You’ve heard of white noise, right? But if you have concerns about cognitive impairment, today I want to introduce you to a noise of different color.
I’m talking about pink noise. And your brain could stand to benefit from the rosy news I have to share with you.
Hi, I’m Tony Dearing of GoCogno.com, the site for people with MCI, and author of the book, “I Want My Mind Back.”
People who are not sleeping soundly have a much greater risk of cognitive impairment.
So more and more all the time, we are understanding what a significant role sleep plays in brain health. People who are not sleeping soundly have a much greater risk of cognitive impairment, and of potentially developing dementia.
How might you sleep better, for the sake of your brain? Here’s one suggestion. It’s called pink noise.
Pink noise isn’t a household term, the way white noise is. It’s something I’ve been aware of it for a while, though. But what really caught my eye was this research. The study was done at Northwestern University and involved a small number of adults with amnestic MCI.
People with MCI have trouble achieving what’s called slow-wave activity during sleep, and that’s a problem because that’s when the brain consolidates memories.
In the study, while people slept, they received intermittent sound stimulation which was basically pulses of pink noise.
Their sleep activity was measured, and when they were listening to pink noise, they had longer periods of slow-wave activity. The better they slept, the better they scored on memory tests the next morning.
Studies shown pink noise can help us get better sleep, and better sleep benefits cognition.
Now this is just one study, and it didn’t involve that many people. But other studies have shown that pink noise can help us get better sleep, and without question, better sleep benefits cognition.
So what is pink noise? It’s random noise with equal energy per octave. There’s a lot of pink noise in nature. Like say the blowing of the wind. Or the rustling of leaves. Or the falling of raindrops. That’s pink noise.
And I think there’s something to it. When my son was young, I used to take him camping. And sometimes at night, after we were in the tent and in sleeping bags, rain would start to fall. And there was something about the sound of the raindrops on the tent that was magical. It was like one of the special memories I have of his childhood, and I’m telling you, there were some of the best nights of sleep I’ve ever had.
The reason I’m telling you this is because it’s pretty easy to find pink noise for sleep on your computer or on your phone. And it’s something you might want to consider.
It’s a safe, gentle, natural way to encourage deep sleep. If you want to know more, here are links to a couple of good resources.
To learn more about pink noise and sleep, read this article from the Cleveland Clinic: Why ‘Pink Noise’ Might Just Help You Get a Better Night’s Sleep
You’ve heard the expression “in the pink,” and you know what that means. It means in good health.
If you’re looking for the best apps for pink noise, I recommend this article from the website Tuck.com: Best Alexa Ambient Sounds for Sleep If you’re not an Alexa user, don’t worry. It lists 26 top apps and if you click on any one of them, it takes you to more information on that app so you can download it. (In the spirit of this video, it even offers the app Rain On A Tent by Sleep Jar, which it describes as “a favorite among camping aficionados.”)
You’ve heard the expression “in the pink,” and you know what that means. It means in good health. Maybe pink noise is a way to achieve better brain health. Give it some thought. It’s something to sleep on, anyway.
Thanks for joining me today and I look forward to seeing you again next week. Until then, as always, be kind to your mind.