In our bustling modern lives, sleep often feels elusive, and many of us turn to various solutions to create a restful sleep environment. White noise machines have long been favoured for their ability to drown out distractions and lull us into a peaceful slumber. However, there’s a new player in the realm of sleep sounds, and it’s the soothing whisper of “green noise”.
What exactly is green noise, and how does it compare to its well-known counterpart, white noise, when it comes to improving sleep quality? Let’s explore the concept, its health benefits, and its potential as a superior sleep aid.
What is green noise?
Green noise is a relatively new entrant in the world of sleep soundscapes, but it’s derived from a concept as old as time – the soothing rustle of leaves, the gentle flow of a forest stream, or the harmonious chirping of crickets. While, white noise can be a whirring fan, radio or television static, humming air conditioner etc.
Dr Parth Nagda, psychiatrist at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital Navi Mumbai, said green noise is a type of sound that encompasses all audible frequencies, similar to white noise. “However, unlike white noise, green noise emphasises lower frequencies, creating a sound that is perceived as softer and more soothing. It is akin to the sound of rustling leaves or a gentle waterfall.”
These sounds are soothing, non-intrusive, and reminiscent of peaceful natural settings.
What are its health benefits?
Green noise can be beneficial for sleep because of its calming and masking properties, said Dr Nagda. “By masking background noises that might disturb sleep, it creates a soothing environment conducive to falling and staying asleep.”
He noted that many people find green noise gentler on the ears, making it an excellent alternative to white noise for promoting relaxation and sleep.
Aside from aiding sleep, green noise can be used for enhancing focus and concentration, especially in noisy environments, according to Dr Nagda. “It can also be used in relaxation therapies, stress reduction techniques, and even for managing tinnitus, a condition characterised by ringing in the ears.”
Is it better than white noise?
According to Dr Nagda, green noise differs from white noise in its frequency composition. While white noise has equal energy across all frequencies, green noise has a more balanced distribution, with increased intensity in the lower frequencies. This gives green noise a mellow, more natural quality compared to the harsher, static-like sound of white noise.
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Some individuals may find the soothing, nature-inspired sounds of green noise more conducive to sleep, while others may prefer the steady, static sound of white noise. It’s a matter of personal choice.
Consider the context in which you’re using these sounds. If you’re looking to create a calming atmosphere for sleep, green noise could be your preferred choice. On the other hand, if you need to drown out background noise in a busy environment, white noise may be more effective.
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