The Noise That Helps You Sleep Better

the noise that helps you sleep better

So you’ve committed your next couple years to nursing school or perhaps you’re a working nurse and have a long stretch of shifts in a row coming up… you’re going to need to get some GOOD sleep to make push through. But how? You’ve tried everything and with stress, tests, little time and LIFE happening – it’s hard to get enough. But have you tried this???

You’ve heard that white noise can help you fall asleep faster and snooze sounder. The National Sleep Foundation recommends it for people who have trouble sleeping. But according to science pink noise may be more effective.

Pink noise is a mix of high and low frequencies that sounds more balanced and natural than white noise. Examples of this are rain falling on pavement, or wind rustling the leaves on a tree. It’s called pink noise because light with a similar power spectrum would appear pink.

And according to new research published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, pink noise just might be the secret to better sleep and improved memory (exactly what every nursing student needs).

In the small recent study, Northwestern University researchers invited adults to spend some time in a sleep lab. Both nights, the participants took a memory test, went to bed wearing headphones and an electrode cap, and retook the memory test when they woke up.

One of the nights, no noise played through the participants’ headphones. On the other night, however, pink noise was played in short bursts. These spurts were timed to match the slow, deep-sleep waves emitted by the participants’ brains and detected by their electrode caps.

When participants slept with pink noise playing, their slow-wave sleep oscillations increased, meaning they experienced more periods of deeper sleep. After a night with pink noise, participants also performed up to three times better on the morning-after memory test than they did after sleeping in silence.

These new findings back those from previous studies, which similarly found that pink noise increased slow-wave sleep oscillations and improved memory.

Try PINK NOISE…. You have nothing to lose and only sleep to gain.

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Nurse Alice

"Nurse Alice" Benjamin, RN, MSN, ACNS-BC, PCCN-CMC is a nationally board-certified and award-winning cardiac clinical nurse specialist in critical care and adjunct clinical nursing faculty. She's also a national on-air health expert and has appeared on "The Dr. Oz Show," "The Doctors," "Dr. Drew," FOX, HLN and many more. She administers daily doses of health tips and health news to America via social media @AskNurseAlice. Visit for more information on Nurse Alice.

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One Response to The Noise That Helps You Sleep Better

  1. RN Didi

    Hi Nurse Alice,

    Great article! I Didn’t know there was such thing as pink noise. It’s great to see how science progresses every day, and how it can serve us, especially nurses, as a lot of us don’t fall asleep quickly. And if we do fall asleep fairly easily, sometimes it’s the quality of that sleep that’s not best.

    Well, that was some great info, I’ll incorporate it into my sleeping routine.

    Thanks again!

    RN Didi