What Is Pink Noise and How Can It Help You Sleep?
Most people are familiar with the concept of a white noise machine. You set it up, and it plays sounds for you to help you sleep. But, how does it actually work? What is the benefit it provides? Also, are there other colors involved in this process? For instance, what is pink noise and how can it help you sleep? Read on below for answers to these questions, and more.
What is the Connection Between Sound and Sleep?
When we are asleep, parts of our brain still keep processing certain information, including sound. During the day, our brain interprets the sounds around us by categorizing them into threatening and non-threatening sounds, allowing us to react appropriately in different situations.
When we are asleep, our brain continues interrupting the sounds around us. The type of noise and the volume they introduce can impact our brain wave activity in various ways. That can have a major impact on our overall sleep quality, whether or not we end up waking up or remaining asleep.
Remember, all sound waves have two key features:
- Frequency: The speed of a wave. A sound wave with a higher frequency produces a higher-pitched sound, and a sound wave with a lower frequency produces a lower-pitched sound.
- Power: The intensity and size of a soundwave. Sound waves with more power are louder, and the ones with less power are quieter.
All sounds have a different combination of pitch and volume. Our brain picks up these differences and responds differently depending on these qualities.
How Does Sound Help You Sleep?
Some people are naturally light sleepers who seem to wake up from any type of noise, no matter how faint it may be. These sudden sounds trigger the sleeping person’s fight and flight response, causing them to snap awake, and leaving them unable to fall back to sleep.
This is where soothing sounds come in.
Soothing sounds are non-threatening and lower our body’s fight or flight response while sleeping. This reduces our overall stress levels and provides us with high-quality, undisturbed sleep.
Soothing sounds can also provide a barrier to disturbing background noises. These helpful sounds can also drown out loud noises, including traffic commotion, loud crashes, and noisy neighbors.
What Is Pink Noise?
Pink noise consists of constant background sounds that can help you fall asleep or stay asleep. In other words, it serves as an effective auditory sleep aid.
Part of that has to do with the fact that pink noise consists of varying frequencies, but these frequencies do not have consistent energy across them. That is to say, the power of these frequencies is not the same. In pink noise, higher-pitched sounds have less power, which means they are quieter than lower-pitched sounds. Some say pink noise resembles the sound of steady wind or rainfall.
Pink noise is primarily used to drown out sounds around the sleeper that may otherwise wake them up. Research has even shown that pink noise can also help initiate deep sleep and improve memory in older adults. The low pitch seems to amplify our slow brain wave activity and helps prevent fragmented sleep.
Benefits of Pink Noise
As mentioned, frequencies in pink noise help initiate deep sleep. Deep sleep is an important phase of our sleep cycle where our memories are consolidated. As people get older, they get less restorative sleep, which might be one of the reasons for memory decline in older age.
However, this decline can be slowed down by initiating sleep through the use of pink noise. According to a study published in 2017, older adults showed improved sleep quality and better performance on memory tests after using pink noise to sleep.
Another study, carried out on younger adults, showed better performance on verbal memory tests by people that used pink noise for an afternoon nap than those who did not.
Other researchers are working to find evidence to support the idea that pink noise may improve mood, motivation, focus, and brain fog.
Are There Other Color Noises?
Similar to pink noise, white noise provides constant background sounds that help drown out other noises and lull you to sleep. While the power in pink noise varies depending on the octave, it remains the same with white noise, which some actually find disturbing when trying to get to bed.
Examples include almost anything that creates a constant “hum.” It can sound like the static sound made by a TV. White noise can also include the sound of a vacuum or even the whirring sound of a ceiling fan.
Brown noise focuses on lowering high frequencies in a sound. It does this with more intent than pink noise, which means that brown noises are very low-pitched.
Brown noise can include the roar of a running river or the blowing sounds of a strong gust of wind. It's often considered a little "rougher" than pink noise, which is why it isn't quite as popular before bed. Still,brown noise can help nspire relaxation and improve sleep quality and focus.
How Can I Access Pink Noise to Fall Asleep?
Pink noise can be accessed in various ways. There are dedicated apps for auditory sleep aids that provide a variety of pink noise options. Remember that pink noise is a qualifying category of sounds, which means people can enjoy a variety of sounds that might help them sleep better.
There are dedicated pink noise machines that can be purchased easily, either online or in-store. These are similar to white noise machines and contain a variety of sounds that can play for long hours during the night to help your sleep troubles.
There are also apps specifically designed to play constant pink noise on your phone for a long period. These apps contain a library of different types of sounds ranging from natural to musical that you can choose from according to your taste.
Different sonic hues can help initiate sleep, specifically when disturbing background noise is the culprit behind your sleep interruption. If you're looking for other natural ways to get to a good night's sleep, think about trying an organic sleep aid.
Sandland Sleep’s formula is all-natural and can help people fall asleep and even stay asleep throughout the night. It is a clean, hemp-derived product that is fast-acting and effective.
This formula is designed to maximize your sleep strengths by providing you the gentle knock you might need to initially fall asleep or giving you the support you need against constant internal or external interruptions you might be experiencing at night.
Pink noise can be composed of any frequency; however, it is more powerful at lower frequencies. It can be the sound of ocean waves gently rising and crashing down or the steady rainfall that is soothing to the ears.
Pink noise helps you sleep by providing a constant background noise that is soothing to the brain. It specifically helps to amplify slower brain waves during deep sleep, helping you stay asleep. Pink noise also creates a sound blanket that helps drown out other disrupting background noises while calming your body down.
Pink noise is still noise, and if any noise is listened to at a high volume, it can damage your ears. This potential for damage also depends on the person’s level of sensitivity.
White noise and pink noise can both be used as sleep aids. White noise has a more static-like sound because it has constant power across all its frequencies. That means that all the high and low pitches are equal in volume.
With pink noise, higher pitches have low volume, and more emphasis is put on lower pitches, creating a more varied sound overall, which is lower in terms of pitch. This creates a more gentle and soothing effect.