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Pink Noise vs. White Noise: What’s the Difference, and Why Should You Care?

We at Yogasleep have a confession to make. The Dohm is not actually a white noise machine. What?! Yes, it's true. The Yogasleep Dohm produces, not white noise, but pink noise. Well, you might be wondering, what's the difference? We're glad you asked.  Sold out What’s the difference between white noise and pink noise?  White noise refers to a type of sound that's an equal intensity across all frequencies audible by the human ear; similar to white light, which contains all visible light at equal intensity. White noise is produced by randomly generating noise across the entire sound spectrum, and it ends up sounding like radio static, which some people enjoy as background noise, while others find it irritating.  White noise has equal power per frequency, while pink noise has equal power per octave. Here's an example: the difference between 5 Hz and 10 Hz is one octave, as is the difference between 50 and 100 Hz. But, in terms of absolute frequency, the difference between the first two is 5 Hz, whereas the difference between the second two is 50 Hz. In white noise, the difference is obvious, but in pink noise, they’re both one octave apart, so they’re functionally the same.  This is the major difference between pink and white noise. In white noise, the power is constant, but in pink noise, as the numbers get bigger, the difference in power becomes smaller, so the higher-pitched sounds are softer.  Because the lower frequencies are louder than the higher frequencies in pink noise, it sounds less abrasive and leads to a better night's sleep. Less like radio static, and more like leaves rustling.  Examples of Pink Noise in Nature:  Heartbeats  Steady rain  Wind blowing through trees  Rustling leaves  Ocean waves hitting the beach  Are there other colors of noise?  There are indeed. The colors of noise include:  White noise: equal power through frequency, like television static  Pink noise: equal power through octave, like steady rain  Brown noise: even more low frequency than pink noise, like thunder rumbling  Blue noise: emphasizes the higher frequencies instead of the lower ones, like water hissing out of a spout  Sold out Sold out Sold out Why is pink noise good for sleeping?  Pink noise has been found by many studies to be the most soothing background sound. Not only that, but studies have also shown that going to sleep listening to pink noise from a sound machine helps improve memory the next day and could have long-lasting positive effects on memory and concentration.  It can be seemingly hard to find readily available sources of pink noise. Luckily, the Yogasleep Go, Yogasleep Nod, and Yogasleep Soundscene provide pink noise, and the Yogasleep Duet and Yogasleep Dreamcenter offer multiple pink noise options.  Often, other noise colors are lumped under the "white noise" umbrella, because it is a common term people understand, but the distinctions are important. Understanding what noise colors are helps you understand what color of noise is best for you.  Follow us on Instagram @yogasleepusa

White Noise Evolution: From Sleepmate to Dohm

Some of you may be surprised to learn that the Marpac Dohm wasn't always the Dohm. But, like all good things, our iconic Dohm white noise machine has evolved over the years. Invented by our founder J.K. Buckwalter in 1962, the “sleep-inducing sound-producing device” was originally dubbed the SleepMate, and marketed as...

The competitive sleeping league - The Origin Story ILLUSTRATED

The latest season of the Competitive Sleeping League has come to a dramatic close (watch highlights of the Championship here). With that, Sleepletes from around the world now set their drowsy eyes on next year's season and a shot at the Golden Dohm. During the pause we thought we take...

Lucid Dreams: A Guide for the Uninitiated

The 411 on Lucid Dreaming No need to pinch yourself—it’s real. The whole “lucid dreaming” thing is having a pop-culture moment. On the heels of mind-expanding movies like Inception there are now entire websites devoted to the phenomenon. If you’re curious (we certainly were), here’s a quick run-down on the...

Sweet and Sour Dreams: What do They Mean?

Dreaming is, for lack of a better word, weird. No one knows exactly why we do it, though theoriesabound. Comedian Mitch Hedberg wasn’t a fan: “Dreaming is work. There I am, comfortable in my bed, and the next thing you know I have to build a go-kart with my ex-landlord.”...

Five Strange Facts on the Subject of Sleep

A recent #SleepFactFriday post reported that people who don’t get enough sleep are likely to have bigger appetites. That got us thinking: What other interesting and/or useful revelations about sleep are out there waiting to be discovered? We did some digging and here are a few that piqued our interest: 

Say What? Strange Tales of Sleep Talking

“Now put the lotion on the cat. It’s the most important step.”

Crazy Stuff People Do While Asleep

The Internet abounds with stories, running the emotional gamut from heartwarming to horrifying. Many of the best ones are true. A recent dive into stories of sleepwalking yielded some eye-opening results.