Ah yes, the world is full of noise and we do our best to drown it out. Especially at bedtime or sitting on a plane. So many of us use white noise to help us sleep, but did you know there’s also pink noise and brown noise?
Wow – who knew?
What is White Noise?
White noise is random and flat and is a combination of many different frequencies of sound that people are capable of hearing (ranging from 20 to 20,000 Hz) all occurring at once. It’s named that because it’s comparable to white light, which is a mixture of all visible wavelengths of light.
Think about the whir of a fan or a soft continuous humming in the background. Not too loud but at a level that your brain can pick up.
You can actually get a white noise machine (!) and there’s even an app for your phone.
If you’re using an app on your phone to help you fall asleep, you might be cancelling out any benefit because of the EMF generated by your phone.
Some scientists think that the white noise helps when you have tinnitus. I haven’t found that to be true. Sometimes, the ringing in my ears drives me crazy, but I still prefer quiet to background noise.
So What Is Pink Noise?
Pink noise uses a consistent frequency, or pitch, to create a more even, flat sound, like a steady rain, wind rustling through trees, or waves on a beach. Its added depth and lower waves filter out higher sounds.
As a result, you hear more relaxing, lower-frequency sounds.
Many days, you’ll hear the sound of ocean waves playing in the background in my aromatherapy shop because it is so soothing.
Pink noise reduces the difference between the background hum and loud, jarring noises that jolt you out of sleep, like a door slamming, a creaking floor, or someone snoring. So it may help you fall asleep faster and keep you in a deep sleep longer. You may also feel more rested when you wake up.
Then There’s Brown Noise
Brown noise is another useful sound masking tool, that can block out external sounds and distractions. This is a useful sound for studying (and sleeping).
Compared to white and pink noise, brown noise uses mostly lower frequencies and is considered the most soothing to listen to of the three. Brown noise is considered a layered sonic hue that sounds like a low roar.
This makes me think of the constant roar of the wind in Antarctica. The lower pitch seems to calm my senses down when I’ve had too much stress in my day.
Too much of any noise can be overwhelming to your senses and actually release the ‘stress hormone’ cortisol, as well as decreased levels of dopamine in parts of the brain that control learning and memory.
Too much cortisol swimming in your system on a regular basis can also cause adrenal fatigue or worse, adrenal burnout. Long time readers know that my own experience with adrenal burnout led me to my aromatherapy journey.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, consider the brown noise option. Also, consider diffusing a blend of calming and relaxing pure essential oils at night while you sleep.
Guess who can make a sleep blend for you? ;0)
Yes, the world is a noisy place and we need to drown it out. I hope I’ve shed some light on the subject so that you can get better restful sleep!
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As always, I’m grateful you stopped by – blessings!