Best White Noise Machines
Sleep is crucial on so many levels, I'm not even going to bother getting into them right now. You know how badly life sucks when you haven't gotten your beauty rest - and you know how miserable it can feel to have to sludge through a day wishing you were home in bed. If lack of sleep is a once-in-a-blue-moon type of problem for you, congratulations, I wish I had your sleeping habits.
Unfortunately, my sleep cycle is always a bit screwed up, particularly now, as I sit here writing this. It's an on again, off again thing with me, which started when I was at university. It's difficult to find enough hours in the day to gig, work night shift and go to school all day. I did it for almost 6 years, and it was not a pretty sight.
During that time, the only sleep I got was during the day, and I lived with other college students who didn't understand the meaning of closing a door, as opposed to slamming it. It sucked. I tried earplugs and everything else you can think of, and nothing worked. And then I discovered the white noise machine. My bedroom was transformed in a haven, and I was finally able to sleep. You can also use these just to relax when you're sleeping, or even if you're awake and working in your office.
Obus Forme Sound Relaxation
The Obus has ten sound recordings to choose from: white noise, running stream, heartbeat, summer night, waterfall, ocean waves, tropical forest, songbirds, thunderstorm and rainfall. You can either leave it running, or set the 60 minute timer. It can run on batteries if need be, so it's a good choice for travel.
Sound Oasis Deluxe Sound Therapy System (S-3000)
This one is really very advanced. It comes with 20 basic sounds, and 5 mix sound, which together can create 120 sounds. There are 3 speakers - including subwoofers - and doubles as an alarm clock. It even has a calendar.
This is pretty much the original. It doesn't play all the nature sounds so many companies market these days - this is a true white noise machine, and all it does is make.. well... white noise. If you're not familiar with the term, it basically sounds like a rush of air, but also slightly like the sound of rushing water off in the distance. It's a very relaxing noise.
Homedics Sound Spa
This super-space-age looking thing comes with six basic sounds: rainforest, waterfall, heartbeat, rain, ocean, summernight. It has a timer that can be set to 15, 30, or 60 minutes - or you can just let it play all night. Perfect for travel, because it can also run on batteries.
Dex Sound Sleeper
The Sound Sleeper from Dex has 10 basic settings: wind, seagull, bird, womb, brook, rain, summer night, buoy, thunder and ocean. If you mix these together with the other sound options, you can produce 24 different sounds. There is a 60 minute timer, and it can also run on battery if so desired.