We may receive commission from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change.
What's more important than sleep? Chocolate, maybe. Pizza? Actually, there's nothing more important. I speak from personal experience: When I don't sleep well, I'm a zombie plagued by stress and poor choices.
Getting there is half the battle. On any given night, my head hits the pillow with a brain that won't STFU. How can I fall asleep with that roiling mental mix of worries, memories, plans and doubts?
White noise to the rescue! You're probably familiar with the concept: The hum of a fan, the sound of rain or anything similar gives your brain a place to focus and can help you fall asleep much more easily.
Good news: It's incredibly cheap to try this solution. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Amazon seller London Johnson has the Serene Evolution 30 White Noise Machine for just $17.60 with an automatically applied promo code (it's 20YAHOOSOUND, just in case). There's also a 45-sound version of the machine for $20 with the same code, via the same link.
Honestly, I suspect 30 sounds are more than enough for most folks, but it's hard to argue with an extra 15 for just a couple bucks more.
Either way, the selection is incredibly broad: everything from the typical rain, ocean and forest sounds (with different variations of each) to more unusual fare like crowd, train and even hair dryer. Needless to say, you might have to experiment a bit to see what works best for you. Or, you might need to trick your brain with something different each night.
I've tried similar white-noise machines in the past, and several of them suffered from one key flaw: The lowest volume setting wasn't low enough. I need "barely there" sound; if it's too loud, it doesn't help me at all. (Quite the opposite.)
The Serene Evolution machine, which I also tried, offers excellent volume control; it can get super-low. And I like that there's a simple auto-off button that toggles between 30, 60 and 120 minutes.
Not all the sounds are what I'd call high-fidelity, but they don't have to be. Remember, this exists solely to pipe a little noise through your ears and into your brain, the better to calm the latter. And it's portable, too, able to run off three AA batteries if need be.
I will note that there are countless white-noise apps for phones and tablets, and it might be worth trying one before spending money on this. However, there's one big point in favor of a dedicated machine: controls you can easily operate by touch, even in the dark. With a phone, if you want to change the sound effect, extend the timer, etc., you'll have to put your glasses on, grab the phone, swipe, tap and all that — not exactly conducive to falling asleep.
Also, many a parent swears by white-noise machines to help infants and toddlers get to sleep — and those little people don't even have phones.
Whoever this is for, I think $17.60 is a tiny price to pay for sleep assistance. What do you think? Share your snooze views in the comments section below!
Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Life's newsletter.