Pink Noise Vs. White Noise: What's The Difference?

If you're one of the unlucky ones who've experienced many sleepless nights, you've likely heard about noise machines. But what do you play to help you fall asleep and stay deep in slumber?

White noise is known to keep you in a deeper sleep by not allowing sounds — like your dog barking or a car door slamming — to wake you up. But there are actually other "sonic hues," or color noises, that may help you sleep better, according to Healthline. These hues differ in intensity level and energy distribution.

Although white noise, similar to a radio static sound or a waterfall falling at different speeds on different surfaces, is most popular, it does have a similar counterpart called "pink noise." In fact, pink noise is actually white noise, only with "reduced higher frequencies," per Sound of Sleep. You will notice a different sound from pink noise, like steady rainfall or wind that may be more soothing than the low-range, mid-range, and high-frequency sounds of white noise.

Which noise should you choose?

Studies have found that sleeping with pink noise can improve your memory the following day and possibly have longer-term effects, according to Time. White noise has similar benefits to pink noise, with researchers finding effects on memory, concentration, as well as tinnitus (via Sound of Sleep).

Pink noise is also considered to be a "deeper" sound than white noise, but not quite as deep as "brown noise," which is more akin to thunder rumbling or roaring, Healthline explained. Fun fact: Silence even has a name on the color noise spectrum: black noise. So which is better for sleep: pink or white? It really depends on your personal preference, so feel free to try both white and pink noise to determine which option you find to be the most sleep-inducing. You can listen to pink noise or white noise on your phone via apps or streaming, or opt for a sound machine.