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Law Practice Magazine

The Marketing Issue

What’s With All the Noise

Danielle Marie Hall


  • While sleep issues are common among lawyers, getting quality sleep is important for both our physical and mental health, as well as cognitive abilities.
  • White noise machines are popular for aiding sleep by blocking out environmental noises.
  • Apps such as BetterSleep aim to help users improve their overall quality of sleep with helpful features, including white noise.
What’s With All the Noise

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Have you ever had trouble sleeping? Does a night of tossing and turning, wandering thoughts and checking your phone or clock, to determine how many hours of sleep you can still get if you go to sleep now, sound familiar? If so, you are not alone. Sleepless nights are a common thread among the lawyers and law students I have worked with throughout the years. A lack of a good night’s sleep, however, can have many negative impacts.

Ultimately, we need sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult requires between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. When we don’t get quality sleep, it can be bad for both our bodies and our brains. When we don’t get enough sleep, our mental abilities are drained, and our physical health may be at risk. In addition to putting ourselves at risk for chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, as well as negatively impacting our immune response, a lack of sleep can also impact our ability to remember, process information and pay attention. All of which are key to our performance abilities as lawyers.

White Noise Machines for Sleep

If you’ve had struggles with sleep, you might have come across the recommendation of white noise machines. These machines have gained popularity in recent years, especially for those who struggle to fall asleep due to the noise around them. Some find these machines helpful, because the sound produced by white noise machines is designed to block out environmental noises that many of us find distracting at night.

So, what is white noise? White noise refers to a noise that contains all frequencies across the spectrum of audible sound in equal measure. It is often described as being a static-like sound. Fans, TV static or a vacuum humming are all examples of white noise. While it might seem counterintuitive to add sound to your sleep environment, white noise has no discernible features to distract or stimulate the brain. Instead, it can be used to mask the noises around us that cause difficulty for many to fall or stay asleep.

Benefits of white noise not only include potential improved sleep, but studies have also shown that white noise can enhance focus. Some find that white noise helps them concentrate by minimizing distractions, as it can create a steady background noise that drowns out intermittent sounds, allowing for better focus in work or study environments.

While white noise is the most well-known, there is a full spectrum of noises that can be beneficial for both sleep and focus. Researchers have identified a spectrum of sounds that have been named after colors; each is defined by the relative intensity of different frequencies of sound. Each color of noise has benefits. Two other popular colors are pink and brown noise.

Pink Noise

Like white noise, pink noise is also a constant sound in the background and can be another good option to filter out the things that distract you. Pink noise uses lower sound waves and deeper sounds than white noise. As a result, it may be gentler and more soothing for some. Essentially, it is not as high pitched as white noise. Instead, pink noise is often described as a steady gentle hum, compared to sounds of nature, such as light rain, wind or ocean waves. This mimic of sounds we encounter in nature can trigger a calming and soothing response in our brain.

Because of its sound composition, pink noise can be effective for relaxation and focus enhancement. The benefits of pink noise include decreasing the time to fall asleep and improved sleep quality. Pink noise can also be used during the day. Research suggests that pink noise can improve our ability to learn and retain information and stimulate creativity, because it helps to create a relaxed and focused state of mind.

Brown Noise

Brown noise is even lower and deeper than pink noise. It is sometimes described, however, as being rougher than pink noise. It can sound like a roaring river current or a strong wind, and even thunder. Like white and pink noise, common benefits associated with brown noise include improved focus and sleep improvement. Brown noise has also been associated with stress and anxiety reduction. There is less research on brown noise, but this color of noise has caught the attention of social media recently.

If you are curious about white, pink or brown noise and would like to try implementing it in your daily routine, there a several apps out there that can be used. One such app is BetterSleep.


BetterSleep is an app that aims to help users improve their overall sleep quality. The app includes an extensive library of sleep sounds and stories, as well as guided meditations. There are also other tools such as a sleep tracker and timer that can be useful.

Within BetterSleep’s library of sleep sounds, white, pink and brown noise are all available, along with several other colors such as green noise. These other colors are less known and less researched but are gaining popularity. As a result, there are plenty of options making it easier to find the right noise that works best for you, whether you are using it help you sleep or concentrate throughout your day. In addition to the different colors of noise, if you just like the sound of an air conditioner or a kitchen hood fan––all white noises––those options are available as well.

Additional Features

In addition to the different colors of noise, there are also other sounds offered in several different categories including water, nature and city sounds. In total, the app has over 200 different sounds available. If you prefer music over sounds to aid you in falling asleep, there are several different categories, including music for relaxation and deep sleep. The unique feature of this app is the ability to combine sounds, music, tones and frequencies to create your own mixes. Your combinations can be saved, so they are available for use again later.

In addition to the sounds and music, BetterSleep also has sleep stories. There is a large variety of genres available on the app such as sci-fi, nonfiction, fantasy, fairy tale and mystery. Each of the stories are set to what the app calls soundscapes, which are intended to create a perfect ambiance during the story. You can also choose any sound mix to include in the background of your selected story, rather than using one that is preselected.

The app also includes guided mediations, as well as SleepMoves. The meditations include themes ranging from insomnia and tinnitus to mindfulness and gratitude. SleepMoves, on the other hand, involves a series of gentle mind-body exercises and movements that are designed to help ease users into a deep sleep.

Lastly, the app also allows the user to create bedtime reminders and sleep goals, in addition to setting timers and alarms.

Availability and Cost

The app is available on both Android and iOS, in addition to Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Upon downloading the app, the user is provided with a seven-day trial. Once the trial period is complete, the premium subscription costs $59.99 per year. There is a free version of the app, however, the features of the app are limited.

Overall, there are a lot of different tools available to use on the app to aid in focus and sleep. Admittedly, having all of options available seemed a bit overwhelming at first and there was no way I would have had the ability to test them all out in the trial period.


There are many options available to add white, pink or brown noise to your sleep routine if you are looking for an app. BetterSleep is just one of many. Some other options include Clam, Headspace, Sleep Sounds and White Noise Deep Sleep Sounds.

In addition to apps, you can also invest in a simple sound machine, particularly if you prefer not using your cell phone all night. Sound machines can range in price and functionality. The Sharper Image Sound Soother is a great option if you prefer white noise, and it comes in at a great price. I have seen it as low as $14.99. I have found this sound machine small enough for travel.

Regardless of whether you choose to use an app, sound machine or both in your routine, just make sure to use it at the right volume. Some research does suggest that using white noise at high volumes can cause damage to your hearing over time. When used correctly, however, the benefits of using white, pink or brown noise can be helpful in improving one’s sleep.