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Experts explain 'brown noise' people are listening to for help getting to sleep

Chloe Rowland

| Last updated 

Experts explain 'brown noise' people are listening to for help getting to sleep

The latest TikTok craze has people raving about so-called brown noise, claiming it helps them relax, fall asleep quickly and focus better.

Many people have a rough time falling - or staying - asleep, and are on the lookout for ways to switch off and relax. Enter: brown noise.

You've probably heard of white noise, but brown noise is a type of sonic hue that encompasses low frequency and bass-heavy sounds, as opposed to white noise which includes sounds from across the whole spectrum (think radio static, a fan whirring... you get the picture).

Could brown noise be the answer to a better kip? Credit: Pixabay
Could brown noise be the answer to a better kip? Credit: Pixabay

Sound is categorised by colour, all based on its frequency. So, basically, brown noise is just a more specific version of the more general, wide-ranging white noise.

Examples of brown noise include thunder, waterfalls and low roaring, with some people swearing by it to help them get to sleep.

Some have even gone as far as to claim their mind is 'quiet for the first time' after listening to the sonic hue, while others simply love it for its so-called calming effects.


Meanwhile, the noise has received particular love from those with ADHD, who have praised it for helping their mind switch off a bit, enabling them to focus more.

Not enough research has been done in the area to say for sure whether or not brown noise specifically helps with sleep, but there have been studies into using sonic hues in general to get some shut eye.

For some people, research has shown that noise can distract you from overthinking (within reason, obviously), while listening to music can help you relax - which all contribute to a better night's kip.


Research has also suggested that auditory stimulation could improve memory in young healthy people, while increasing slow-wave sleep in older people.

The science is pretty limited, but there are definitely people out there claiming it works.

As for why it seems to particularly resonate with those who have ADHD, speaking to Pop Sugar, licensed child and adult psychologist Dr. George Sachs offered an explanation: "The deeper the sound, the more soothing and more grounding it is compared to white noise."


He added that people with ADHD tend to have 'high levels of anxiety, so it's almost like a weighted blanket for your brain'.

That being said, if you are persistently not getting enough sleep, it's best to seek some help from a medical professional, as cranking up the brown noise playlist is extremely unlikely to help relieve serious sleeping problems.

Featured Image Credit: Gallo Images/Science Photo Library/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Health, TikTok, Sleep

Chloe Rowland
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