iPhone has a hidden feature that activates the sound to put you to sleep

You can use your iPhone as a sleep machine by selecting an option from the Accessibility menu. By balancing the frequency spectrum, the device begins to produce relaxing sounds that are able to drown out the most annoying sounds of everyday life.

Everything is based on frequency contrasts. Even the sound of a garbage truck or the screams of a crying baby from the apartment next door can be invisible if well balanced.

It works like this: cover the noise with another sound. There are special machines that can generate certain frequencies, but the same functionality is available on iPhones with iOS 15 or later.

Sleep machine on iPhone

Some Apple smartphones have a built-in white noise feature that can be used to relax you and help you sleep. White noise can actually cover the entire range of frequencies that sound with the same intensity.

It’s like the hiss of a radio that can’t pick up a signal. Obviously, there are dedicated machines and they cost between 20 and 100 euros, for a less efficient but cheaper solution, just go to the settings on your smartphone.

What is white noise used for?

White noise machines are used to help focus or fall asleep. As Stanford University sleep researcher Rafael Pelayo explains, it’s good to be bored, especially before bed, because you need to feel safe to fall asleep easily. In addition, these machines can help maintain sleep by masking unexpected sounds, such as the creaking of a hotel elevator or the clicking of a lock when a roommate enters the apartment late. They can also be useful for concentrating at home during smart work or creating noise in open-plan offices.

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “A key characteristic of audio devices is constant sound, as opposed to variable sound,” said David Neubauer. “Our brains pay attention to changing sound, and a consistent, soothing sound can help us relax. »

How to use the background sound feature

You don’t need to search for “white noise” to access the function, “background sounds”, just go to Settings, press the Accessibility button, select the Audio / video option, and the sounds will appear by scrolling down the items, background. There is also a shortcut, still in Settings, then select Accessibility, where you can choose background sounds directly from the panel.

By activating the setting, it will be possible to choose from a number of meditation sounds to help you relax. Sound of rain, stream, ocean, balanced backgrounds, light or dark. You can also adjust the volume to your liking. There is no built-in timer to turn off the background after certain hours, so the sound continues until you turn it off. However, there is a setting that can stop the white noise when the smartphone is locked.

Against absolute silence

“I think there are two ways that audio devices can be useful. Of course, they can block out other sudden noises that might wake us up during the night’s total silence,” Neubauer said. The devices also “create a cocoon of sound that can provide a sense of security,” Neubauer said. “Sometimes the dead silence can make it difficult to fall asleep because people are listening intently and thus disrupting sleep.”

Different colors for each sound

“These machines often make soothing sounds like rain or a whirring fan, or soothing static sounds, formally known as brown noise or pink noise. White noise is often used as an umbrella term, but while it can be particularly difficult to hear, “these alternatives are more conducive to sleep,” Neubauer said.

For sound engineers, white noise is a special “color” in the rainbow of mixed sounds. For example, pink noise has more intensity in the low frequency range, so it sounds deeper than white noise and sounds more like the sound of rain. Its sound graph resembles a downward slope.

Brown noise has a higher intensity and even lower frequency range than pink noise, resembling the roar of a distant waterfall. Its graph has a steeper downward slope than pink noise. Blue noise, on the contrary, is very bright, the opposite of brown noise, it has more intensity and loudness in the higher frequency range than white noise. On the chart, it looks like a climb.

How to balance sounds and voices

A smart way to mask noise is to choose a color with the strongest intensity at the frequencies corresponding to the sound you want to cover. For example, the rumble of garbage trucks is easily masked by brown noise, even at relatively low volume.

In contrast, white noise whose sound graph is a straight horizontal line will not block the high-intensity low frequencies of the garbage truck until you turn up the volume. It can also be helpful for people with tinnitus, where a constant high-frequency sound of white or blue noise can offer relief.

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