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If your head hits the pillow and you’re out cold within minutes, I hate you. Not really, but I am jealous.
I’ve always had a hard time falling asleep, sometimes because I can’t turn my brain off and other times because I’m sensitive to light and sound and live in New York City, which has a lot of both. I’ve tried breathing techniques, phone apps, Spotify playlists that are designed to lull you to sleep, and even those fancy sound machines that transport you to the rainforest.
Out of all of those potential solutions, none have hit the sleepy sweet spot — they’re either not distracting enough or too distracting for me to zone out to. The breathing techniques fail to get my mind out of the negative-thoughts loop that can happen at bedtime (Is that weird lump I felt the other day cancer? Will I ever find success and fulfillment in life?), but the rainforest sounds provide too much stimulation.
Turns out, the most basic white noise machine was exactly what I needed. I discovered the Yogasleep Dohm Uno the first weekend I spent in the guest bedroom at my brother’s house in New Jersey, where this little white contraption was placed on the bedside table. I had no clue what it was and ignored it the first night, but after being woken up by a baby and dogs and the general chaos, I decided to give it a whirl the second night.
It was extremely simple and intuitive to use — you flip a switch to turn it on, and then rotate the exterior shell to control the volume of the noise. Yes, just the one noise. It’s your only option, and it’s exactly what comes to mind when you think of white noise. The best way I can describe it is a whooshing sound.
I kept the volume in the mid-to-low range, and it was gentle and neutral enough for me to drift off to sleep. When I woke up naturally the next morning, all I could hear was the whooshing. Once I turned it off, all of the other chaotic sounds flooded in.
I immediately ordered one on Amazon to keep by my own bed, and my boyfriend (a New York transplant who can’t get used to the street noise) loved it so much that he bought one for his apartment. It’s strangely satisfying to use and helps both of us, plus my dog, stay asleep no matter what racket attempts to disturb us.
This may be the most basic tech gadget I own, and also the one I swear by the most. I highly recommend it for any troubled sleepers who aren’t finding all the bells and whistles on other sound machines helpful. Plus, it may be just small enough to use as a stocking stuffer (coming from a Jew who knows very little about stockings).
You can buy a Yogasleep Dohm Uno White Noise Machine from Amazon for around $35.