What Is Green Noise? Read How It Can Better Sleep

Sleep and Nature
Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night? Do you wake up feeling tired, groggy, or irritable? If so, you are not alone.

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), about 70 million of the American population suffer from some form of sleep disorder. Poor sleep can affect your physical, mental, and emotional health, as well as your productivity, performance, and relationships.

So, how does noise play a role in sleep, and what is green noise?

One of the main causes of poor sleep is noise pollution. Noise pollution is the unwanted or harmful sound that interferes with your normal activities and well-being. It can come from various sources, such as traffic, construction, airplanes, sirens, alarms, or even your own snoring partner. Noise pollution can disrupt your sleep by making it harder to fall asleep, causing frequent awakenings, reducing sleep quality, and increasing stress levels.

But what if there was a way to use sound to improve your sleep? What if you could listen to the soothing and calming sounds of nature and drift off to dreamland?

This is where green noise comes in handy.

What Is Green Noise?

Green noise is a type of sound that mimics the natural sounds of the environment, such as birds, water, wind, or leaves. It is similar to white noise, which is a sound that has equal loudness across all frequencies, but with a lower pitch and a more natural feel.

Green noise can be a great alternative to white noise for people who find white noise too harsh, boring, or artificial.

How Can Noise Put You to Sleep? Science Explained

To know the answer to this question, you need to examine the effects of an array of sleep sounds on your auditory spectrum. It involves understanding their distinct characteristics.

Dr. Laura Purdy notes the differences: “Pink noise lowers pitch by reducing higher frequencies, offering a soothing quality. Brown noise, emphasizing lower frequencies even more than pink noise, may sound ‘coarser,’ similar to a robust wind or a rushing river.”

Research supports the efficacy of these sounds in facilitating sleep. A 2022 study cited in The New York Times found that white noise significantly reduced the time it took participants to fall asleep by 38%, compared to normal environmental noise.

Pink noise, according to another study, proved most helpful in minimizing the challenging “trying to fall asleep” period. Additional variations, such as brown, purple, and blue noise, show potential for inducing sleep, though with less research support.

Beyond their role in sleep, color noises like pink noise might extend benefits to workplaces by enhancing sleep and work productivity. This nuanced understanding can guide individuals in selecting the most suitable color noise for their sleep preferences and potentially exploring broader applications beyond the realm of sleep.

What Is the Sound of Green Noise Like?


Psychologist and primary care physician Dr. Laura Purdy articulates “green noise is like an ambient noise in nature.” She notes that for some individuals, green noise proves to be more soothing compared to brown noise.

Green noise, characterized by powerful mid-range frequencies, replicates the serene sounds of nature, such as ocean waves or a flowing stream. In contrast, white noise, retaining high frequencies, may exhibit a continuous hissing akin to static on electronic devices.

The gentler quality of green noise, achieved by limiting harsh high tones, imparts a more calming auditory experience. Similarly, pink and brown noise, sharing mid-range and lower frequencies with green noise, evoke natural sounds like a water sprinkler or falling rain (pink noise) and deeper tones reminiscent of thunder or a jet engine (brown noise).

How Does Green Noise Differ From White Noise?

Green Noise vs. White Noise

White noise and green noise differ in their frequency components and auditory characteristics. White noise has an equal distribution of frequencies across the entire spectrum, resulting in a constant hiss or shushing sound.

In contrast, green noise 500 Hz frequency is low, resembling nature sounds like rustling leaves or rain. Many individuals find green noise more relaxing and soothing compared to the continuous hiss of white noise. The tonal quality of green noise is often described as more natural, contributing to its appeal for promoting a calming auditory environment.

While discussing on white noise vs. green noise it can be seen that green noise features more low-frequency components, creating an auditory experience reminiscent of nature sounds like rustling leaves or rain. Many people find green noise more relaxing than the constant hiss of white noise, attributing its appeal to a natural tonal quality.

Green noise extends its benefits beyond relaxation, promoting heightened cognition, improved focus, and reduced daytime stress. Its evenly distributed frequencies facilitate smooth transitions between non-REM and REM sleep cycles, contributing to a restful night’s sleep.

