Trying to get quality sleep is one of the persistent challenges of modern life. People are always looking for new approaches to help them get good sleep.
One of the more recent innovations in trying to get better sleep is pink noise generators. New research indicates that pink noise may be able to help people get better sleep. But will it help you?
What Is Pink noise?
Most of us are familiar with the term “white noise,” although we don’t know exactly what it means. To many people white noise and pink noise would sound similar, though you could certainly tell the difference.
Both white noise and pink noise are random noise patterns that cover the entire range of human hearing. But where they differ is in the relative power of the different frequencies. In white noise, all frequencies have the same power. In pink noise, power decreases as frequency increases. Since some frequencies naturally sound louder to us at the same power, this helps keep certain frequencies from dominating
The Wikipedia page has a good diagram of the different colors of noise.
Benefits of Pink Noise
According to this recent study, pink noise can help older people to get more deep sleep. This means that after a night of listening to pink noise, people felt more rested and they did better at memory tests.
To find these benefits, researchers at Northwestern University used 13 subjects between the ages of 60 and 84. The subjects underwent two sleep studies in a lab. For one night, the sleepers had no noise. The other night, they had pink noise played. Both nights, subjects were given memory tests. They performed three times better on the night they listened to pink noise.
Are These Results Relevant to You?
But before you head out to get yourself a pink noise machine or app, you should understand how researchers managed the noise in this study. Researchers didn’t just play pink noise either when subjects were falling asleep or all night.
Instead, researchers used the polysomnogram readings to sync the pink noise to sleep cycle. When people entered slow-wave brain patterns in sleep, the pink noise was played. They found that this extended the slow-wave patterns and contributed to the memory improvement.
There is not currently a device that does this, although researchers hope to develop one. So, even if this effect actually works, which is only suggested, not confirmed, by this small study, there’s no way for you to reproduce it at home.
We Can Help You Get Better Sleep
On the other hand, there are some verified ways that you can improve your sleep. If you are a snorer or sleep with a snorer, your sleep quality is suffering. Even if you’re not waking up at night, you’re not getting a good air supply, which makes it harder for your brain to rest. And the effect is even more pronounced if you have sleep apnea, which causes frequent awakenings throughout the night.
So if you’re having difficulty getting good sleep and you’re noticing effects like daytime sleepiness, memory problems, and more, treating snoring or sleep apnea can help.