Brown noise vs white noise: Which one is better for your sleep?

Brown noise and white noise can help you relax and create a consistent sound environment that promotes better sleep quality
A representative picture of noise is illustrated here. — Canva
A representative picture of noise is illustrated here. — Canva

If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you might have tried using some kind of noise to mask the distracting sounds in your environment. Noise can help you relax and create a consistent sound environment that promotes better sleep quality. 

But not all noises are the same. You might have heard of white noise, which is the most common type of noise used for sleep. But did you know that there are other types of noise, such as brown noise, that might suit your preferences better? In this blog post, we will compare brown noise and white noise, and explain how they can affect your sleep.

What is white noise?

White noise is a combination of all the frequencies that can be heard by the human ear, ranging from 20 hertz (Hz) to 20,000 hertz. The frequencies encompassed by white noise are all at equal volumes, making it sound higher-pitched and static-like. 

White noise can mask unwanted sounds and create a uniform sound environment that can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. White noise has been associated with:

  1. Masking unwanted sounds
  2. Promoting relaxation
  3. Helping insomnia
  4. Treating tinnitus (a condition in which a person hears a high-pitched ringing)
  5. Managing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms

Some examples of white noise include:

  1. TV and radio static
  2. Fans
  3. Steady running water/steady rain
  4. Air conditioner hum
  5. Radiator
  6. Vacuum cleaner

What is brown noise?

Brown noise, also called red noise, is a deeper, low-frequency sound with more of a bass tone and less of a hiss than white noise. Brown noise plays low-frequency sounds and omits high-frequency sounds, giving it a richer, rumbling sound that is deeper than white and pink noise. 

It has sound-muffling qualities and is thought to narrow focus, making it effective for listening to while working. Brown noise might also help lower symptoms if you have ringing in your ears. It has also been shown to improve your thinking skills. Some examples of brown noise include:

  1. Shower with good pressure
  2. Thunderstorm
  3. Waterfall
  4. Ocean waves

Which one is better for your sleep?

The answer to this question depends on your personal preference and what kind of sound environment works best for you. Some people might find white noise too harsh or annoying, while others might find brown noise too dull or boring. 

Some people might prefer a different type of noise altogether, such as pink noise, which is softer and more balanced than white noise, or blue noise, which is higher-pitched and more hissing than white noise.

Experiment with different sounds

The best way to find out which type of noise is better for your sleep is to experiment with different sounds and see how they affect your sleep quality and mood. 

You can use various apps or devices that generate different types of noise, or you can use natural sources of noise, such as rain or wind. You can also adjust the volume and duration of the noise according to your needs.

The most important thing is to choose a type of noise that helps you relax and feel comfortable, and that does not interfere with your natural sleep cycle. 

Remember that noise is not a substitute for good sleep hygiene, which includes having a regular bedtime routine, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, keeping your bedroom dark and cool, and avoiding screens and other sources of blue light at night.