits, there‘s no question that white noise can significantly improve sleep quantity and quality.

Now let‘s look at some of the best white noise apps to experience these benefits for yourself.

Top 12 White Noise Apps for Deep, Restful Sleep

Here are 12 of the highest rated, most effective white noise apps for Android and iOS to install right now:

1. White Noise Generator (Android)

With over 50 HD nature and ambient sounds, White Noise Generator is my top pick for Android. You can mix and layer sounds like rain, waves, wind, and more to create your perfect audio environment. I love the ability to completely customize volume, pitch, balance, and playback. There are no annoying ads or loud intros that disrupt sleep. For a premium white noise experience, White Noise Generator can‘t be beaten.

2. Dark Noise (iOS)

For iPhone users, Dark Noise is the top-rated white noise app. It provides high fidelity audio in an elegantly designed, intuitive app. With over 40 ambient sounds, you can block distractions and sleep soundly. Features like Siri shortcuts, widgets, and iOS design integration make this a must-have for iPhone owners wanting better rest.

3. Sound Machine (iOS/Android)

With a massive library of over 100 sounds, Sound Machine gives you endless options for creating your custom sleep profile. In addition to white, pink and brown noise, it includes nature sounds, musical tones, space recordings and more. Great for both iPhone and Android users seeking maximum variety.

4. White Noise (Android)

A long-time favorite on Android, White Noise offers over 40 high-fidelity nature, appliance, and ambient sounds. Unique to this app is the ability to record, loop, and integrate your own custom sounds. There‘s also an equalizer and audio mixer for deep customization. For nerds like me who want to finely tune their audio, this app is fantastic.

5. White Noise Deep Sleep Sounds (iOS/Android)

If you just want simple, high-quality white noise, check out White Noise Deep Sleep Sounds. With 25 rich white noise soundscapes optimized for sleep, this app delivers dense, immersive audio to block out disruptions. The clean interface and lack of loud intros lend to an uninterrupted rest all night. Great for both iPhone and Android users looking specifically for white, pink or brown noise.

6. Atmosphere (iOS/Android)

For nature lovers, Atmosphere offers over 100 HD nature sounds to transport you to serene environments. You‘ll discover lively soundscapes from beaches, forests, rivers, rain, and more. Features like binaural beats, isochronic tones, custom mixes, and timers provide a full-featured relaxation experience. Available for both iOS and Android devices.

7. myNoise (iOS/Android)

One of the most innovative white noise apps is myNoise. It creates a personalized white noise soundscape adapted to your hearing sensitivity. By analyzing your age and auditory health, myNoise generates a custom profile with your optimal frequency balance. This tailored approach helps block distractions and lull you into dreamland. Also available on iPhone and Android.

8. Sleep Sounds by Sleep Pillow (iOS/Android)

With both white noise and nature sounds, Sleep Sounds by Sleep Pillow provides audio relaxation on all fronts. It offers 40 white noise along with over 100 nature sounds from idyllic environments. You can mix sounds, set timers and alarms, and visualize beautiful scenery as you unwind to sleep. A great all-in-one white noise and nature app for iOS and Android.

9. White Noise (iOS/Android)

Boasting over 5 million downloads on iOS and Android, White Noise is one of the most popular white noise apps. With over 40 sounds and fully customizable mixing capabilities, you have millions of combinations to explore for the perfect sleep profile. Ability to record and integrate custom sounds really takes it to the next level. For the ultimate white noise experience on mobile, White Noise is hard to top.

10. White Noise Lite (iOS/Android)

If you want a simple yet effective free white noise app, White Noise Lite is a great choice. It provides 40 high quality ambient sounds at no cost. While the features are minimal, the nature sounds are varied and high fidelity. Perfect for cost-conscious users wanting basic white noise to improve sleep.

11. Bedtime Fan (iOS/Android)

Love falling asleep to fan sounds but don‘t always want an actual fan on? Bedtime Fan lets you recreate the relaxing sounds of real fans using layered audio. With free apps for both iPhone and Android, you can enjoy the sleep-inducing sounds of fans without spending a cent. Who doesn‘t love a good bargain?

12. Noisli (iOS/Android)

Lastly, for a beautifully designed white noise app, check out Noisli. Noisli provides a wide selection of nature and ambient sounds alongside a slick, aesthetically pleasing interface. You can mix and match sounds endlessly to create the perfect sleep profile. Great functionality combined with intuitive and calming design makes this a go-to white noise app.

White Noise vs. Pink Noise vs. Brown Noise

When searching for sleep-inducing sound environments, you‘ll come across three main types of noise:

  • White noise – Equal distribution of sound frequencies across the entire audible spectrum. Examples: rain, fan sounds, radio static.

  • Pink noise – Less lower frequency emphasis compared to white noise, creating a softer, more gentle sound. Examples: steady rainfall, ocean waves.

  • Brown noise – Strong emphasis on lower bass frequencies while still containing all audible frequencies. Has a deep rumbling sound. Examples: strong winds, heavy rainfall.

For sleep, any of these noises can help block disruptions and induce relaxation. However, studies suggest brown and pink noise may be superior to white noise for sleep quality, as the low frequencies are especially effective for activating delta brainwaves for deep sleep.

That said, choosing between them comes down to personal preference. Test each type to determine which sounds most pleasing and effective for your ears.

Tips for Using White Noise Apps Effectively

Here are a few pro tips to use white noise apps for better sleep:

  • Experiment with different sounds and volumes to find your optimal profile. Nature sounds 60-70 dB work well.

  • Use a sleep timer to sync sound playback with your bedtime routine.

  • Layer multiple sounds like rain + oscillating fan for a more dynamic soundscape.

  • Use headphones or place phone near bed to maximize volume if not using speakers.

  • Set a gentle wake up alarm 30-60 mins before you get up.

Be patient and consistent with using white noise each night. Over time, your brain will associate the sounds with sleep. Sweet dreams!

Experience Deep, Restorative Sleep with White Noise

Difficulty sleeping and constant nightly disruptions are far too common in the modern world. Using white noise apps is an effective, natural way to restore restful sleep without drugs.

With less stress, more energy, improved focus, and better overall health, getting sufficient high-quality sleep is a game changer.

I hope this guide helps you discover amazing white noise apps to reduce insomnia, sleep through the night, and wake up feeling refreshed.

Here‘s to peaceful nights and productive days ahead! Let me know if you have any other favorite white noise apps I should try.

Sweet dreams!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.