If you're having trouble sleeping, the sounds of the Enterprise from Star Trek: The Next Generation could help.
A YoutTube video that plays the hum of the USS Enterprise-D on a loop for one full hour has been viewed/listened to more than 3.4 million times. Spike Snell, the musician and fan who created and uploaded the video, tells Mashable that he's as surprised as anyone.
"I started obsessing a little bit on that deep rumbling noise as it felt like one of the key aspects of many sci-fi shows," Snell said. "I had never imagined at that point so many others would be interested in it or other similar sounds."
A couple of years and a few million views later, Snell realized he may have hit on something.
"I realized it was striking a heavy chord globally," Snell said. "Sometimes I print out the very best comments and put them on my fridge to remind myself that I'm not wasting all my time with this project."
Mashable also spoke to Michelle Drerup, a psychologist specializing in sleep disorders who confirms there is science to back up the idea that ambient sounds can help people sleep. While many apps offering white noise for meditation, sleep, and concentration tend to focus on natural sounds like rainstorms or waves, Drerup says there's no reason a starship's engine shouldn't work just as well, or possibly better for certain people.
"It distracts your brain," Drerup said. "The white noise really creates a masking effect. "There's not a criteria. [The Star Trek drone] would meet the general definition.
Shalini Paruthi, a sleep medicine practitioner at St. Luke's Hospital in Missouri, agreed, noting
"It [the Star Trek drone] may be very reasonable for people."
You can read Mashable's full interview with the experts for more about the science of why proper sleep is so important and yet so difficult to achieve, and the next time you're having trouble settling your mind at bedtime, maybe try engaging the Enterprise's engine.
Do you think the Enterprise-D engine makes good white noise for sleep? Let us know in the comments!