Help me fall asleep!
November 26, 2006 5:06 PM   Subscribe

I would like to fall asleep listening to waves breaking on a beach. However, IANAH (I am not a hobo) and would prefer listening to a CD than actually sleeping on a beach every night. Is there such thing I could buy (preferably online)?

Also, I don't want any ambient music or whale song in the background, a problem I have had whenever I've bought such CDs from CD stores. I am also open to suggestions for rain or thunderstorm soundtracks, or any soundtrack consisting of continual ambient noise. (See: John Cusack's traffic tape in "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil")
posted by lazy robot to Grab Bag (20 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
This is the first result for googling "cd ocean sounds". The preview sounds like exactly what you're looking for. Good results for 'cd rain sounds' as well.
posted by jacalata at 5:11 PM on November 26, 2006

I completely unhelpfully cannot remember what it's called, but my boyfriend bought something online (you download it, no hardware) that has lots of ambient noise options. So, you choose waves crashing on a beach, and then you can add a fire to that or a thunderstorm or whatever. I think you can use it for free online, but if you want it on your computer for use off line, you buy it. Maybe someone else knows what I'm talking about.
posted by Airhen at 5:14 PM on November 26, 2006

Similarly. Also, this thread on white noise.
posted by rob511 at 5:24 PM on November 26, 2006

Aire Freshener (half way down the page)

Has plenty of soothesome sounds (including ocean), but they only play on a PC as far as I know.
posted by selton at 5:24 PM on November 26, 2006

I used to have a device about the size of a bedroom radio that generated several different sounds. Each sound had an auxiliary sound you could turn off or on. For example, you can have ocean waves, and then add seagulls or leave them off. Or a rainstorm with or without thunder. I don't recall the exact name of the one I had, but here is a similar one.

I think mine was called The Sound Sleeper or something, and it was under $20. It really did work well. Good luck.
posted by The Deej at 5:36 PM on November 26, 2006

This place has some. with and without goofy music
posted by powpow at 5:39 PM on November 26, 2006

Airhen, you're talking about SoundSleeping, I think. It was on Lifehacker about a month back. I use it as nice productive background noise for working by if I don't want to have instrumental music on, and it's free.
You do have to have your computer on, and if you have noisy fans, it might be counter productive.
posted by lilithim at 5:40 PM on November 26, 2006 [1 favorite]

Along the lines of The Deej's comment, you can play around with but you need your computer handy.
posted by powpow at 5:41 PM on November 26, 2006

I use Atmosphere Deluxe for this and love it. Several different wave tracks, plus you add as many 'random' waves as you like, so you get a constant ever-changing sound. You can also add rain, bird or animal sounds, and lots more, even music if you want.
posted by Rubber Soul at 5:57 PM on November 26, 2006

I'm gonna go all lo-fi on you here and suggest you get something like a miniature waterfall or an air-filter that can cause some ambient back noise.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:05 PM on November 26, 2006

I used to listen to Suzanne Ciani's Seven Waves which is based on synthetic ocean waves and quiet new age muzak.

My favorite white noise generator is a cube-shaped light that comes with a pillow speaker which I bought from Radio Shack several months ago. I just checked their website and it appears they don't sell these anymore. However, I have found two items that have similar features.

Aromatherapy Sleep Machine with Nature Sounds

LifeWise Aromatherapy Sleep Machine
posted by plokent at 7:19 PM on November 26, 2006

I have a CD called "The Nature Company Presents Nature Sounds Sampler." It's from 1992 and I don't think The Nature Company is still around but maybe you can find some of their products on ebay. This CD has a really nice track called "Gentle Ocean" -- since it's a sampler the track is only 7 minutes long, but I would imagine The Nature Company made a full length ocean CD too -- it sounds like exactly what you're looking for -- nothing but the sounds you'd expect if you were there on the beach yourself (minus the other beachgoers).
posted by nnk at 7:20 PM on November 26, 2006

. . .I just re-read your question. There's also a track on the sampler called "Meridian Distant Thunderstorm," which reminds me of dozing in a hammock on the wide porch of a tin-roofed shack in the forest listening to an all-day rain falling from the roof and trees -- thunder in the distance . . .

maybe between the two tracks I'd mentioned you'd have enough to get to sleep!
posted by nnk at 7:25 PM on November 26, 2006

That's funny, just last night I rigged up my own white nose generator.
step 1: download Audacity
step 2: in Audacity: Generate -> White Noise, 1 minute
step 3: export to .wav
step 4: set to play in iTunes on infinite loop.
step 5: laptop audio out to stereo audio in, volume up
and I slept like a baby all night long.

I first rigged up this solution when I had noisy roommates in the past. I turned on my radio to a non-existant channel and cranked the volume to drown them out. It worked like a charm. Last night the neighbors upstairs were a bit noisy but I couldn't find an empty radio station so I had to be more creative. But on the whole it takes only 5 minutes to do.
posted by PercussivePaul at 7:32 PM on November 26, 2006 [2 favorites]

Best answer: My favorite is Psycholologically Ultimate Seashore. There are many other possibilities here
posted by slowstarter at 7:55 PM on November 26, 2006

There is nothing like hearing the real thing. Book yourself a room in the Surf and Sand Hotel in Laguna Beach and sleep with the windows wide open. You might want to bring a sleeping bag, as it gets cold at night, but the sound is glorious, no GLORIOUS. It will be worth every one of the very, very many pennies they charge for such a treat.
posted by caddis at 8:19 PM on November 26, 2006

This will get you started in meantime (I could recut a longer version if you want). And this also.

I love the sea.
posted by strawberryviagra at 8:32 PM on November 26, 2006

I use this white noise machine. A little pricier, but it's small enough to take while traveling and it sounds just like the ocean. Plus, when I am tired of the ocean, I can switch over to a waterfall or rainstorm. Verrryyy relaxing.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:23 PM on November 26, 2006

The Buddha Machine is what you want. This little box contains a whole bunch of ambient sound loops. You could just plug it into your stereo, or put in some 'phones when you're finding flow.

I always find that either Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Yanqui U.X.O. and Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada or any Explosions In The Sky.
posted by xpermanentx at 1:54 AM on November 27, 2006

This is the one I use nightly:
Natural Sleep Inducement

Couldn't sleep without it...
posted by LittlePrince at 8:08 AM on November 28, 2006

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