Particularly beneficial for those with unpredictable schedules or living in busy cities, green noise offers a calming and unwinding effect, enhancing the ease of falling asleep.

What Are The Other Types of Noises?

Now that you have an idea about green noise vs. white noise, lets learn more about other types of noise. Other calming noises are fast gaining popularity in our times. Some of these are cited below:

  • Pink noise: Balanced and less hissy than white noise, pink noise maintains equal energy across octaves but decreases in intensity as the frequency rises.
  • Brown noise: With heightened energy in lower frequencies, brown noise is likened to a deep rumble or a waterfall, prized for its relaxing and masking properties.
  • Blue noise: Featuring more energy in higher frequencies, blue noise creates a crisp and sharp auditory experience, potentially invigorating and aiding concentration.

How Can Green Noise Benefit You?

So, what does green noise do?

Green noise offers certain benefits for sleep and well-being, as discussed under.

  1. Promotes relaxation

Green noise can help you relax by creating a soothing and calming atmosphere in your bedroom. It can also lower your heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels, which are all important for falling asleep and staying asleep.

  1. Masks other sounds

Green noise can help you block out any distracting or disturbing sounds that may keep you awake, such as traffic, snoring, or noisy neighbors. By masking these sounds, green noise can help you focus on the pleasant sounds of nature and fall asleep faster.

  1. Enhances mood

Green noise can help you boost your mood by stimulating positive emotions and memories associated with nature. Studies have shown that exposure to natural sounds can increase happiness, creativity, and empathy. These effects can also carry over to the next day, making you feel more refreshed and energized.

  1. Supports brain health

Green noise can help you improve your brain health by enhancing your memory, attention, and learning abilities. Research has found that listening to natural sounds can improve cognitive performance, especially in tasks that require sustained attention and working memory. This can also help you prevent cognitive decline and dementia in the long term.

Who Might Benefit Most from Green Noise?

Insomnia expert Dr. Kristen Casey sheds light on the link between calming sounds and sleep.

Dr. Casey suggests, “For some individuals, a lack of noise can induce anxiety.”

She recommends various forms of white noise like green, pink, or brown noise and emphasizes their role in providing a sense of mental safety by creating a background noise that doesn’t trigger awakenings, potentially fostering better sleep.

Individuals who want to drown out surrounding noises may find it beneficial for promoting sleep.

  • Shift workers dealing with loud city traffic, for instance, could explore green noise via a sound machine.
  • Infants may also experience positive effects, potentially reducing night-time crying.
  • Additionally, those grappling with racing thoughts and anxiety might find relief, as the soothing sounds in green noise provide an alternative focus, potentially aiding in better sleep.

What Are the Sleep & Health Benefits of Green Noise?

sleeping in the lap of nature

While specific research on the health benefits of green noise is lacking, studies on nature-inspired sounds, akin to green noise, reveal potential advantages. So, let’s learn what is green noise used for.

Green Noise Benefits

1. Enhanced Cognitive Performance

Experiments with college students using a nature-sound app, featuring rainfall and waves similar to green noise, demonstrated improved cognitive performance, including better working memory and alertness, suggesting potential benefits for attention and focus.

2. Faster Stress Recovery

Research on the impact of nature sounds on stress recovery found that exposure to these sounds helped individuals recover faster from stress, as compared to those exposed to man-made sounds, indicating a potential stress-relief quality.

3. Sleep Improvement

While no studies specifically focus on green noise, research on noise machines, akin to those used for green noise, suggests effectiveness in drowning out distracting noises, potentially aiding bettersleep. Green noise and similar sounds like pink noise have shown promise in easing the brain into slow-wave states and enhancing overall sleep quality.

How to Find The Type of Sleep Noise That Suits You Most?

Sleep experts emphasize that finding the ideal sound for sleep is a personal journey, and require experimentation.

Dr. Kristen Casey discourages sleeping near television noise due to its potential to disrupt the sleep cycle. Instead, she suggests white, green, pink, or brown noise as alternatives for addressing the diverse spectrum of over 70 sleep disorders.

Follow these simple steps to identify the type of sound aligned to your needs.

