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Meet Green Noise: The Nature-Inspired Sleep Aid Psychologists Swear By

Green noise is here to help you sleep a bit more soundly—all while celebrating Mother Nature.

green noise
Written by
Calin Van Paris
requires making use of all our senses. The stunning visuals that come with any amount of time spent outdoors are just the beginning. The myriad smells! The
delicious tastes
! The
tactile wonders
! And, of course, the many, many
And, as it turns out, listening to the music that the planet provides boasts some major benefits for us, too. Say hello to green noise, the new auditory trend that calms you down and improves your sleep—all while honoring the environment.

What Is Green Noise?

green noise
You've likely heard of white noise, the static-like sounds employed by many for help with privacy and sleep. Green noise is simply a variation of white noise that utilizes natural sounds at a low frequency to achieve a soothing effect.
"Green noise is a low-frequency noise at 500 Hertz, and includes sounds from nature such as waves on the beach, flowing rivers, and waterfalls," says
Dr. Shelby Harris,
clinical psychologist and behavioral sleep medicine specialist.
Green noise can encompass other colors, like brown noise, which centers bass-like tones like thunder, or pink noise, which is all about constancy, like falling rain. The common thread is its homage to the natural world rather than abstract, unassigned frequency.

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What Are the Benefits of Green Noise?

"Most people use noises on the white noise spectrum to block out other noises that may cause issues with attention, concentration, or sleep," says clinical psychologist
Dr. Kristen Casey
Green noise is no exception. "Green noise, similar to white, pink, or brown noise, may help mask environmental sounds that cause awakenings overnight." Given that
an estimated 25%
of the population suffers from disturbed sleep due to environmental noise (a term for surrounding sounds, not sounds inspired by the environment), a little auditory aid certainly can't hurt.
In addition to simply obscuring potentially distracting sounds, the Hertz of green noise can lend to increased tranquility. "Low-frequency noises are great for sleep, and green noise is known to promote a sense of calm and relaxation that can make falling asleep easier," says Dr. Harris.

How to Use Green Noise

green noise
Dr. Casey suggests searching YouTube, Spotify, or Apple Music for green noise that can be played for at least 10 hours, the better to preserve the sleep cycle.
Green noise can also be found on most meditation apps—think Calm and Headspace—as well as within sound machines and smart alarm clocks. Simply choose the noise that resonates with your nervous system and cozy up!
And if green noise doesn't resonate (sorry) with you, worry not!
"Some people have a preference for green noise, while others have a preference for white noise," says Dr. Casey, who adds that some may find any noise distracting to rest, preferring silence. "I suggest that people try on the different noises to see which one they prefer the most and use that for assisting with sleep."