We have all heard of white noise, but what in the world is pink noise? Secondly, how can pink noise help improve our sleep quality? Pink noise is a background noise that can help improve your sleep quality.
What is Pink Noise?
If pink noise were light, it would be (you guessed it!) pink, as light with a similar power spectrum to it would appear pink. Pink noise is a kind of sound where every octave has a consistent frequency or carries the same power.
Pink Noise vs. White Noise
White noise helps us get settled and get some good sleep, as it is a background noise of a particular frequency that takes out silence. If you have trouble staying asleep when sudden and loud noises wake you up in the middle of the night, white noise that plays throughout the whole duration of your bed rest can help soften the blow of the loud noises, and lessen the chances of you having to wake up. White noise can dampen sudden changes in sound.
White noise is similar to pink noise as both are audible by humans. Humans can hear frequencies in the range of 20 hertz to 20,000 hertz. However, they differ because white noise has an equal power per hertz for all its frequencies, while the power per hertz for pink noise decreases as the frequency increases. The lower the frequencies, the louder and more powerful they are.
While there are not a lot of studies that can back this up yet, some research shows that pink noise can be better than white noise for improving sleep quality. This is because the human ear perceives white noise as static, and perceives pink noise as even sounding or flat.
Pink Noise and Sleep
Is pink noise good for sleep? Yes, and for many reasons.
It helps you get better sleep because it can help dampen noise. Sudden changes from a silence you are used to, to a sound which suddenly bursts the bubble can wake you up. Because pink noise is a constant sound, any sudden sound would not make such a large difference.
Pink noise can also help you get better sleep because exposure to it can control our brain waves. Researchers found that study participants exposed to pink noise while they were asleep during the night and during daytime naps reported to have havinge restful sleep when they were exposed to pink noise. The amount of restful or stable sleep increased by 23% among nighttime sleepers exposed to pink noise, and 45% among the daytime nappers with pink noise.
In one study, pink noise was able to improve the quality of sleep in older adults. The older adults who were exposed to pink noise were shown to have increased deep sleep, and improved memory.
Pink noise helps improve sleep, as it enhances brain activity associated with deep phases of sleep. Routinizing your use of it can help you make the association between hearing this “sound” and going to bed. It also help keep your sleeping conditions consistent. Even if you do not have access to your source of pink sleep, you can always download an app or use a website in the meantime.
Sources of Pink Noise
There is something about having a constant droning sound that can help slow and regulate your brain waves. This can give you restful sleep. The good news is that you already most probably have a source of pink noise in your bedroom right now. To have the “sound” running while you sleep would require you to have something that can produce a constant and uninterrupted sound.
For starters, you can turn on a fan. You could also try out a number of websites and applications that generate pink noise. Whatever source you use ultimately depends on you and your preferences. If you live in an area with rainy seasons, listening to the rain fall can be your source of pink noise. If you barely get any rain however there is no need to worry because you can use whatever it is that is relaxing to you to help you fall asleep. And if you are just starting to try out pink noise in the bedroom, then you can feel free to switch up things until you feel comfortable.
You can experiment with the volume of pink noise you will be exposing yourself to at night. While some people would like to keep it low, others might need to crank it up a bit more. You can also experiment with the placement of your pink noise source. If the sound of your fan fills up the whole room fine then there is nothing to worry about. Last but not the least, make sure that your sources of pink noise are safe to run all night. If you play music from a website, make sure that your speakers can run straight for eight hours or more. Take care of your appliances. Make sure your appliances do not overheat.
Is pink noise safe? It is pretty much safe for everyone. If you would like to try using a machine that generates this “sound” to help you get better quality sleep, then go ahead. Of course, its efficacy on your sleep quality can depend on your personal preference, which may differ from other people. Some people may find it annoying and even unbearable, which is fine.
When trying out pink noise as a means to improve your sleep quality, remember that good sleep is built on more than just the presence of pink noise. Remember to always try to get enough sleep per day. Keep your sleep at consistent times every night.