How white, pink, or brown noise can soothe you to sleep

Many remedies can help get you back into dreamland, but nothing beats the soothing sounds of white, pink or brown noise to put you to sleep.

How white, pink, or brown noise can soothe you to sleep

Falling asleep can be difficult under normal circumstances, but add in outside noise or stress, and it can be nearly impossible. Many remedies can help get you back into dreamland, but nothing beats the soothing sounds of white, pink or brown noise to put you to sleep.

What is white, pink or brown noise?

White noise is not actually coloured white — it's just a term for a specific type of background noise that can be created with varying signals, named after white light. The colour signifies the type of sound that is heard with this flat frequency spectrum. White noise typically sounds similar to someone saying "shh" (like the ending of "ash") and is often associated with a static television-station sound.

Pink and brown, or Brownian noise, are variations on white noise that can be created using the same principles, but with a slightly different mathematical calculation. Pink noise comes in waves, and the intensity of the sound changes as the power density goes down. Brown (also known as red) noise is a more extreme version of pink noise, with a steeper fall off of intensity.

How these noises help your sleep

Many people are already accustomed to using white noise to aid sleep. White noise can be created by using a static television or radio station or a white noise machine made for that purpose. However, pink noise is now touted as a better choice for those who want to sleep deeply. It's a more natural noise pattern, similar to leaves rustling or water rushing down a waterfall, and the sound isn't as harsh. Many people feel that pink or brown noise (which are quite similar) creates a more relaxed environment.

Choosing a noise machine

Some people choose to use their mobile phones for noise generation, and there are plenty of apps available that create different types of noise. This can often be a good way to see whether pink or white noise is right for you. If you like the idea of using these sounds for sleep, you can buy stand-alone white, pink and brown noise machines that have different settings so you can choose the sound that works best for you. Often these machines can be used with headphones, but choose noise-cancelling ones for the best effect.

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