White noise is a name given to signals or processes with flat power spectral density. This means that this noise has the same power in a fixed bandwidth at any possible frequency. This kind of noise exists solely in theory. However, scientists are exploring its potentials daily.
Any kind of signal can be white, given the right characteristics. It must have a zero DC component and be statistically uncorrelated. Thus, noise which has a continuous distribution, such as normal distribution, can be white.
One should not mistake white noise with regular noise, since the two terms are not the same. We hear white noise as a gentle hiss. For example, the rustling of three leaves, the sound of wind, waterfalls, sounds of the sea or of a static emitted by a radio, all can be white noise. Since the white color has the whole spectrum of colors of light, it presents all the sounds that a human ear is capable to hear.
Benefits of White Noise
We are constantly exposed to numerous distracting sounds like traffic, construction works, pipelines, neighbors, animals etc. White noise does not add on like yet another type of noise to the whole lot. Rather, it contains equal frequencies of all sounds. Subsequently, this kind of sound can relax people and help them fall asleep, providing them with a better sleep altogether. Moreover, white noise makes the other noises go away, masking their presence, allowing you to enjoy the relaxing monotony.
People with conditions like ADHD or ADD can easily get distracted when they are exposed to noise. By removing this noise and exchanging it for white noise, these people can enjoy life more and be capable of relieving themselves of tension and frustrations, making them more productive and bettering their overall behavioral patterns.
Also, white noise can be used creatively with dogs. Basically, when you expose dogs to white noise, they are less likely to bark at any noises they hear outside, or to react to any other, similar kinds of stimuli. The dog is likely to fall asleep when exposed to white noise, due to relaxation it brings.
All in all, sounds like ocean waves and the wind are the carriers of this relaxing, white noise. Nevertheless, these sounds need to be specially created in order to meet the white noise standards and have the desired benefits, resembling the natural sounds we like.