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Sleeping with Pink Noise

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Old 04-13-2009, 02:10 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Sleeping with Pink Noise

A small public service post:

I've wrestled all my life with getting to sleep. A perfect storm of hindrances, some psychological (eg: mommy issues), some physical (eg: tinnitus) have made bedtime an ordeal more akin to tax filing or dental visits than the peaceful respite it is supposed to be.

I've tried many solutions including peaceful music, exhaustion, herbal supplements, and more, but until recently the only thing that worked for me was to simply stay awake as long as I could then stumble into bed while hoping some stray sound or thought doesn't bolt me wide awake.

A year or so ago I started experimenting with sounds to help me sleep. I tried music, birdsong, waterfalls, white noise, machine buzzing, none of which was a good solution (although some were better than nothing). A few weeks back I came across a blog post recommending as a concentration aide for coders. Concentrating has never been a problem for me, quite the opposite in fact, but I saw the loopable audio files link there and thought I'd experiment some more.

I auditioned the 3 types of noise available there and settled on pink noise as the least meaningful to me (meaning leads to thoughts leads to wide awake). I used an audio editor to make a 3hr MP3 from the pink noise loop, burned it to CD, and put that in my bedroom stereo.

Now everynight I simply hit "play" before I go to bed. I have the volume up actually rather loud. But now it rarely takes me more than a few minutes to go to sleep. Even better, now when my sleep is inevitably interupted (bladder, garbage truck, etc.) I simply hit play again and almost instantly resume my slumber. This last bit is a total novelty for me, as traditionally if I'm up, I'm up for 18+ hours.

So, while this won't be of any use to 99.99% of you, hopefully this might help one or two readers finally get a reliable good night's sleep.
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:50 PM
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amica999 amica999 is offline
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Re: Sleeping with Pink Noise

I am aware of that problem too, as I am a notoriuos nightowl. When I was younger, I simply stayed awake, but now I can't make the day if I don't get a few hours of sleep and I am still working fulltime. My method is TV! When I am fortunate they show a french movie (forgive me, french members ), and I guarantee that I'll sleep within 15 minutes of watching/listening. If they don't show french movies put on something you have seen several times already, that helps too
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:28 PM
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cricket1961 cricket1961 is offline
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Re: Sleeping with Pink Noise

I have nearly the same issues Doug. Sleep studies haven't helped. Heck, I am even taking2 different sleeping pills (prescribed, working from different angles) and they make me a little drowsy around 4 or 5 am. I take them at 9 pm.
Needless to say I average 2-3 hours a night for the last 30 years or so.

But you are right about the noise. I had been researching Binaural noise generators for a while but had no practical way of applying it since one needs to wear head phones for them to work properly.
So I was quite glad when I saw several different apps available in the iTunes store that offered exactly what I was looking for. And they work pretty well... I am up to 3-4 hours of sleep now!. : )

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Old 04-17-2009, 02:34 AM
alanH2o alanH2o is offline
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Re: Sleeping with Pink Noise

Thans i will have to look at buying a speaker pillow for my ipod to try it, i can't fall asleep with headphones on and find the ipod dock too intrusive.
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Old 04-17-2009, 04:58 AM
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Markzebra Markzebra is offline
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Re: Sleeping with Pink Noise

Nothing as serious as Chris or Doug, but I have insomnia too. Just phases, maybe a week or so when i will only get two or three hours a night, then back to normal. Problem with sounds - they are inflicted on anyone else who's unfortunate enough to be with you.

Last edited by Markzebra; 04-17-2009 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:02 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Sleeping with Pink Noise

pink noise... sounds like a rock band. sorry, i've never slept with pink noise. is she any good?

lol. sorry, the one liners were just too obvious.

i'm similar in that i found years ago that this planet just revolves too fast, giving only 24 hours in a day. i'd much prefer something closer to 30 or 32. i find myself in the same situation as doug, staying up later and later only to wreck my daytimes. it can be quite maddening when you know if you dont get x hours of sleep you're going to be crap the next day, so you go to bed at the right time only to find out you not only cant sleep, but that you feel like doing jumping jacks. or, you know it's time for bed, but your mind is racing like an overwound clock.

i have a couple techniques that help. one, i read and two, i lie perfectly still and concentrate on one thing and only one thing and then dont think. i would think that the pink noise solution might be similar to my last one in that you're inundated with one thing to put your attention on and only one thing, the pink noise. monotony eventually sets in and off you go just call me dr. craig
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Old 04-18-2009, 12:08 AM
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crazyfly1 crazyfly1 is offline
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Re: Sleeping with Pink Noise

Thank you, I've been an insomniac as long as I can remember. Recently I have found that earplugs (foam ones I buy at walmart) work well although I can still hear some sounds and do still wake up. Tonight I will try this along with the plugs. I think the brown sound may be the way to go for me.
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Old 04-27-2010, 08:44 PM
bpurvis bpurvis is offline
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Re: Sleeping with Pink Noise

If you get bored while not sleeping, we have a neighborhood mockingbird that I could send you. Very entertaining -- midnight - very pretty, 1 pm - getting a little annoying, 2 pm - where ARE those earplugs...
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Old 04-28-2010, 03:08 AM
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Flotsam Flotsam is offline
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Re: Sleeping with Pink Noise

I use home made apple cider
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:56 PM
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lkroll lkroll is offline
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Re: Sleeping with Pink Noise

I have to run the fan and the fan noise helps me stay asleep (fan runs even in Winter). Initially, though, I have to add the sound of soothing music which I have timed to turn off. Whatever works is what's important. Maybe I see a new avatar in your future Doug since all that pounding has got to impede your ability to sleep. lol

Glad you found your solution.
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