How to Get Better Sleep with Pink Noise
April 21, 2020
Whether it’s falling asleep or staying asleep, many of us drag ourselves through the day hoping tonight will be better. Oftentimes it’s not. While you may have tried white noise to drown out distracting sounds, it may be time to change to pink noise. Recent preliminary research suggests pink noise may help increase the time spent in deep sleep and even improve memory.
What is White Noise?
Your brain continues to process sounds you’re accustomed to even while asleep – the furnace blowing, the refrigerator humming, a car driving by. These sounds don’t awaken you, but sudden, unexpected noises like a slamming door, a barking dog, or a crack of lightning do. White noise, such as a whirring fan or TV static muffles these sounds, making it a good solution for sleeping through the night undisturbed.
What is Pink Noise?
While white noise includes all audible frequencies evenly, pink noise includes all frequencies, but not evenly distributed. It’s a mix of high and low frequencies. At lower frequencies, pink noise is deeper, more powerful and louder. It’s like white noise with a heavier bass, but not in a distracting way. People describe pink noise as being even or flat. Some say it’s less harsh than white noise and helps their brain relax.
Examples of Pink Noise
- Babbling brook
- Waves lapping on the beach
- Rustling leaves
- Steady rainfall
You can find pink noise apps on your smartphone. Some sound machines also play pink noise, but be sure to check that it makes the specific sound you like.
Tips for Better Sleep
While pink noise can help you sleep, it’s no miracle. You still need to practice good sleep hygiene. Here are a few tips for better sleep.
- Keep a consistent sleep/wake schedule whether it’s a weekday or weekend
- Turn off bright lights, especially from digital devices, an hour before bedtime
- Sleep in a cool, dark bedroom
- Engage in a relaxing activity before bedtime like reading, keeping a gratitude journal, or taking a warm bath
- Keep pets out of your bedroom
- Limit daytime naps
- Avoid caffeine after 12 noon
- Consider essential oils, like lavender, to help relax you
Melatonin and Other Natural Sleep Remedies
Melatonin is popular for regulating the sleep/wake cycle and you can find it in various strengths. As mentioned above, essential oils in a diffuser, especially those with lavender can create a peaceful sleep-inducing atmosphere. Other options include valerian root, lemon balm and wild lettuce extract to name a few.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, pink noise is another option to try. For persistent sleeplessness, speak to your healthcare professional about what might work for you.