Pink noise: effect on complexity synchronization of brain activity and sleep consolidation

J Theor Biol. 2012 Aug 7:306:68-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2012.04.006. Epub 2012 Apr 25.


In this study, we hypothesized that steady pink noise is able to change the complexity of brain activities into a characteristic level and it might have significant effect on improving sleep stability. First, we carried out the brain synchronization test in which electroencephalogram (EEG) signals of 6 subjects were recorded. The whole experiment procedure was divided into 5 blocks in the alternative feeding process of 10-min quiet and 10-min noise. After the complexity analysis of fractal dimension, we found that the complexity of the EEG signals decreased with the introduction of the pink noise exposure, showing the brain waves tended to synchronize with the pink noise induction to reach a low level. For the sleep quality experiment, 40 subjects were recruited the group of nocturnal sleep experiment and 10 participants were chosen for nap test. Each subjects slept for two consecutive experimental periods, of which one is pink noise exposed and the other is quiet. For both nocturnal sleep and nap tests, the results in the noise exposure group showed significant enhancement in the percentage of stable sleep time compared to the control group based on the analysis of electrocardiography (ECG) signal with cardiopulmonary coupling approach. This study demonstrates that steady pink noise has significant effect on reducing brain wave complexity and inducing more stable sleep time to improve sleep quality of individuals.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods*
  • Adult
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Female
  • Fractals
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Young Adult