We hear different kinds of sounds every day from the pleasant voice of your loved one's wishing you a good morning to the blaring horns you hear when you’re stuck in traffic. Different kinds of sounds can evoke a wide range of emotions. The sound of a baby babbling can put you in a happy mood while the sound of your boss yelling can put you under stress. A comfortable ambience is required to do anything and these sounds may help you do just that.
Types of Sounds
This might come off as ironic but silence is also a sound, and believe it or not it’s the rarest form of sound. If you live in the city you can relate, cars honking, planes hovering, people yelling; it seems almost impossible to get some quiet time. The easiest way to achieve silence is by wearing noise-cancelling headphones or using noise-cancelling apps. Adopting quiet time in the morning can help keep you relaxed and focused the rest of the day.
Isn't it weird that something we hear has a color to it? White noise is a random noise characterized by low and high frequencies (frequency range from 20 to 20,000 hertz) all at the same intensity. Since white light encompasses all the colours of different wavelengths it is analogous to this noise, hence the name.
White noise is the most researched noise and it provides many benefits. It is capable of drowning out other sounds and can be used for relaxation, sleep and concentration. A recent study showed that white noise can help improve memory as well. The most common example of white noise is TV static, others include the sound of raindrops.
Have you ever dozed off in the car with the sound of the wind whistling past you at a constant speed? This is the pink noise taking effect, this type of noise occurs more naturally like the sound of heavy rain, rushing water or a beating heart.
It is similar to white noise but has a subtle difference, the lower frequencies have more power than the higher frequencies while in white noise all the frequencies have the same power. So pink noise sounds like it has an added bass effect.
Pink noise can be used in your bedroom to help you fall asleep or it can be used in a work environment to ease stress.
Brown Noise (or) Brownian Noise
A noise that is not named after the colour but in fact after a scientist Robert Brown who discovered the Brownian motion. Brown noise is closely related to pink noise as they both have low frequencies with more power, but brown noise has a haphazard pattern. Hence the constant sound of a car or a train moving can fall under pink or brown noise. The other examples are sound of waterfalls, oceans or the dryer. Brown noise is more applicable for meditation, as waterfall and ocean sounds can bring about a sense of tranquillity.
Who can benefit from using these sounds?
- Meditators: Brown noise such as a deep hum (used in yoga) or the sound of the waterfalls or oceans can aid you in your daily meditation routine.
- Students: White noise or just using noise-cancelling headphones can enclose you in your own cocoon and sharpen your focus.
- New parents: A 1990 study shows that white noise can help lull babies to sleep, which may make life easier for new parents.
- People with difficulty sleeping: The three types of sounds can ease your mind and help you sleep better but either white or brown noise may be more beneficial.
Listen to all these noises either on apps or online and see which helps you relax or focus better and add them to your daily activities.