White noise is a mix of sounds that creates one constant sound that is hearable across all frequencies. By being consistent, it creates a masking effect that blocks out sudden change in noise.
How Does it Work ?
White noise is great for anyone who wakes up at the slightest noise. Since it is hearable across all frequencies, it is able to block out any sudden noises like snoring, a barking dog, or a loud car driving down the street.
While the biggest benefit of white noise is its ability to block out other noises, it can also be quite soothing for people trying to fall asleep. Psychiatrist David Neubauer, an associate professor at John Hopkins says that white noise “… provides something of a kind of ‘sound cocoon’, which can be very soothing.” Since the sound is very consistent, there is nothing for the listener to focus on when they listen so they fall back asleep.
If you are looking for natural sounds that work as white noise, consider trying a whirring fan, a hissing radiator, a humming air conditioner, or television static.
As we mentioned, white noise is a constant sound that is heard at all frequencies. There are countless other noises that are heard at all frequency levels, but the energy isn’t equally distributed like it is for white noise. Let’s take a look at some of the other noises that exist in the world.
Pink noise has been gaining a lot of popularity recently due to its lighter sound. It is louder with lower frequencies and softer at the higher end, which can give it a more soothing sound. Studies have shown that pink noise falling asleep to pink noise can improve your memory the following day, and potentially even long-term. Some sounds the best exemplify pink noise are rustling leaves, steady rain, wind, and heartbeats.
Compared to pink noise, the higher frequency is almost non-existent in brown noise. Instead it is much stronger at the lower end of the spectrum, which creates a rougher sound. Brown noise is associated with relaxation, improved focus, and improved sleep. Some sounds in nature that best exemplify brown noise are waterfalls and thunder.
Green noise isn’t strong at either end of the spectrum. Instead it focuses its energy on the middle frequency, which is why the sound produced is similar to the ambient noise of nature.
Fortunately, all of these noises and more are available on the BetterSleep app to mix to your heart’s desire!