What is green noise? Know its benefits for sleep and mental health | Health - Hindustan Times
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What is green noise? Know its benefits for sleep and mental health

By, New Delhi
Oct 23, 2023 01:56 PM IST

Green noise replicates soothing sounds of nature and can have many benefits from boosting sleep quality, enhancing relaxation and reducing stress.

Green noise as the name suggests, resembles soothing sounds of nature like raindrops, rustling of leaves, rolling of waves, and chirping of birds. Connecting with nature can calm you naturally and lower anxiety levels, promoting relaxation and a deeper quality of sleep. This low frequency sound is increasingly finding favour among sleep-deprived or those craving for sound sleep, who are finding it better than the hissing white noise sound. The sound that replicates the melodies of nature can have many benefits from boosting sleep quality, enhancing relaxation and reducing stress. Green noise is also associated with heightened cognizance, improved focus, and lessened daytime stress. (Also read: Does hitting snooze on alarm make you more tired in the morning? What study says)

Green noise emphasizes lower frequencies, making it seem more like the soft rustling of leaves or a running stream, in contrast to white noise, which has equal intensity across all frequencies(Freepik)
Green noise emphasizes lower frequencies, making it seem more like the soft rustling of leaves or a running stream, in contrast to white noise, which has equal intensity across all frequencies(Freepik)

"Green noise, sometimes referred to as emerald noise, is a sonic concept that resembles white noise but has a different frequency distribution. Green noise emphasizes lower frequencies, making it seem more like the soft rustling of leaves or a running stream, in contrast to white noise, which has equal intensity across all frequencies. Green noise's capacity to produce a dependable background noise is one of its key characteristics. This regularity aids in masking sporadic disturbances that could normally wake you up, including a puppy barking, a neighbour's music, or rapid changes in the environment. Green noise can successfully buffer these disturbances by supplying a steady auditory environment, enabling you to stay asleep or resume sleep more quickly if you are awakened," says Dr Chandni Tugnait is M.D. (Alternative Medicines), Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Business Coach, NLP Expert, Healer, Founder & Director - Gateway of Healing.

"The ability to think clearly, feel emotionally stable and maintain general health all depend on getting enough sleep. Even one night of bad sleep can result in health problems, diminished productivity, and irritation. Many people use sleep aids to improve their sleeping environment. The use of green noise is one such method," says Dr Chandni.

"Green noise, also known as frequency-weighted noise, is a type of sound that has a more balanced frequency distribution compared to white noise. In simple words, it contains a greater number of lower frequencies, resembling the sounds of rustling leaves, raindrops, or a gentle stream. Green noise has a naturally calming quality that many find to be incredibly calming, in contrast to the randomness of white noise," says Dr Jyoti Kapoor, Founder-Director and Senior Psychiatrist, Manasthali.

Dr Chandni shares ways green noise can help in enhancing sleep quality:

Masks disturbances: Disruptive sounds like street noise, boisterous neighbours, or domestic conflicts can be hidden by green noise. It assists your brain in blocking out other distracting sounds by creating a steady and pleasant aural background.

Encourages restraint: Green noise's mild, calming characteristics can create relaxation, lowering tension and anxiety. This relaxed condition makes it simpler to go to sleep.

Enhances deep sleep: According to studies, green noise may help people fall asleep deeply, which is the sleep stage most conducive to healing. As a result, when you wake up, you feel more rested and alert.

Promotes relaxation: The soothing, natural quality of green noise has a tranquilizing effect that makes it easier to relax into sleep.

Normalizes heart rate: Green noise has been shown to normalize heart rate variability leading up to sleep, priming the body for rest.

Enhances dream recall: More stable sleep promotes better dream recall, as green noise reduces mid-sleep awakening.

Dr Jyoti shares more benefits of green noise for sleep and mental health:

1. Enhanced relaxation: Green noise can reduce stress, lower anxiety levels, and induce relaxation, making it an ideal auditory backdrop for sleep.

2. Improved sleep quality: Some research suggests that green noise can help to improve sleep quality by masking disruptive background noises and promoting a deeper, more restful slumber. This can be particularly beneficial for light sleepers or individuals living in noisy environments.

3. Enhanced focus and concentration: Green noise can help in increasing focus and productivity by minimizing distractions. Many people use green noise to create a pleasant and productive workspace.

4. Stress reduction: Exposure to green noise has been linked to stress reduction, which, in turn, can have a positive impact on mental health. Lower stress levels can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.

How green noise differs from white noise and other noise:

Dr Jyoti says green noise contains more low-frequency components, resembling nature sounds, whereas white noise has an equal distribution of frequencies, resulting in a more 'hissy' sound.

"Many individuals find green noise to be more relaxing and soothing compared to the constant hiss of white noise. Green noise sounds more natural, with a tonal quality similar to rustling leaves or rain. White noise, in contrast, has a more static and shushing quality," says Dr Jyoti.

Here are some other kinds of calming noises apart from white noise and green noises that are garnering attention and becoming popular:

1. Pink noise: Pink noise, like white noise, has equal energy across all octaves, but it decreases in intensity as the frequency increases. It's often described as more balanced and less hissy compared to white noise.

2. Brown noise: Brown noise has even more energy in the lower frequencies and is often described as resembling the sound of a deep rumble or a waterfall. It's favoured by some for its relaxing and masking properties.

3. Blue noise: Blue noise has more energy in the higher frequencies, creating a crisp and sharp auditory experience. Some individuals find it invigorating and beneficial for concentration.

"Green noise also assists in heightened cognizance, improved focus, and lessened daytime stress. It has a pacifying impact due to the evenly distributed frequencies, which can help diminish anxiety and agitation. Without disruptions, the body can smoothly transition between non-REM and REM somnus cycles through the night. Numerous individuals have noticed that listening to green noise relaxes and unwinds them, which is imperative for effortlessly succumbing to slumber. It can also be particularly beneficial for those who have unpredictable schedules or reside in bustling metropolises," says Dr Chandni.

How to benefit from green noise

There are a variety of alternatives when harnessing green noise to augment the calibre of your rest.

"In addition to utilizing smartphone apps and internet resources that provide a range of soundscapes, including green noise, you may obtain white noise devices or sound generators that are expressly designed to produce green noise. You can modify the volume and other settings on many of these implements to accommodate your preferences. Find the soundscape that best suits your needs and is effective for you by experimenting with green noise and other sounds," advises Dr Chandni.

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