Relaxing with a Waterfall

Doesn't it seem that you can literally feel your blood pressure plummet during a day at the beach? It's not just the soothing sensation of sinking tired toes into warm sand: The sound of the surf may be part of what's calming you down. Researchers at the Huntsville (Alabama) Hospital tested the effect of ocean sounds on patients by playing these sounds for three consecutive nights. Another group of patients received the same care but no ocean sounds. The ocean group subsequently reported better quality of sleep, fewer awakenings, and deeper sleep overall.

The steady rhythm of breaking waves or the even roar of running water may be why it's so soothing. Our brains respond positively to repetitive sound, according to David Swanson, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles. For example, "if you're at the beach, the waves come in sets and have a consistent rhythm, so it's relaxing," Dr. Swanson adds. For instant indoor stress relief, try listening to a CD of natural water sounds or a tabletop fountain.

Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, August 2008.
Tamura 1998; Carles et al.
1999 People showed a very positive attitude towards natural sounds. More than 75% of the interviewees reacted favorably to the sounds of water and birdsong, and only less than 10% of people thought those sounds were annoying. As a university student described: “Natural sounds tend to be more tranquil and feel less invasive.’ The most unpopular sounds in this study were mechanical sounds, such as construction sounds, music from passenger cars, and vehicle sounds.

In extensive research it has been found that it is more relaxing to hear natural sounds, when all day long we are being bombarded by artificial sounds. People “want to feel like they are in a natural space, to escape from the usual sounds that surround us daily.’

The sound of running water has a joyful effect on human psyche and it masks out external noise, along with the endless internal chatter inside our minds. Water is receiving, open, and accepting. The sound of water brings peace and tranquility to the mind.

You will find an array of water features for home and office in our collection.

Add relaxation into your daily life!