Wait, What’s the Difference Between White Noise and Brown Noise? Experts Sound Off

By Bethann Mayer, June 9, 2024

“Sleep is so precious to our emotional and physical health,” says Dr. Alex Dimitriu, MD, who is double board-certified in psychiatry and sleep medicine and the founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine. “Fundamentally, it helps the part of our brain that sets us apart from most other animals, the prefrontal cortex.” Dr. Dimitriu explains that this part of the brain helps us plan, imagine and exercise self-control. “When we are sleep deprived, we have less self-control, which makes us more impulsive, moody, reactive and with stronger and more intense feelings,” Dr. Dimitriu says. “This can make for a bumpy day and can also strain relationships.” Yet, Dr. Dimitriu is weary of advertising that offers any miracle solutions. If you’re going to buy a machine, you may wonder: brown noise vs white noise, what noise is best for sleep?

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