You’re not alone if your brain gets active as soon as your head hits the pillow. Or if you frequently toss and turn when you ought to be sleeping. Sleep seems far away either because it is the day’s stress or the anxiety of the next day catching up to you. Or do you find yourself unable to sleep because of the hum of gadgets, sounds of traffic, or barking dogs? Are you wondering why noise isn’t letting you sleep?
As per studies, different noises can influence our sleep quality as our brain continues to process sounds even when we’re asleep. Certain sounds, such as traffic horns and barking dogs, might stimulate your brain and prevent you from falling asleep. In contrast, other sounds, like soothing music, can help relax your brain, improving your sleep quality.
In this article, let us identify the different colors of noise and learn about their impact on our sleep.
Identifying the Colors of Noise
Noise is a collection of random sound signals, but there is a pattern even within that randomness. So when we say colors of noise, we mean the continuous, unchanging signals distributed across different frequencies. The noise gets different colors when the energy of sound signals changes. Here is the kind of colors created when energy changes:
- White Noise: White noise is a continuous sound; it comprises all the frequencies humans can possibly hear and lacks any discernible pattern or rhythm. The effect of multiple combined frequencies is a low, buzzing, and consistent sound. This consistency of white noise masks other sounds and helps you fall asleep faster. You will also hear a white noise when a radio channel is unoccupied and hisses. Certain machines for white noise also exist. You can also find various examples in nature, such as the repetitive smashing of waves.
- Pink Noise: Pink noise is a mix of high and low frequencies, making the resultant sound soft and calming. It may be referred to as ambient noise. It filters out distracting noises like people talking and passing cars. The blend of frequencies also successfully drowns out other noises, helping you sleep.
- Blue Noise: Blue noise, often referred to as azure noise, gets its name from optics since the color blue is at the upper end of the visible light frequency spectrum. Blue noise is harsher, so it is not recommended for sleeping, but it is used in audio applications for dithering. Dithering is a technique that involves adding noise to a file to smooth out the audio and minimize distortions. A hissing spray mist is an example of blue noise.
- Purple Noise: Violet noise, often called purple noise, is a type of sound that gets louder as the frequency rises. It is also called differentiated white noise and can help block certain frequency sounds. You may think that violet noise sounds similar to spectral noises, such as the sound of an open faucet.
- Black Noise: Lack of sound is informally called black noise. It is a noise where all frequencies exhibit a dominant energy level of zero with sporadic sharp rises. It alludes to total quiet with sporadic noise. Finding complete silence can be challenging, but it can aid in your ability to sleep at night.
- Brown Noise: The energy of brown noise—also known as red noise and the opposite of violent noise—is higher at lower frequencies. It is, therefore, more profound than pink and white noise. Similar to white noise, brown noise produces sounds at random. Still, unlike white noise, the energy of brown noise diminishes with increasing frequency. A mighty torrent, river, or strong wind are some examples of brown noise.
How Do the Different Colors of Noise Affect Sleep?
Different colors of noises impact our sleep differently. For example, pink noise can block out sounds such as footsteps or roaring engines if you reside in an apartment where people enter and exit all through the night. It also offers sound-blocking advantages that can help you tune out distracting noises that prevent you from falling asleep because it contains high and low frequencies. Pink also amplifies the strength of the slowing brain waves during deep slumber. It may facilitate a quicker transition to sleep and promote quality sleep.
White noise has been used to induce sleep for a very long time. It is frequently advised for insomnia and other sleep disorders. White noises’ steadiness produces a tested masking effect that helps hasten people’s ability to fall asleep. When you mistakenly tune your cable TV to an inactive channel, static can be heard – this is white noise.
If you feel at ease when the room is perfectly still and quiet, then Black noise can also help you sleep; however, perfect silence may be challenging.
While the benefits of brown noise for promoting sleep have not received sufficient scientific evidence, anecdotal data suggests that the intensity of brown noise can help people fall asleep and unwind.
However, blue noise is not so good for your sleep. It is known to prevent melatonin generation (the sleep hormone), so instead of helping you sleep, it would do a good job of keeping you up. But listening to music in a dark room can be a highly relaxing technique for getting to sleep.
Which is the Best Noise Color For Sleep?
Now that we have learned how different colors affect our sleep, let’s look at which color is best for you and your sleep.
Pink and white noise may help you sleep better while also increasing your productivity.
One study used a white noise generator in the bedroom, considerably enhancing participants’ sleep. Similar results were seen in another study, which found that compared to ambient noise, broadband noise significantly shortened the time it took people to fall asleep by 38%. According to the study, some people may experience fewer insomnia symptoms due to wideband noise.
On the other hand, pink noise is a relatively recent concept, but people prefer it because it doesn’t have the same high-pitched sound as white noise. An example of pink noise is a more even, smooth sound, like steady rain, wind brushing through trees, or waves on a beach. The deeper waves and greater depth cancel out higher sounds. You consequently notice more soothing, low-frequency sounds.
A door banging, a car horn honking, or somebody snoring are loud, jarring noises that can wake you up. Pink noise lessens the contrast between the background humming and these noises. As a result, it can make it easier for you to go to sleep and stay asleep for longer. You will find you wake up feeling more rested than usual if you had pink noise on while sleeping.
Research on white and pink noise has revealed certain advantages. Still, it’s crucial to remember that different people respond differently to these sounds. For some, pink noise might work because of its calm and soothing nature, while for others, white noise’s static might just be the thing that helps them sleep. Therefore, to answer your question, which is the best noise color for sleep? It totally depends on you and your sensitivity to sounds.
Color the Noise Pink!
Since scientists haven’t conducted a study explicitly comparing various colors of sound in a controlled environment, we are not sure which color is the best. So we recommend that you test different types of noise using an app to determine which helps you sleep peacefully.
However, if it is your partner’s snores that you want to mask, you might want to try pink noise since it is excellent at covering up the background noise. But if that is not working for you, then you should try Smart Nora. It is an anti-snoring device that will help you sleep better by adjusting your partner’s pillow when it detects any snoring sounds.