White Noise Machines for Seniors that actually work

In this post, you will get to know more about your sleep environment, how it is related to having a good night’s sleep, and finally, you will be able to compare my top white noise machines for Seniors that work wonders.

In order to do that, we were based not only on our opinion but also on hundreds of reviews and user ratings.

How to create a great sleep environment?

In our previous articles, we’ve discussed the importance of sleep for health and how most of us aren’t getting enough quality sleep, especially when it comes to seniors. Many seniors nowadays are making sleep a priority and realizing they can accomplish it by keeping a bedtime routine, exercising regularly or eating healthier.

However, there is one aspect very important for a better sleep that still needs more attention: the environment. A great environment is essential to sleep better.

In fact, we statistically spend or more time in our beds and bedrooms as we do anywhere else. 1/3 of your life is spent sleeping in a bedroom but all too often, people overlook the importance of what a bedroom actually means in getting great sleep. Improving sleep environment can have lasting benefits to other aspects of your life.

These 5 factors can make a tremendous difference in improving a sleep environment

What you can do to improve your sleep environment?

  • Clean Out All the Clutter
  • Keep your room dark
  • Maintain your room cool
  • Make your room comfortable
  • The right kind of noise

What to Look for When Buying a White Noise Machines

Finding the right kind of noise! If you’re the kind of person who needs total silence in order to get a good night’s sleep, forget this post. However, if even the slightest noise — a dog barking, a snoring spouse, a random noise at the street outside your home — can disturb your sleep, then you might want to look into the benefits of white noise.

There are some details you can check too buy the best white noise machine to fit your needs:

  • Customizability: A good noise machine, in the very least, will have a range of volumes, so you can find a setting that works best for you.
  • Volume: The noise machine shouldn’t be too loud—because that could be damaging to your ears. 
  • A Clean Loop (if applicable): If the white noise machine uses sound recordings, instead of mechanical noise, pay attention if you cam hear when the recording ends and then begins again. This is can be an issue because it’s not the noise necessarily that wakes you up, it’s the change in noise. 
  • Extra perks: compatibility, portability, auto-off timer, according to your needs.

Best White Noise Machines for Seniors

1. LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Machine

Highlights:

  • Provides 10 fan sounds and 10 ambient noise variations
  • Dynamic sound with is no predictable looping
  • Safe, solid-state design dynamically creates unique, non-repeating sounds with no moving parts
  • Precise volume control allows you to set the perfect level for your unique environment.
  • Provides 60-minute auto-off timer
  • Compact and portable
  • Powered by AC or USB

Pros:

  • A diverse array of sounds;
  • Many volume adjustments.

Cons:

  • It doesn’t last much, something internally can be easily damaged.
  • Hard to find a sound and volume combination that works satisfactorily;
  • Difficult to connect with the app on the phone for tech illiterates.

Dimensions:  4.4 x 4.4 x 2.2

Find more details here.

2. Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Sound Machine

Highlights:

  • This device was first sold as ‘Sleep-Mate’ in the 1960S
  • Customized sound – acoustic housing and dual speed fan allow for fully adjustable tone and volume control for a personalized sound environment.
  • While many sound machines play audio tracks on a loop, this one generates white noise mechanically with a built-in fan, which results in a very natural sound.
  • Powered by AC

Pros:

  • Simple to operate, there is only one button on this machine (the one/off switch)
  • Natural fan sound more relaxing than common electronic sound makers and apps I

Cons:

  • It doesn’t last much, something internally can be easily damaged.
  • The only “volume” you get is the power switch, with two settings, low and high. 
  • No other feature such as auto-off timer

Dimensions: 5.8 x 5.8 x 3.8

Find more details here.

3. Sound+Sleep High Fidelity Sleep Sound Machine

Highlights:

  • 10 sound profiles and 30 rich and immersive non-repeating sound environments for better sleep, relaxation, and sound masking
  • Adaptive Sound listens to your environment and responds instantly by adjusting audio volume
  • 30, 60, 90, or 120-minute auto volume-reduction timer
  • Front panel lighting automatically dims for distraction-free rest
  • 3.5mm audio connector for use with your own headphones or speakers

Pros:

  • This sleep machine has so many versatile sound options and amazing quality audio 
  • The noise-reduction timer

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Noises that shouldn’t be there.
  • Choice and quality of super-realistic sounds that doesn’t help you disconnect, instead you keep being aware of them.

Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.5 x 4.5

Find more details here.

4. Wave Premium Sleep Therapy Sound Machine

Highlights:

  • Seamless looping of 6 soothing nature sounds with little repetition and no audible break
  • 15, 30, and 60-minute auto-off timer
  • A USB port to charge your phone or other devices
  • Sleek, compact design fits easily on any nightstand
  • powered by AC

Pros:

  • It makes sounds, and shuts off with a timer;
  • The design is nice.

Cons:

  • Sound quality is lacking;
  • The “timer light” is very bright and doesn’t go away where you select the time;
  • It can get loud but distortion is noticeable.

Dimensions: 5.5 x 6 x 3.5 

Find more details here.

5. Big Red Rooster BRRC107 Sound Machine

Highlights:

  • 6 high-quality natural sleep sounds
  • 15, 30, and 60-minute auto-off timer
  • Compact and Portable
  • Powered by an AC adaptor (included) or 3 AA batteries.

Pros:

  • Good value
  • Decent sounds for a cheaper unit
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • A small unit that can easily fit on a shelf or elsewhere

Cons:

  • Buttons click loudly when pushed
  • The power button has an LED which is a little too bright but can work as a dim night-light
  • Does not have a pitch adjustment
  • The loops are short

Dimensions: 4 x 4.4 x 2.6

Find more details here.

Our Picks

Best overall white noise machine for seniors

LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Machine. LectroFan is obviously a superior machine. This device is much louder and also far more extensive in range of ability than the others. The diverse array of sounds astounds any user. The night-light with its many settings is an interesting and helpful plus. The 60-minute auto-off timer is also handy. It also offers an option to use an app from your phone to control the noise machine’s power, volume, light, or choice of sound, but it seems a bit complicate to use if you are not a tech-savvy.

Best value white noise machine for seniors

Marpac Dohm Classic White Noise Sound Machine. Marpac Dohm Classic was first sold as ‘Sleep-Mate’ in the 1960S. It’s basically a white noise machine that produces natural, realistic, fan-based noise. The natural fan sound is more relaxing than some electronic sound makers and apps. Users can adjust the volume between two speeds, as well as the tone. The only downside is that the device does not have a timer.

Best white noise machine for seniors under $20

Big Red Rooster BRRC107 Sound Machine. Big Red Rooster is a simplified device that offers the main features that many of the expensive models do. It’s lightweight, compact, and it has an attractive design. The sounds are clear and aren’t predictably repetitive. The multi-level timer is also useful. It’s simple to use and it also takes batteries if you aren’t able to plug it in.

We often hear statements mentioning that “1/3 of our life is spent sleeping”, but we don’t usually give a serious thought about it. While sleeping is a big part of our lives, insomnia is the most common sleep disorder. Having insomnia means having insufficient or nonrestorative sleep despite adequate opportunity to sleep. And approximately one out of two seniors suffer from insomnia.

Why do Seniors Have Insomnia? As we get older, most of us will experience changes in our body that affect how we sleep. Along with these physical changes, similarly changes to our sleep patterns occurs as consequences in the normal aging process.

In addition to that, some seniors experience psychiatric disorders and physiological problems that can also affect the quantity and quality of sleep. Besides, all these changes become more and more pronounced and they will be also influenced by chronic illness or the side effects of prescription medication. As a result, as we get older our sleep patterns changes including disturbed sleep and waking up tired every morning are relatively common.

Insomnia in Seniors: 10 Related Questions You May Have

1. Why do Seniors have Insomnia?

According to a study from 2018 of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, about 25% of Americans experience insomnia each year. And when it comes to seniors with 60 years old and older, according to the National Institute of Health, this percentage increases to 50%.

