The Power of Pink Noise

Published on August 1, 2023

Did you know pink is a color in the sound spectrum? This relaxing combination of frequencies can help people sleep better and improve their memory. See why listening to pink noise is beneficial for your bedtime routine and your brain.

What Is Pink Noise?

Like white noise, pink noise contains all the sound frequencies humans can hear from 20-20,000 Hz. However, the higher frequencies in pink noise are emphasized less than the others in the sound spectrum. “Specifically, pink noise contains the same overall intensity in each octave, but the volume of individual pitches decreases by 3 decibels with each higher octave1

Because the lower frequencies are more accentuated, pink noise creates a gentler, calming sound that people find soothing and relaxing. It’s no surprise as pink noise is found during wind and rain, in birdsong and throughout urban landscapes.

Pink Noise Improves Sleep

The use of pink noise to help sleep quality is becoming more popular and for good reason – it has science to prove its benefits. In one sleep quality experiment, subjects were tested during two separate sleep times. The first part of the study had the subjects sleep with pink noise playing and a second phase when there was no noise during sleep. When exposed to pink noise, participants showed enhancements in the percentage of stable sleep based on EEG (electroencephalogram) and cardiopulmonary assessment2

This study also demonstrated that  pink noise reduced brain wave complexity. The more alert we are, the more complex our brain waves are. But when we are sleeping, our brain wave frequencies slow down at certain stages. These lower frequencies are a necessary and helpful part of our natural sleep cycle.  

Not only is sleep quality better with pink noise, but our brain function can also be improved. Pink sound during deep sleep has been proven to help the brain with memory integration3. Participants received one night of acoustical stimulation with pulses of pink noises timed when their slow brain waves began increasing. Based on before-and-after verbal memory tests, the “overnight improvement in word recall was significantly greater with acoustic stimulation.” 

Pink noise has many potential benefits and can be easily integrated into the Light Awake alarm clock. Please take a look at the in App store for pink noise options to play before and during sleep.

Works Cited


2.       Zhou, J.; Liu, D.; Li, X.; Ma, J.; Zhang, J.; Fang, J. Pink noise: Effect on complexity synchronization of brain activity and sleep consolidation. J. Theor. 2012, 306, 68–72.       Papalambros, N.A.; Santostasi, G.; Malkani, R.G.; Braun, R.; Weintraub, S.; Paller, K.A.; Zee, P.C. Acoustic Enhancement of Sleep Slow Oscillations and Concomitant Memory Improvement in Older Adults. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 2017, 11, 109.

Additional Posts


About Dr. Kathy Hurst

Dr. Kathy Hurst is on a mission to create the world’s most innovative alarm clock. As a doctor, she knows the frustration of waking up at odd hours to a blaring alarm. Backed by the latest research, she has found that noisy alarm clocks are harmful to our circadian rhythms. Her invention, Light Awake, harnesses the power of light to support our natural biology instead. Read more about her inspiration here. 


Light Awake – The Calming Wakeup Experience

Light Awake uses pulsating light to gently rouse you from sleep. There are no sharp, piercing noises that startle you awake. Its flashing light is designed to stimulate your circadian system and comfortably move your mind from slumber to consciousness. This is the only wakeup system that is based on the physiology of our eyes and brain.

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Light Awake’s silent alarm clock is a natural way to rouse from your sleep. There are no sharp or piercing noises that startle you awake. Its gentle light stimulates your circadian system so you comfortably move from slumber to consciousness.

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