Across China: White noise croons lullaby to sleep-deprived youngsters-Xinhua

Across China: White noise croons lullaby to sleep-deprived youngsters

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-04-17 20:46:15

LANZHOU, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Tuned in to the sound of breeze rustling the wheat fields and bird chirps in distant forests, Feng Xiao, a 32-year-old office lady who has been long plagued by sleep disorders, now relies on her mobile phone at night.

"The white noise, played via a sleep-aid mobile app, can help me calm down and send me to sleep much sooner," Feng said. Shouldering great work burden in the daytime, the white-collar worker finds good sleep a rare visitor to herself.

"Every night, lying on the bed, I can clearly tell that my body is worn out. But still, I just can't sleep. It takes me at least one or two hours to fall asleep," Feng added.

What Feng feels queasy about is not some individual cases, but a growing concern among Chinese young urbanites.

According to a recent research report on the sleep conditions of Chinese citizens by Chinese Sleep Research Society, 28 percent of the surveyed said that they sleep no more than six hours at night, while 64 percent complained that their sleep quality is poor.

Among the total, a large part of youngsters born after the 1990s and 2000s reported to have difficulty falling asleep, the report says.

To put themselves to bed, Chinese youngsters are willing to have a try at various novel methods, including relaxation and meditation music represented by white noise and light music.

Unlike noise pollution generated by traffic, construction and other industry sectors, white noise with a consistent but soft tone can help people relax and fall asleep more easily. Acoustically, white noise has a uniform energy distribution in all frequency bands, including all sound frequencies within the audible range of the human ear, according to experts.

More than 3,000 song lists regarding white noise can be found on NetEase Cloud Music, a popular online music platform, which collect diverse scenarios varying from brook murmurs and ocean waves to sounds of the fan swinging and casual chats in coffee shops.

Short videos and livestreaming shows of playing white noise to lull audience to sleep also won hearts of many Chinese netizens.

Dong Qiangli, director of the department of mental health at the Second Hospital & Clinical Medical School of Lanzhou University, said that this kind of soothing, soft, monotonous but regular sound will put the brain in a quiet and less active state, causing people to feel tired and sleepy, thus helping people to fall asleep quickly.

Similar music therapies can also relieve patients' stress and anxiety and improve their physical and mental health, Dong added.

For some other Chinese youngsters, white noise is their key to improve work and study efficiency. Shi Wen, a 19-year-old college student, prefers to turn white noise on while studying. "White noise collected from the Mother Nature helps me settle down quickly and have total concentration upon my study," he said.