SLEEP – Ah, summer. The song of the cicadas, the sunset at the edge of the beach, the little morning breeze that sweeps your forehead… But also, the perspiration, the mosquito bites, and above all, the heat that prevents a restful sleep. With the heat wave still crossing France, this last point is unfortunately still relevant.
If despite turning on the fan at the highest level or opening the windows, you can’t fall asleep, sounds may be able to help you.
” There are three environmental factors that disturb sleep, the first is noise, the second is temperature and the third is light.introduced to HuffPost Professor Damien Léger, head of the Sleep and Vigilance Center at the Hôtel-Dieu de Paris. So, indeed, high heat plays a role in sleep. ” But as you can see in the video at the top of the article, other factors, noises, can have a direct effect on your sleep, in a good way. Among them, there is the well-known white noise, but also pink noise, brown noise and delta waves. If these sounds are not naturally present in your room, YouTube and music streaming platforms are full of videos dedicated to these sounds that will rock you.
The sound of the waves, the hum of a fan or the crackle of a television connected to a channel that we do not pick up, are among the most famous white noises. Damien Léger explains that ” these noises are often used in relaxation and leisure stores to induce sleep. These are slow rhythms, like breathing rhythms, which can help you fall asleep “.
If white noise is effective, it is because it saturates the auditory system. That is, they ” attenuate all other sounds “. ” By the way, they are used to make noise canceling headphones “says the sleep specialist. By listening to these noises, our brain ignores the rest and allows us to relax more. According to a study from the University of Chicago, listening to these noises at a moderate volume has a relaxing effect. In fact, the feelings of helplessness and annoyance that accompany difficulty in falling asleep can then be alleviated with white noise.
Although similar to white noise, pink noise is assimilated to a lower, more intense frequency, which results in a deeper, bassier sound. It is for example the sound of the rain falling on the shutters or that of a waterfall. ” Recent studies prove that this noise promotes the emergence of slow waves which themselves promote falling asleep. », explains Prof. Damien Léger. When we sleep, our brain produces brain waves. When falling asleep, they are fast, then, gradually, they slow down until they fall into slow, deep sleep. It is in this phase of sleep that pink noise has a beneficial role.
In a 2020 study by researchers at Penn State University in Pennsylvania, subjects were exposed to pink noise while sleeping. Results ? They spent more time in the deep sleep phase compared to nights when they were not exposed to pink noise. In fact, they enjoyed more restful sleep.
Brown noise is hard to describe. The sound is similar to what you hear when you’re on a plane trying to fall asleep. It’s warm and fuzzy, more enveloping than its cousins white noise and pink noise. A few weeks ago, this noise was very shared on the social network TikTok. Users indicated that it allowed them to concentrate and relax more. There is still little scientific research on brown noise and its effectiveness on sleep, but it seems that its depth can induce relaxation.
In an interview for the magazine Outside, Patrice Berry, a licensed clinical psychologist, says brown noise can help drown out other distracting sounds and improve focus. In other words, it can provide the same benefits as white noise, but in a different form. ” Brown noise simply offers another option “explains the clinician. If its effect on the quality of sleep is not yet scientifically verifiable, brown noise can at least allow you to relax before letting yourself go in the arms of Morpheus.
When we are in deep sleep, our brain produces delta waves. ” They protect the brain against the outside and create slow and recuperative sleep. We look for these slow waves, because it’s a sign of good sleep. “, details Damien Léger at HuffPost. These waves are very common in babies and young children, but as we get older we produce less of them. Sleep and our ability to rest are therefore gradually lost over the years.
Listening to delta waves before and while we sleep could then have a positive effect on sleep. They are particularly used in sound therapy to promote deep sleep, mental and physical recovery. ” It is not officially known if it helps during the sleep phase, but it is a hypothesis that is being studied. “says the author of Sleep Disorderspublished in June 2022.
To put the odds on your side so that your nights go as well as possible, the Professor also recommends wearing sunglasses, including in the evening. ” Sunlight acts on the same principle as blue light from screens and can keep us awake longer “, he insists. Sunglasses, fan on and pink noise in your ears, it’s up to you to face this scorching episode.
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