Words: Elle Griffiths
We all know we’re supposed to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. But with the stresses and strains of modern living, few of us manage it very often.
But scientists now believe pink noise, a particular type of background noise, similar to white noise (such as background static from TV or radio sets) may work as a treatment for insomnia.
Pink noise is a less intrusive, more relaxing version of white noise that research has suggested can lead to better, deeper sleep. And used on a continuous basis, it may even improve your memory.
Read More: 10 proven ways to get a good night’s sleep
The study, published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, involved participants listening to pink noise as they slept. When tested the next day they not only reported feeling rested, but also performed three times better in memory and cognition tests than those who had had a standard night’s sleep.
In addition to helping you get off to sleep, the study’s authors believe acoustic stimulation applied during sleep can increase slow wave activity (SWA) and improve sleep-dependent memory retention.
And the good news is you don’t have to register to take part in a scientific study to give it a go yourself. There are hours worth of pink noise recordings available on YouTube or various apps to help you drift off.
But if you’re really struggling with insomnia, or want to make sure you have the best chance at getting a solid 40 winks every night, the NHS also recommend incorporating other steps into your bed time routine.
- setting regular times for going to bed and waking up
- relaxing before bed time – try taking a warm bath or listening to calming music
- using thick curtains or blinds, an eye mask and earplugs to stop you being woken up by light and noise
- avoiding caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, heavy meals and exercise for a few hours before going to bed
- not watching TV or using phones, tablets or computers shortly before going to bed
- not napping during the day
- writing a list of your worries, and any ideas about how to solve them, before going to bed to help you forget about them until the morning
Images: Rex Features