I keep seeing commercials on television for smart phone apps that supposedly help with relaxation or falling to sleep. I’ve no clue if these are useful, but I have noticed that a few are touting the use of white, green, and now brown noise. I wouldn’t be able to pick any one of those out of a line-up though I am a believer in low-level noise as a sleep aid.

Traveling a lot during my career and staying in far more hotels than anyone should, my “secret” for falling asleep against the backdrop of hotel noise was to always run the air-conditioning unit. The constant drone of the blower motor allowed me to ignore other noises and quickly fall to sleep. On the downside, when I finally quit traveling and slept in my own bedroom every night, I couldn’t get to sleep without the noise of a fan blowing…

I’ve gotten around that audio oddity by making use of another sound, Gregorian chanting. I’m not a religious person so specific chants are meaningless to me, but the monotonous tones and sounds are soothing and induce quick sleep on me.

Wikipedia: Gregorian chant is the central tradition of Western plainchant, a form of monophonic, unaccompanied sacred song in Latin (and occasionally Greek) of the Roman Catholic Church. Gregorian chant developed mainly in western and central Europe during the 9th and 10th centuries, with later additions and redactions. Although popular legend credits Pope Gregory I with inventing Gregorian chant, scholars believe that it arose from a later Carolingian synthesis of the Old Roman chant and Gallican chant.

While assembling a collection of these chants I noticed a few try to highlight 432 Hz as a “healing” or otherwise mystic frequency that happens to coincide with some of these and is also mentioned in a few adverts for the smartphone apps intended to calm and soothe frayed nerves.

Sensing a boatload of malarkey (sorry for use of the “M” word) I did a little digging and found that 432 Hz is a popular chunk of counter-culture thriving on the fringes of reality. It’s touted not just as a sleep aid, but also one that can cure cancer and other human frailties. Debunking that nonsense isn’t difficult and I enjoyed this treatise on the matter though I remain shocked by those selling it as a balm for whatever ails.

Bottom Line: For those looking for new ways to relax or who need a little help falling asleep I can recommend Gregorian chants, like this one. But those looking for relief from actual physical ailments would do well to seek professional medical attention.