What is the TikTok colour noise trend and can it help you sleep better?

Woman sleeping, to represent TikTok colour noise trend. (Getty Images)
Have you tried the TikTok colour noise trend and has it helped you? (Getty Images)

One of the latest health crazes on TikTok is the colour noise trend, which is giving people hope of a better night's sleep.

Whether it's money worries or work stress keeping us up all night, we're clearly desperate for solutions.

So, could this be it? Here's everything we know about 'colour noise' and the trend so far.

TikTok's colour noise trend explained in 12 points

Man at home using smartphone and listening to music with wireless headphones. Domestic room and domestic life.
People are being inspired by other TikTok users' stories of colour noise, and which one is their favourite. (Getty Images)

What is colour noise? “It's a relatively new trend for sleep but it's well-known in the fields of physics and electronics," says deputy CEO of The Sleep Charity Lisa Artis. "The colours refer to different types of noise that all sound unique to the ear." Attributing a colour to a type of sound is simply a way of categorising the type of noise (e.g. low/calming etc).

How has it become a TikTok trend? Users are sharing what types of noise they prefer – whether white, brown, pink, green, or more – and how it helps them relax and fall asleep, among other things.

There seems to be a favourite colour. One TikTok user shared, "Brown noise [a deep low frequency of sound] is a firm favourite in our household for helping us relax and get to sleep," which is a common preferred choice online.

What are the benefits? "It can help with blocking out distracting sounds, winding-down, switching off intrusive thoughts, and reducing stress and anxiety," says Artis, all of which can help with sleep. "You can either listen to it before you fall asleep or throughout the night."

What is white noise? “White noise is often used to mask background noise, such as traffic, and contains equal amounts of all frequencies that are audible to the human ear," says Artis.

static tv
White noise sounds like a static radio or TV. (Getty Images)

And how about brown noise? Brown noise is a deeper, lower frequency of sound that can help us to focus and relax."

Woman on plane
Brown noise sounds like the whirring of an aeroplane. (Getty Images)

Pink noise explained. “Pink noise, commonly referred to as ambient noise, has a lower pitch than white noise so can be more soothing and can help us to sleep better."

Green noise explained. “Green noise sits in the middle of the spectrum and is a calming, nature-like sound which can be very relaxing.”

What if you share your bed? “While some find colour noise helpful, others can find it very distracting. Speak to your partner and ensure you're on the same page," says Artis. Alternatively, The Sleep Charity advocates sleeping apart when needed, more useful than grumpy arguments.

Worried female laying in bed with her husband looking anxious and concerned while thinking of her relationship issues. A man sleeping while his wife lays awake at night feeling depressed and troubled
You could also just reach for the headphones if you and your partner don't agree on colour noise... (Getty Images)

Things to keep in mind. Test out what colour works best for you. "But it's important we use it to support our sleep rather than becoming dependent on it," says Artis. "This could be problematic if you go on holiday or stay at a friend’s house." Try turning it off before nodding off.

Still have a restful bedtime routine and look at the bigger picture. Artis suggests, "removing light from your bedroom, ensuring a good wind-down, and reducing caffeine intake and avoiding heavy meals before bed." Plus, tackling the root cause of your sleep problem is key.

A red and a white book placed on a mid-century style bedside table, bathed in sunlight. A simple pair of reading spectacles rest onto of the white book, creating a shadow. An exposed bulb wall mounted light is visible, and a house plant is obscured in shadow.
Don't sacrifice a calming bedtime routine just for colour noise. (Getty Images)

A gentle reminder. "It's great to see the TikTok community getting involved and sharing tips on how to achieve good sleep," says Artis. "That said, if you are really struggling, please seek advice from a health professional. We have a National Sleep Helpline where you can talk to a trained sleep advisor on 03303 530 541.”