Fortunately, many seniors nowadays are making sleep a priority and realizing they can accomplish it by keeping a bedtime routine, exercising regularly or eating healthier. All these recommendations will be mentioned in this article. Additionally, I will point the main signs and symptoms to identify insomnia; insomnia main causes; why it’s important to rest well; possible treatments for insomnia; and Insomnia risks for seniors.

2. What are the Common Sleep Changes in Seniors?

The common sleep changes in seniors are the ones below:

  • Getting tired earlier in the evening;
  • Waking up early in the morning;
  • Waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep;
  • Having insomnia, which is a condition that makes it hard to fall asleep and/or stay asleep.

10 Signs and Symptoms of Insomnia in Seniors:

5 Signs and symptoms to be identified during the night:

  • Taking more than 30-45 minutes to fall asleep;
  • Having trouble staying asleep;
  • Waking up early, unable to fall back asleep;
  • Night falls;
  • Depression.  

5 Signs and symptoms to be identified during the day:

  • Feeling drowsy, tired or exhausted;
  • Having accidents, due to sleep deprivation;
  • Irritability;
  • Impaired memory or/and difficulty concentrating;
  • Depression.

3. What are the Common Causes of Insomnia in Seniors

7 Most Common Causes of Insomnia in Seniors:

  • Pain or medical conditions: Health conditions (such as a frequent need to urinate, pain, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, osteoporosis or other conditions that cause physical pain).
  • Medications intake: The combination of drugs that seniors often take, as well as their side effects, can take a toll on your sleep routine.
  • Depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders: insomnia is one of the symptoms.
  • Poor sleep habits and sleep environment: Irregular sleep routine and an inadequate sleep environment (such as a bedroom that doesn’t suit your needs). Environment being noisy and not dark enough, or an uncomfortable mattress.
  • Unhealthy habits: Having unhealthy habits (such as being overweight, smoking, drinking too much alcohol and an unbalanced diet). If you have unhealthy habits, your sleep will surely be compromised by it.
  • Lack of exercise: Not exercising enough. If you don’t do at least 30min of physical activity on a daily basis, either you have problems to fall asleep, either you feel sleepy all the time.
  • (For women only) Menopause and post menopause: Many women find that hot flashes and night sweats, both symptoms of menopause and post menopause, can interrupt their sleep.

4. Why is so Important to Have a Good Night Sleep for Seniors?

Whatever a person’s age, sleep is key for good health and wellbeing. Therefore, specially for seniors, sleep well is extremely important because it allows your body to repair itself and refreshes your immune system, which in turn helps to prevent disease. Besides, it helps to improve concentration and prevent memory loss.

Studies suggest that many older adults sleep seven hours or less, which might be compromising our health to some degree. Additionally, if seniors are sleeping five to six hours per night, there is a higher risk of hypertension or developing coronary disease. Moreover, the effects of poor sleep have also been linked to obesity, depression, poor memory, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

5. Insomnia Risks for Seniors

Insomnia can become quickly chronic in a senior. And when it does, the wellbeing and lifestyle can be affected:

  • Lack of concentration/focus can lead to accidents in the house (such as forgetting the stove on, running water or doors unlocked).
  • Increased clumsiness can lead to falls and other accidents that can cause injuries.
  • Constant tiredness can lead to accidents while driving.
  • Avoidance of symptoms can lead to depression, which in turn heightens the sleep disturbance.

6. Treatments for Insomnia and Other Sleep Disorders in Seniors

Normal treatments would be weight reduction, quit smoking, limit alcohol, healthy diet, reduction of beverage and food intake at night, avoid coffee after 3p.m., maintain a good sleep routine – like relaxation training, leaving stress out of the bedroom, using the bed just for sleep, regular sleep schedule – and daily aerobic exercise for about 30 minutes a day. But often these basic treatments are not enough.

