Get better sleep by adding more noise

Sound machine offers 64 sounds to help you catch more Zzzzzzs.

Sound+Sleep SE machine white noise
At a Glance
  • Adaptive Sound Technologies Sound+Sleep SE Special Edition Sleep Sound Machine, White Noise Machine

The awesome 1980s girl band The Go-Go’s had a song about insomnia called “You Can’t Walk in Your Sleep (If You Can’t Sleep)” in which one lyric went “You can’t win you wonder why that sleep is one thing you can’t buy.” While technically true, you can buy something that will help you with your sleep. Several things, actually, as sleep technology continues to develop new ways to help us get our Zzzzzzs. 

In my case, I’ve discovered that while I’m a light sleeper, consistent noise like an air conditioner or fan help me sleep better than complete silence. So I was pleased to receive a sample of the Sound+Sleep SE (Special Edition, about $150) sound machine from ASTI (Adaptive Sound Technologies Inc.). The device offers 64 different non-looping sounds to help people fall asleep and stay asleep. In addition, an adaptive noise tech feature (optional for users) raises the volume of the sounds when it detects a disruptive noise, such as a person snoring or car horn. 

OK, the 64 sounds are not totally unique. There are actually 16 unique sounds (rainfall, ocean, brook, city, baby, rides, home, crowds, meditation, small fan, large fan, white noise, pink noise, brown noise, waterfall and meadow), but with four different intensity levels to give you the 64 sounds. For example, the city sound at level 1 gives you one car sound, level 2 gives you two cars, and level 4 gives you two cars, a truck and some people walking.

Some of the sounds don’t give you different intensity levels, but rather different sounds within that category. For example, the home category gives you a bathtub filling with water at level 1, an air conditioner at level 2, a washing machine at level 3 and a fireplace at level 4. Similarly, the rides category lets you hear sounds of an airplane, car, train or paddleboat.

You select the category with a giant dial on the front of the device, and then choose the level with the Selection button. Other buttons control the volume, display light, timer (you can shut off the sound after 30, 60, 90 or 120 minutes if you want). The device also includes two USB ports that let you recharge your smartphone or other device (cables not included, so you have to bring your own). If you want to use the speaker on the device to play music, it comes with an AUX cable that you can plug into the music port, or you can add headphones and listen that way. 

It took me a few days before I felt comfortable with the device. On the first night the noise I selected kept me awake more than I wanted to. But after adjusting the volume settings and choosing other options, I was able to find one that worked for me. I didn’t use the adaptive noise feature because in my case, it was waking me up when the volume went up. After a few weeks of using the device, it has improved my sleep pattern where I’m not waking up in the middle of the night and then not being able to go back to sleep. 

If you think a white noise-machine with a variety of different sound types (white noise isn’t for everyone) would help you, add this device to your list of choices. If the SE is out of your price range, the company makes a variety of other machines with smaller designs and fewer features. 

Grade: 4.5 stars (out of five)

Related video:

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
At a Glance
  • Adaptive Sound Technologies Sound+Sleep SE Special Edition Sleep Sound Machine, White Noise Machine

Take IDG’s 2020 IT Salary Survey: You’ll provide important data and have a chance to win $500.