When I look back at my childhood and think of what helped me sleep on a restless night, I think of a machine. It was a machine that could lull me to sleep.
My father was a plant seedsman, essentially an intermediary between those who grew plants and those who purchased the seeds. He had a home office and a package counter/sealer machine that would do a number of things essential to his business. First there was the seed container that would be filled with thousands of seeds. Those would travel up to to the funnel that would drop them into individual packages. The way the seeds would travel is by vibration which made kind of a humming sound. This vibrating circular container would cause the seeds to travel up a spiral so that they would become single file. This allowed the seed counter to count the seeds exactly. My father would set a limit on the number of seeds that could go through the counter, before it signals that there were now enough seeds for that particular package.
Next stage in the machine sounds
After the machine had filled a bag, it was sealed on three ends by using heat transfer. Than, a mechanical scissor would cut the bag (that was still part of a large roll of coated paper), to make it an individual bag of seeds. This process was a scissor clipping sound combined with a moving of the rolls sound, and then a sealing sound, and then finally the top of the bag would now also be sealed, and the bag would then fall into a holding container. Meanwhile the process would repeat over and over, at times my father had this machine running 24 hours a day. Sometimes the machine needed breaks for lubrication, or it needed new seeds, and new rolls, and other tweaks, so technically it was not always running continuously without any interruptions. But it could run for hours at a time.
I slept 2 floors above the seed packaging machine which was on ground level. I could faintly hear it all the way on the third floor. However, when having trouble sleeping, I would go down to the second floor and lay on the staircase landing so the machine sound would lull me into sleep. There was something very peaceful about the consistency in the machine operations, as though it provided some reliability and predictability and this “white noise” in turn washed out all unexpected or startling sounds, thus aiding those who might be light sleepers as I tend to be at times. Those kinds of sounds can be comforting and consequently help us put our minds at ease.
I wish my father still had his machine, it would be great to add this sound to the sound library. I will however continue to be on the lookout for those types of consistent machine sounds to help folks who have trouble falling asleep.
One of the sounds I really enjoy, and find comforting is the sound of a dishwasher. Try this dishwasher sound if you would like 8 hours of this sound, and be sure to like it if you find it helpful!