Have you been struggling to fall asleep? Your lack of shut-eye may be affecting a lot more than just your health. The average person in the United States doesn’t get the proper amount of sleep each night, with some statistics stating as little as about four hours per night to be the norm.
Needless to say, this is far from enough sleep and the consequences can be as severe as an increased risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes or depression.
For this reason, people are often looking for tools to help them sleep better or fall asleep faster, and different colors of noise might just be the tool you need. In this article, we explore how white, pink, and brown colored sounds can help you fall asleep, and what other benefits each of them possess.
Let’s dive right in!
What Are the Colors of Noise?
Did you know that sounds can have colors too?
It’s true! “Sound color” refers to the various frequencies present in a sound. Low frequencies appear as deep, rumbling colors while high frequencies appear as bright, sharp colors.
The concept was popularized in music, where the overall sound of a composition can be enhanced by working with the various colors present. Jazz musicians, for example, often use controlled techniques, such as bending and vibrato, to add color to their playing. The use of color in sound can also be found in electronic music production through equalization and filtering.
Every sound we hear and every sound that is around us comes with color too. In addition to the many pleasant sounds that surround us, there are, however, sounds that impact us in negative ways. Take, for example, the sound of your neighbor’s TV blaring late at night or the honking of car horns during rush hour. These are definitely unpleasant and can interfere with your rest and feeling of wellbeing. In times like these, it is helpful to find ways to mitigate not only the damaging sounds but also the effects they leave behind.
Believe it or not, specific colors of noise have the ability to help you tune out the world around you. In fact, there are different colors of noise, each with its own unique benefits (and drawbacks). A few of the most commonly used and popular colors of noise are white, pink, and brown. What do these colors sounds do? And how do they compare to one another?
Here’s what you need to know about each one.
What Is White Noise?
Let’s start with white noise. White noise is a constant, evenly distributed sound that contains all frequencies within the human hearing range (20 Hz to 20 kHz). It’s often described as sounding like a television tuned to an empty channel, or white light (hence the name).
White noise can be used to mask other sounds (for example, if you’re trying to sleep in a noisy environment). It can be useful for masking disruptive sounds and helping people focus. In some cases, it can also help people relax or fall asleep.
White noise can be generated by various sources, such as fans, white-noise machines, or even natural sources like waterfalls.
What Is Pink Noise?
Pink noise, also known as “1/f noise,” is a type of sound that has equal energy across all octaves. It’s often described as the sound of rain falling or leaves rustling, and it’s been found to have numerous benefits for those trying to sleep or concentrate. Some studies have even suggested that pink noise can improve memory consolidation during sleep.
It’s called pink noise because when viewed using a spectrogram it has pink hues. This color sound is often used in audio applications, such as pink noise generators and pink noise machines.
Some examples of pink noise include the sound of rain, the sound of waves crashing on a beach, and the sound of wind blowing through trees.
What Is Brown Noise?
Brown noise is a type of noise that has a lower frequency than pink noise. It gets its name from the fact that it sounds like a rushing stream or waterfall. Brown noise is often used to mask other noises, such as white or pink noise.
Much like white or pink, brown noise has every octave of the sound spectrum, with the difference that the power of the frequencies decreases with each octave. This quality of brown noise makes it sound deeper and more soothing.
Some people find that brown noise reminds them of rainfall or a running shower.
What Is The Difference Between Pink, White, and Brown Noise?
If you’re looking for a way to improve your focus and concentration, white noise, pink noise, and brown noise can all be helpful. But what’s the difference between these three types of noise? As it turns out there are more similarities rather than differences between them but here are a few essential things that distinguish each one.
White noise is a mix of all frequencies of sound, resulting in a steady “hissing” sound. Pink noise is similar to white noise, but with a lower frequency range. Brown noise is even lower in pitch than pink noise.
All three types of noise can be helpful in masking other sounds and promoting concentration.
The main difference between these sounds comes down to the reasons people choose them and how the sounds resonate with them personally. Some may find white noise to be too harsh and may find pink noise or brown noise to be more soothing. Other individuals may feel the exact opposite.
The Benefits of White, Pink, and Brown Noise
When comparing the benefits of each of these three sounds it is difficult to draw a clear line between them, as each offers similar benefits. All three can be a great sleep aid, all three have the capacity to block distractions like ambient noise and help you focus.
Studies have even shown that all three have similar positive effects on our nervous system. Researchers have found that white noise can help people focus and concentrate. Another study found that white noise can even increase productivity.
Pink noise has also been shown to be effective in helping people focus. A German study found that pink noise can help prolong deep sleep and recall.
Brown noise has been shown to be effective in reducing stress and anxiety, and also in helping people relax and fall asleep. The color can also be helpful for conditions like ADHD.
Here’s a quick breakdown that will help you learn at a glance about each of the color’s benefits.
White Noise Advantages
- Can help you focus
- Can be used to mask other sounds
- Can help you relax
Pink Noise Advantages
- Can help you sleep
- Can help you concentrate
- Can boost your mood
Brown Noise Advantages
- Can help you sleep
- Can reduce stress levels
- Can help with focus
Which One Is Better – White, Pink, or Brown Noise?
The comparison of white vs. pink vs. brown noise is not really going to give you objective results until you give each one a try. It all depends on what you’re looking for. White noise is great for masking other sounds and helping you focus. Pink noise is a bit softer and can be helpful for relaxation. Brown noise is the deepest and most calming of the three.
If you’re trying to block out distractions and get some work done, white noise is probably your best bet. If you’re looking to wind down before bed, pink or brown noise might be more your speed. Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference and how the listeners feel while listening to them. Our best advice would be to try out all three and see which works best for you.
To Wrap Up
All three colors of noise can be beneficial in different ways, so it’s important to experiment with each one to see which works better for you.
- White noise is a good choice if you need help focusing or blocking out distractions
- Pink noise can be helpful if you have trouble sleeping or relaxing
- Brown noise may be the best option if you’re dealing with anxiety or stress
Ultimately, the color of noise that works best for you is the one that helps you achieve your desired goal, whether that’s better focus, improved sleep, or reduced stress. So don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the perfect sound for your needs!