Pink Noise vs. White Noise: What's the Difference?

Pink Noise vs. White Noise: What's the Difference?

Written by Nectarsleep editorial team

Last Updated on Sep 06, 2022

In this article:

    Feeling the soothing effect while mindfully listening to the steady rainfall and attending to the static sound while waiting to tune in to the exact frequency on the radio is what defines pink noise vs white noise. These alternative healing techniques will enrich your sleep quality. 

    In this article, we will learn what is pink noise and what is white noise, and their potential benefits.

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    Difference Between White Noise and Pink Noise

    Pink noise comprises a lower pitch than white noise. The sound of pink noise resembles more of a flat, consistent frequency like wind rustling through trees, steady rain, or the waves. Whereas, the sound of white noise holds a balanced distribution of frequencies derived from sounds like television or radio static, humming air conditioners, vacuum, and more. 

    What Is Pink Noise

    Pink noise is a specific 'color' of noise that is defined by the energy a sound produces. The noise color is dependent on the distribution of sound over different frequencies. In pink noise, the frequencies are unequally distributed. The energy is highest for lower frequencies and lower for higher frequencies. As the power of pink noise is diminished at a lower frequency, a deep sound is generated.

    Thus, the unwanted sounds interfering with a person's sleep are mute. This makes the pink noise soothing and calm to the ears. You can imagine a child sleeping with a teddy bear toy every day. As the child cuddles the toy before sleeping, it falls asleep in no time. The child's brain connects the sleep timing with the cuddling of the child to a teddy bear. This is what is pink noise for sleep if used daily. Pink noise is also known as the best noise for sleep.

    Let us see what are the examples of pink noise:

    • Rustling leaves
    • Heartbeat rhythms 
    • Steady rain
    • Waves crashing

    Pink Noise Potential Uses

    Let's understand the potential uses of pink noise and how it helps in sleep quality.

    Improve Sleep

    The pink noise helps enhance the brain activity associated with deep sleep phases. Thus, it helps in improving sleep.

    Improvements In Memory and Recall During a Cognitive Task

    As per the findings, pink noise improved memory, and cognitively impaired patients recalled the previous day's memory.

    Fall Asleep and Achieve Deep Sleep Faster

    A study shows that pink noise stimulates brain waves that help faster deep sleep.

    Improve Work Efficiency, Continuous Performance, and Working Memory

    As pink noise helps in deep sleep, people have woken up with a fresh mood that enhances their productivity throughout the day.

    Can Pink Noise Help You Sleep

    Pink noise drowns out the outside loud sounds that disrupt your sleep. A car horn, slamming of the door, or snoring voice can make you toss and turn at night, affecting your sleep quality and hamper your health in the long run.

    Pink noise can give your brain a calm and soothing effect as you listen to it at night. It affects the lowered brain waves and aids in a relaxing mood. Many people have experienced deep sleep, especially adults who face sleep disorders. Fast and deep sleep can boost memory power and performance activities. It also enhances the productivity level of people who experience a sound sleep throughout the night. Thus, all these experience shows that pink noise can help you sleep.

    Where To Get Pink Noise

    • You can install the pink noise app from your smartphone store. You can also play it on youtube before you go to sleep.
    • You can get a sound machine or noise generator specifically using pink noise. 
    • A natural source to listen to pink noise is listening to the steady rain whenever possible or playing the soundtrack of rainfall on your smartphone.
    • Listening to the heartbeat rhythm can be the best experience for pink noise. You can hear the best experience of pink noise within you in the rhythm of your heartbeats.

    What Is White Noise

    Similar to pink noise, white noise contains all frequencies considered humanly audible. The frequencies in white noise are equally distributed, producing a constant sound without any start or end, and it masks up all other noises that disrupt an individual's sleep.

    White noise can be compared to white light. White light is the blend of all visible light wavelengths, while white noise is the blend of all audible sound frequencies.

    Let's see examples of white noise

    • Hissing Radiator
    • TV Static
    • Whirring Fan
    • Humming Air Conditioner

    White Noise Potential Uses

    The following are the potential uses of White noise.

    Improving The Quality of Sleep

    The study showed that white noise significantly improved the sleep quality of those who suffered difficulty sleeping due to disrupting sounds.

    Reduce Insomnia Symptoms

    White noise masks high-pitched sounds by stimulating the brain of those facing sleep disorders. Hence, it is helpful in insomnia.

    Helps Sleeping Faster

    White noise used daily works as a sound barrier for other disturbing random sounds. Thus, the brain gets alert by the sound that aids in sleeping faster.

    Other possible benefits of white noise are as follows.

    • Improvement in children with ADHD
    • New word learning
    • Decreased crying duration and increase in sleep duration in babies with colic

    What Are The Other Colors Of Noise

    Besides pink and white noise, there are other noises in the sound spectrum.

    Red Noise / Brown Noise

    Red noise is another name for brown noise. The two mean the same: deep sounds at the low end of the spectrum with minimal high-frequency sounds. 

    Brown noise is much deeper than pink and white noise and has higher energy at a lower frequency. As a result, it induces sleep and relaxation.

    Blue Noise

    Blue noise can sound irritating to many people as its frequencies are higher-pitched. Thus, it can't support quality sleep.

    Black Noise

    In Black noise, there is complete silence with bits of random noise. Some people need this type of silence to get quality sleep.

    Other Habits that would help you sleep better

    Besides using noise colors to aid better sleep, good sleep habits are also essential.

    Sleep Routine

    Make sure to sleep at a specific time every day. Also, cut down on tea/caffeine as it hampers the sleep cycle. 

    Exercise

    Being physically active during the day will help to sleep instantly at night. Exercising will relax the muscles that will aid in peaceful sleep.

    Mindful Eating

    Have a light dinner before sleeping. Be mindful while eating as a heavy stomach can disrupt peaceful sleep.

    Relaxing Activities

    Before sleeping, try some relaxing activities such as meditating, reading, and stretching exercises. 

    Peaceful Atmosphere

    While sleeping, create a calm atmosphere by refreshing light colors. Also, avoid screen light from smartphones and TV.

    Final Thoughts

    With age, deep sleep starts depleting, and many adults face memory loss. Moreover, some people need a little background sound as they try to fall asleep. Thus, understanding precisely pink noise vs. white noise will help one to make the most of it.

    This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
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This might be because pink noise, which can be used to block out unpleasant sounds and outside disturbances that might disturb sleep, is very calming.\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"3d9e829","title":"What color noise is best for anxiety?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003ECompared to white noise, it may sound more relaxing and be more calming to the nervous system. Pink noise-like brain waves are used by our brain cells to communicate with one another.\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"5e3506c","title":"Is it OK to play white noise all night?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EWhite noise shouldn't be used continuously. Simply keep it in your back pocket to help you go asleep or to stop crying. Children learn the subtleties of all the intriguing sounds around them, such as speech, music, and other sounds, by hearing the everyday hum of home for many hours each day.\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"},{"_id":"a153338","title":"Should I play pink noise all night?","content":"\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"font-weight: 400;\"\u003EAny form of sound, whether pink noise, white noise, or another, is generally safe to employ. By blocking out distracting noises that would keep you awake, it promotes sleep. 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