  1. STEP 1: Adjust your volume and choose a frequency that aligns well with your psyche and needs.
  2. STEP 2: Next, set up a timer aligned with your sleep onset time to ensure an effective yet controlled experience.
  3. STEP 3: However, for persistent sleep issues impacting daily life, seek professional medical advice, as sound machines should not substitute comprehensive medical attention.

Top 4 Tips to Use Green Noise for Deep Sleep

If you want to try green noise for sleep, here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Tip 1: Choose a sound that you like

There are many types of green noise that you can choose from, such as rain, ocean, forest, or stream. You can also mix and match different sounds to create your own custom soundscapes. The key is to choose a sound that you find relaxing, enjoyable, and familiar. You can experiment with different sounds until you find the one that works best for you.

  1. Tip 2: Use a sound machine or an app

The easiest way to play green noise in your bedroom is to use a sound machine or an app that offers green noise features. You can find many options online or in your local store. Some sound machines and apps also allow you to adjust the volume, pitch, and duration of the sounds to suit your needs. You can also set a timer or a fade-out function to turn off the sounds automatically after a certain period of time.

  1. Tip 3: Use headphones or speakers

Depending on your preference, you can use headphones or speakers to listen to green noise. Headphones can offer more privacy and immersion, but they can also be uncomfortable or fall off during the night. Speakers can offer more convenience and comfort, but they can also disturb your partner or roommate. You can also use a pillow speaker or a headband speaker to get the best of both worlds.

  1. Tip 4: Use green noise throughout the night

To get the most benefits from green noise, you should use it throughout the night, not just before bedtime. This can help you maintain a consistent and peaceful sleep environment and prevent any interruptions or awakenings. You can also use green noise during the day to relax, meditate, or work.


Well, in this article we’ve discussed on what’s green noise. Let’s recap.

Green noise is a type of sound that mimics the sounds of nature, but with a more consistent and balanced frequency spectrum. It can help you sleep better by promoting relaxation, masking other sounds, enhancing mood, and supporting brain health.

You can use green noise (500 Hz frequency) for sleep by choosing a sound that you like, using a sound machine or an app, using headphones or speakers, and using it throughout the night. Green noise benefits can be many. It is a great way to improve your sleep quality and well-being, especially if you love nature and want to bring it into your bedroom.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can green noise improve sleep quality?

  • People often wonder on what is green noise and how it can improve sleep. Green noise is characterized by its calming and natural attributes, promotes relaxation, easing the transition into sleep. Notably, it has demonstrated the ability to normalize heart rate variability, preparing the body for restful sleep by creating a tranquilizing effect in the pre-sleep period.

Q2. Which color noise is most beneficial for sleep?

  • Green and brown noises are believed to aid in falling asleep, with brown noise showing potential for improved sleep maintenance. Additionally, pink and white noise are recommended for sleep due to their capacity to block external sounds, collectively offering diverse options for optimizing sleep environments.

Q3. How can the sound of green noise be described?

  • Green noise, akin to white noise with uniform energy across frequencies, stands out for its gentler quality compared to the harshness of static. It specifically highlights mid-range frequencies at around 500 hertz (Hz). Some market green noise as a nature-mimicking auditory experience, resembling soothing sounds like waves on the beach or a gentle rain.

Q4. What sounds are most effective for inducing sleep?

  • Sleep-inducing sounds, such as rhythmic and soothing white or pink noise, play a role in promoting deep sleep. Furthermore, the intentional use of binaural beats and theta waves is designed to decelerate brainwaves, facilitating a smooth transition from light sleep to the more profound stages of sleep.


The provided information serves as general guidance and does not replace professional advice. It is not intended for diagnosing sleep or mental health conditions. Prior to modifying your sleep routine, we strongly recommend consulting a healthcare professional for personalized support and guidance.


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Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8651610/

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Link: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/7/3/1036

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  1. Zhong, C., Yin, X., Fallah-Shorshani, M., Islam, T., McConnell, R., Fruin, S. and Franklin, M., 2023. Disparities in greenspace associated with sleep duration among adolescent children in Southern California. Environmental Epidemiology7(4), p.e264.

Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10402945/