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Feb212012

The Benefits of Using a Sound Machine / Review of Relax Melodies Premium for the IPhone

For the last 10 years, I depended on the calming sound of rain, thunder, and running streams to lull me to sleep and quiet down the rush of thoughts in my head before I went to sleep.

I have owned multiple sound machines of varying quality and price, but I found that none of the standalone units measured up to similar programs that run on personal computers.

Fortunately, mobile technology closed the gap between the two options, giving users the convenience of a standalone unit with the benefits of a computer program. This hybrid gives us a mobile application that stimulates sleep, enhances meditation, increases focus, and stimulates positive emotions.

Next generation sound machines

There are many sound machine applications on the IPhone, but I only feel comfortable recommending one app, that being Relax Melodies Premium by iLBSoft. The app offers every option and feature you might want in a sound machine at 1/10th the cost.

Including:

  • The graphics are clean and the interphase is simple and effective.
  • The app allows you to mix and match multiple sound effects and music themes.
  • Each specific sound has an independent volume setting.
  • Six different binaural beats, which can be mixed and matched with music or sound effects (Requires headphones)
  • The binaural beats include meditation and concentration frequencies.
  • Noise generator with three settings, including pink, brown and white noise
  • Alarms, timers and auto shutoff feature.
  • Ability to save your favorite sound mixes
  • Includes multiple sounds from any environment you might think of, including urban, rural and sounds within your home.
  • Well produced music and sounds

Relax Melodies offers so many features that it makes the program an indispensible tool for studying, relaxing, and sleeping.

Mixing and Matching

imageThe mix and match feature of the application is probably its greatest strength. It allows you to build an unlimited amount of custom sound mixes that includes binaural beats, music, and multiple sound effects. The infinite amount of combinations guarantees that you will find mixes that meet your various needs.

Relaxing or Studying

When I am in a noisy environment, I use the white or brown noise generator to cancel out the noise around me, and then I add my sound effects on top of this calming hiss sound. Therefore, no matter where I am, I can remove myself from the distractions of the world. From there, I can study, relax, or concentrate on something without the fear of being disturbed.

Meditation

Many meditation novices complain that maintaining focus during a session is difficult. It is normal, if not annoying, to experience multiple streams of thought as you struggle to calm your mind.

Just as music helps you stay motivated during a physical activity, different sounds and rhythms can help you meditate. The sounds can act as a reminder to refocus on your goals and realign your attention away from the stray thoughts in the background.

Comfort Sounds

As we grow up, we make emotional connections with simple smells, tastes, objects and even sounds. These connections become so powerful that certain memories or stimuli can trigger a person to go into an emotional, mental or physical state.

While these states are not always helpful, it does show us that we can use similar strategies to create positive triggers. These triggers will help us relax, sleep, concentrate or motivate us to do a certain action.

The key to creating these triggers is to play the sound in the background as you do something. If you are going to sleep or take a nap, play the sound of a fan, or if you are cleaning, play an upbeat rhythm. Once there is a connection, the trigger will help you move towards a certain action or state of mind whenever you hear that sound.

Moreover, this type of behavioral training can help you if you suffer from panic or anxiety attacks. You can use the sounds in the program to slow your breathing and thoughts.

For example, you can calm yourself down by focusing on the sound of a dripping faucet. By counting the drips, you refocus your thoughts away from the attack and its symptoms. Your attention moves away from the “excited” state of the attack, to the slow methodical counting. Slowly the body will align itself with the counting and sound of falling droplets.

Over time, you will be able to picture and hear the dripping when you feel an attack coming on. Once you can do that, you will be able to interrupt an attack and minimize its symptoms.

In summary, like any stimuli, sounds can help you bypass a negative mood or erratic state of mind. Rich foods can help us forget our problems, a massage can give us a few moments of ecstasy, and a comforting sound can help us relax. Using programs like Relax Melodies can go a long way to lower our anxiety, focus our attention and separate us from the stress and worry of the world.

Picture Courtesy of Marc Dezemery

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Reader Comments (3)

Well written. thanks for your valuable input on our product :) Glad to see that our app is surpassing sleep machines!

February 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

From the hundreds of apps I have installed over the years, this one is my absolute favourite.
I've had issues with falling asleep but ever since I discovered this app it's a piece of cake! It might sound strange but I'm actually looking forward to go to sleep in stead of worrying how long it will take this time to fall asleep.
I haven't tried the binaural beats just yet, will do tonight. I'm only wondering; are you supposed to keep the headphones on the entire night?
Nice article!

February 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSanne

Thanks for commenting, always great to get some feedback.

Yeah, my wife and I couldn't live without the app.

Sadly, you do have to use the headphones the entire night. I have tried many different types of earbuds but I have never found a pair that I could keep in my ears all night.

I'm open to suggestions.

February 24, 2012 | Registered CommenterPhilip Viana

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