The power of a noise signal can be portrayed through color, just like how the brightness of a light can be described with a color spectrum. The two existing colors on this spectrum are pink and white. Research has shown that these colors have many helpful properties, like helping to create a restful night’s sleep and being more productive. More research is needed to conclude this theory.
A noise color can be distinguished by the energy of the sound signal. The color will coincide with the signal’s distribution of energy throughout different frequencies. Pink and white noise include every audible frequency, but vary in how they disburse energy over these frequencies.
Noise spectrum, or colors of noise, are known as sonic hues. This is a characterization of “naming different noises after colors” The color of noise correlates with the power spectrum of a noise signal, in other words, the frequencies of the noise.
White noise was the first noise named after a color. Researchers selected this type of noise classification because it’s just like how light is measured through the electromagnetic spectrum. For instance, white light refers to every visible form of light, and white noise refers to all audible frequencies.
In reference to noise, most colors get their name from a color of light with similar spectra. Other colors within the spectrum are blue, gray, purple, and red.
Categories of Sonic Hues
White noise refers to noise that has all frequencies in the audible sound spectrum. They range between 20-and 20,000 Hertz (Hz). Within white noise, there is an equal distribution of all frequencies. Some may call white noise broadband or wideband noise due to the fact that it contains numerous bands of sound.
Examples of white noise:
Pink noise is like white noise, in the sense that they are both broadband noises. They have all frequencies between 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. Pink noise sounds deeper than white noise because of a decreased power at higher frequencies and a rise in power at lower frequencies.
Examples of pink noise:
Researchers studied the possible advantages of white noise over other noise colors. One covered the use of white noise to help with sleep.
In a 2021 study, participants slept while using a white noise machine. It showed significant improvement in their ability to sleep. A study from 2017 discovered that broadband noise lowered the amount of time participants spent falling asleep by 38%, compared to the average environmental noise. Researchers indicated that broadband noise may help subside symptoms of insomnia for some people.
A review from 2021 points out that the evidence still needs more research to prove this study.
Additional benefits of white noise include:
Research has been done to determine whether pink noise can help people sleep better. A study from 2017 discovered that participants who heard quick sounds of pink noises on a loop while they slept had improvements in memory and recall during a cognitive task. The researchers observed that exposure to pink noise did not alter participants’ alertness, mood, or quality of sleep.
Another study conducted in 2020 showed that pink noise was useful in getting participants to fall asleep and go into a deep sleep at a faster rate. A smaller study from 2020 suggested that pink noise might enhance a person’s efficiency while working, their continuous performance, and working memory.
It’s crucial to mention that most of these studies had a small number of participants. Studies on a larger group of people are needed to confirm the benefits of pink noise.
Using White and Pink Noise
These noises can be used to improve sleep.
A person with a white or pink noise machine can have a steady stream of background noise in their bedroom. There is not a lot of research, but most theories imply that these noise colors may help with sleep because they create a calm atmosphere, help you form a better routine around bedtime, or mask noises that are loud and distracting.
You may use a machine or download an app on your smartphone. These apps can play white or pink noise, so you can decide which sounds work best for you.
Practice Better Sleep Habits
Even though there are benefits to using white and pink noise to help with sleep, everyone has a different reaction.
Practice good sleep habits that can improve your quality of rest. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend at least 7 hours of rest each night. Try to incorporate these routines:
A Summary of Pink Noise and White Noise
Pink noise and white noise are a range of frequencies, like a color spectrum. Both of these noises cover every frequency of noise that can be heard by a healthy human ear. White noise encompasses all frequencies and is evenly distributed. On the other hand, pink noise is more powerful in lower frequencies and less powerful in higher frequencies, which makes them deeper.
If you or a loved one are having trouble with hearing, please contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a complimentary hearing test and consultation.