Most of us are familiar with the term white noise. It’s the sound of a broken down TV station or an untuned radio. An electric, static “ssshh” sound that has been linked to helping some people fall asleep with ease. But did you know that apart from white noise, there are other “sound hues”? Pink and Brown in particular also has a correlation to soothing the mind and body to achieve better sleep.
What is white, brown and pink noise?
White noise is typically described as a broadband noise. This means that it consists equally of all frequencies across the spectrum of sound. In other words, it contains multiple bands of sound from high, mid to low ranges. Pink noise is actually white noise but lower pitched. Its frequencies are about three decibels lower than white noise and are similar to the sound of rain or a waterfall. Brown noise, also known as red noise is also a broadband sound. It’s a much deeper sound than white and pink noise so it’s reminiscent of the rumbling of the ocean or thunder.
What are the benefits of sound hues?
White, pink and brown noise are all great to mask sounds that interfere with sleep or make it difficult to concentrate such as barking dogs or a snoring partner. Each sound however has unique benefits to suit different individuals and comes down to a matter of preference. Some people may be more sensitive to white noise thus pink and brown noise may be better options in such cases.
White noise has been found to soothe crying babies, help some people reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, and can even help one to zero in on concentration which can be handy for improved work performance or treating symptoms of ADHD.
Pink noise and its lower-pitched tone, are also beneficial for assisting people to reach a relaxed state. Older adults, especially, may benefit more from pink noise as a sleep aid. Pink noise has also been linked to improved cognitive function as it can increase slow-wave activity in the brain during sleep. This can help with stabilizing deep restorative sleep which is important for improving memory.
Brown noise has the deepest tone out of the trio. This is optimal for those who find white and pink noise too high-pitched. It helps with relaxation and improved deep sleep. It can even help bring relief to persons who experience ringing in the ear or tinnitus.
So, which noise is best?
White, pink, and brown noise all have great benefits for achieving better sleep and blocking out sounds that may interfere with sleep. Some folks may prefer richer, deeper tones to sink into a relaxed and comfortable mood for sleep while others have had great results with higher-frequency noises. It all boils down to a matter of personal preference in terms of which has a better, more relaxing effect on you.