What is brown noise and could it help you sleep?

Low frequency noises may be the answer to your sleep problems (Picture: getty)

We’ve all heard of white noise, but did you know there are different colours on the sleep noise spectrum?

We didn’t either, but as always TikTok is responsible for making brown noise mainstream with over 84 million views on the hashtag.

And now, we’re here to give you the low down.

While brown noise may seem like a new term, it was actually coined by a 19th century botanist, Robert Brown, who discovered the Brownian motion.

Brownian motion is random particle motion which causes low-frequency consistent sound which have minimal sound variations. Sounds confusing? It’s actually quite straightforward.

Rather than a sound that has changing speeds and tones, the sound remains the same throughout, and stands out because it offers a low frequency and tone.

So brown noise is essentially low rumbly noises such as strong winds, thunder, the ocean, river currents, heavy rain or the sound of an airplane.

Sleep expert and CEO of Mattressnextday Martin Seeley speaks to Metro.co.uk on the benefits of brown noise and why it’s different.

If you struggle to sleep brown noise could help (Picture: Getty Images)

Brown noise can create an immersive experience

‘Whilst there is a lot less research on how brown noise helps promote sleep as opposed to white noise, reports have shown that brown noise can help to induce sleep whilst simultaneously helping you to relax,’ says Martin.

‘With brown noise, you can hear every frequency that the ear can detect, so it can create an immersive experience that helps to mask other thoughts, meaning you can focus on one clear thing, such as relaxing, reading or sleeping.’

He adds: ‘When we sleep, there is a part of our brain that remains aware of our environment and responds to sounds which cause us to wake.

‘If you live in a town or city where there is a lot of outside noise such as traffic, music or sirens, this can disrupt sleep quality.

‘Sound masking from brown noise works to drown out these loud isolated sounds by playing a continuous frequency, allowing your mind to enter a deep sleep.

‘However it isn’t just cities, if you live in a quiet area such as a village, isolated sounds such as a car starting, dog barking or car alarm might also wake you, so again, brown noise will help to mask these sounds and reduce any unwanted night-time disturbances.’

It can create an immersive experience (Picture: Getty Images/Maskot)

It can help prevent intrusive thoughts

Martin says: ‘Many people struggle to relax in the evening or when they are in bed because of persistent overthinking or worrying.

‘Brown noise can counteract this by almost masking these thoughts and allowing your mind to focus on the sounds it is hearing as opposed to silence.

‘Often, if we sleep or relax in a silent room, our thoughts can seem louder, so having brown noise on may help you to manage these thoughts.’

‘It can also mask any external isolated sounds that you may hear outside which can wake you.

‘This allows you to have an uninterrupted night’s sleep which is imperative for a healthy functioning body.’

Brown noise can improve focus

Martin says: ‘Some studies have found that listening to brown noise specifically can actually help to improve focus, and has been found particularly helpful for those with ADHD.

‘Some people consider brown noise to be a good work soundtrack, as it can help to mask any distracting noises around you such as talking, chewing and typing.’

Brown noise can help stop intrusive thoughts (Picture: Getty Images)

It can help you relax

‘Research has shown that listening to music or different sounds of an evening can help your mind to relax and unwind, which is why it’s common for people to listen to ocean or rainforest sounds,’ says Martin.

‘Listening to brown noise can go one step further and will not only distract you from your thoughts and help you to relax, but it also helps to induce sleep.’

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Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.


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