There’s very little on this planet more soul-crushing than having a massively busy day but then, when night-time rolls around… You. Just. Can’t. Get. To. Sleep.
You try everything: counting sheep doesn’t work; ‘how to fall asleep’ videos on YouTube aren’t cutting it; my god, even turning over to the cool side of the pillow is useless. What else is there?!
Well, new research from AXA PPP healthcare, has shed some light on how a ‘sleep-colour’ trick could be the step you need to send you off into slumber-land.
According to their research, more than half of Brits (63%) are unhappy with the amount of sleep they get and only 8% of people say that they always wake up feeling refreshed.
Dr Mark Winwood, Director of Psychological Services for AXA PPP healthcare, helps patients on a regular basis understand why they struggle to fall and stay asleep and how they can help themselves to get a more restful and restorative sleep.
He said: “Sleep is one of the most important parts of our daily lives, it is vital to our health and wellbeing. While you sleep, your brain continues to register and process sounds. Noise can interrupt your sleep, causing you to wake, move, shift between stages of sleep, or experience a change in heart rate and blood pressure. Sometimes this can be so brief that you don’t remember it the next morning. But some noises can actually help us get to sleep by making us less conscious of our immediate environment, which allows our minds to relax in a way that’s similar to the processes involved in meditation.”
These are the three sound colours that could help you fall asleep
(Once you have identified your perfect sound – all available here - listen with headphones in and the sound turned up for the best effect.)
1. White noise – constant ‘shhh’ sound
White noise works by reducing the difference between background sounds and a ‘peak’ sound, like a door slamming, giving you a better chance to sleep through it undisturbed. Typically, white noise is a constant ‘shhh’ sound, which is like a bright, mix of frequencies. These frequencies are often likened to the restful sound of waves hitting the shore. In this example it’s associated with the sounds heard on Trwyn Llanbedrog beach in North Wales – the UK’s favourite coastal sound, perhaps due its hypnotic quality.
2. Pink noise – turning up the bass on white noise
A busy London road has been matched with pink noise frequencies – which is similar to white noise but with the bass turned up. As well as the rumble of traffic, rainstorms have a pink noise frequency. The 24-hour activity of modern cities feels at odds with our need to sleep – but what if we could take that energy and use it to help us relax?
3. Brown noise – a deep, rolling rumble
Kielder Forest, the UK’s most tranquil location, may not seem to have many sounds at first, but the sound of the wind blowing through the trees can be likened to the frequency of brown noise. Brown noise is an even deeper version of pink noise; a deep, rolling rumble that can often go unnoticed.
(Images: Unsplash / Getty)