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Have you ever woken up after a concert with a ringing in your ear? The little cilia in your ears have taken a kicking and now you suffer the consequences. Luckily, in most cases, you won’t suffer for too long, but not everyone is that fortunate. Tinnitus is a very common permanent condition, affecting approximately 10-15% of the population worldwide. Sound healing through auditory fractals could potentially be the cure.

Tinnitus is the perception of sound, like ringing or buzzing without any external source. It can be caused by loud noises, ear injuries, aging, or other health issues. Tinnitus can significantly impact quality of life, leading to difficulties with concentration, sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression, and even social isolation. Despite the lack of a cure, there is ongoing research into tinnitus treatments and mechanisms. Advances in neuroscience and technology offer hope for improved understanding and management of this condition in the future. One of those is fractal sound therapy.

Fractals are complex patterns that are self-similar to scales and sizes.

Fractals are complex patterns that are self-similar to scales and sizes. It sounds difficult to understand, but there’s a good chance you’ve encountered fractals many times without knowing. For instance, a pattern that repeats itself on a loop can be seen in a pinecone. The spikes showcase a spiral-like figure that could continue on and on and on. 

Just like the colour spectrum, sounds are on a similar spectrum for noise. The most commonly known colour is white noise, a constant noise containing all frequencies with equal intensity. Pink noise is similar to white noise, but is in fact a fractal. It drops 3 decibels per octave, thus creating a looping soundwave turning it into a fractal pattern. Pink noise can be perceived as steady rainfall creating a calming ambience. 

A study from Fudan University shows that pink noise can reduce symptoms of tinnitus and be used as a part of treatment.

The fractality of pink noise might be the key for healing of the body. A study from Fudan University shows that pink noise can reduce symptoms of tinnitus and be used as a part of treatment. Imagine tinnitus as a flautist playing a single tone in your ear. Very annoying right? But when listening to pink noise, a whole orchestra starts to play. The flautist is not singled out anymore, but gently blends in with the rest of the instruments. The experience becomes more pleasant when listening to soft unidentifiable music instead of hearing an unwanted beep.

Fractal sounds are also proven to help you fall asleep faster, and help you reach a deep sleep earlier. And the quality of sleep seems to improve as well. Researchers concluded that participants’ brainwaves started to slow down and synchronise with the pink noise they were listening to, resulting in a more stabilised sleep. 

Fractal sounds are also proven to help you fall asleep faster, and help you reach a deep sleep earlier.

Though reading about fractal sounds may be interesting, the best way to understand them is to experience them. Try out a pink noise video, like the one below, whenever you feel like you could use a break from loud noises around you, or if you want to improve your sleep. And if you care to play around a little, you can also try to create your own sounds with this noise generator.

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