7 Basic Tips for Better Sleep:

  • Maintain healthy habits: Loose weight, quit smoking, limit alcohol and healthy diet.
  • Keep a sleep routine: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Maintain a regular schedule. Use the bedroom only on bedtime.
  • Exercise: Do exercises! Daily physical activity helps people sleep better. But note that it’s important to avoid vigorous activity for several hours before bedtime.
  • Sleep environment: Create a sleep environment that is dark, quiet, safe and comfortable.
  • Avoid caffeine after 3 p.m.: Note that the effect of caffeine can last much longer than 5 hours.
  • Limit naps: If you need them, make them shorter. Set a timer when you go for a rest during the day.
  • No eat or drink too much right before bedtime: Eat/Drink three hours or more before going to bed.

7. Why sleeping pills aren’t the ideal way of treating insomnia?

Sleeping pills are usually not the best solution. In fact, they should be avoided because they are usually bad for brain function. Besides, sleeping pills have risks and side effects, especially for seniors, in both the short-term and long-term.

What are common side effects of sleeping pills?

  • Burning or tingling in hands, arms, feet, or legs;
  • Appetite changes;
  • Dry mouth or throat;
  • Gas;
  • Constipation and/or Diarrhea;
  • Stomach pain and/or tenderness;
  • Difficulty keeping balance;
  • Dizziness;
  • Drowsiness;
  • Headache;
  • Heartburn;
  • Problems with focus and/or memory.

8. How Much Sleep do You Need? And How Much Sleep do Seniors Need?

The short answer to this question is, seniors (65 or plus) sleep range is 7 to 8 hours. In fact, most adults need 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night to feel rested and alert and this is especially true for people age 65 or older. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for most of seniors that sleep usually 5 to 7 hours per night.

As I’ve been observing with my mom, as we grow old, we may have changes in your sleep patterns. Surely, the amount of sleep we need varies on many factors, but age is a very relevant one.

A senior clinical physiologist in neurophysiology and sleep at Bupa Cromwell Hospital, Ana Noia, told The Independent that while how much sleep someone needs can vary according to each person, as a standard rule how much sleep someone needs will change with age. Additionally, I took the study made by The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that also have its results of amount sleep need for each age and compile into one table:

AgeAmount of sleep neededSource
Newborn16 to 18 hoursAna Noia
Up to 3 months of age14 to 17 hoursCDC
From 4 to 12 months12 to 16 hoursCDC
From 1 to 2 years11 to 14 hoursCDC/Ana Noia
From 3 to 5 years10 to 13 hoursCDC/Ana Noia
From 6 to 12 years9 to 12 hoursCDC
From 13 to 18 years8 to 10 hoursCDC
From the 20 years and up7 to 9 hoursAna Noia
Older than 65 years7 to 8 hoursAna Noia

Furthermore, according to Noia, two age groups are usually sleep deprived: teenagers and seniors. Teenagers definitely don’t sleep enough and should be getting eight to 10 hours. Also, seniors, although the recommendation is that they should be sleeping 7 to 8 hours per night, they actually sleep around 5 to 7 hours.

9. Why the Amount of Sleep We Need Varies with Our Age?

According to Noia, why we need to rest our eyes for different amounts of time depending on our age comes down to the complex changes in how the brain develops, our circadian rhythm, environmental factors, work and social needs and demands. Furthermore, “The most dramatic change occurs in the elderly. Deep sleep, for example, can almost disappear,” Noia says.

10. Reasons Why Seniors are so Sleep Deprived

So, as said before, according to an article from Medical News Today, seniors often get less sleep than they need. One reason for seniors to be so sleep deprived is that they often have more trouble falling asleep. And this issue appears to affect more women than men over 65, since 13 percent of men and 36 percent of women take more than 30 minutes to fall asleep, according to a study mentioned by the same article.

Additionally, older people often sleep less deeply and wake up more often throughout the night. There are many possible explanations for this change. Seniors usually produce and secrete less melatonin, the hormone that stimulates sleep. They may also be more sensitive to noise and other changes in their sleep environment. Additionally, seniors may also have other medical and psychiatric problems that can affect their sleep routine.

This ends up affecting seniors’ entire routine. Because of this change on their night time sleep, seniors tend to be more tired during the day and have more naps and also, to get sleepier earlier in the evening and awaken earlier in the morning.

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Comments

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