If you've been on #ADHDTikTok lately, you'll know that brown noise is the latest hot topic.
With over 120 million views for videos with the hashtag #brownnoise, the phenomenon people describe as a 'massage' or 'weighted blanket' for their brain, could potentially be, a real help for people with ADHD.
Some say that brown noise has many potential positive impacts and health benefits, such as quieting thoughts, boosting your ability to focus, increasing cognitive performance, and helping you fall asleep– all things that people with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) often struggle with.
Even though there is insufficient evidence (of the scientific variety) whether these claims have any merit (after all, we don't believe everything we hear and see on the internet, right?), you may just want to try it out for yourself and see.
But as you begin searching for 'brown noise sounds for ADHD', you quickly become confused. How do you know if this sound is really 'brown noise'? And what's the best way to incorporate brown noise into your routine so you actually get into the habit of using it?
If this sounds like you, we've got you!
We've gone ahead and done the research on brown noise and all the different brown noise generators to determine which will give you a good brown noise that you can incorporate into your regular routine.
You can jump straight ahead to the sounds, or we can talk briefly about how we determine if something is in fact, brown noise.
The different colors of noise and how to tell the difference
First off, it's important to know how to identify brown noise. Even though someone may claim a sound is brown noise, it may actually be white noise or pink noise. So in order to make sure you are using the right kind of sound, it's best if you can tell the difference between them on your own.
What is white noise?
Out of the color spectrum of noise, let's start with the better-known white noise. White noise is a sound that combines all the frequencies of sound and plays them simultaneously at the same volume .
White noise often has a hissing sound, like radio or Television static.
What is brown noise?
Brown noise, in comparison, has all the same audible frequencies, but the difference being that it plays the lower frequencies at a louder volume and the high frequencies on a quieter volume.
The resulting sound is more like the jet engine of an airplane, or a thunder storm.
What is pink noise?
To make things more complicated, there is also pink noise, which plays lower frequencies louder, like brown noise, but keeps high frequencies the same. These pink noises are usually water based sounds, like rain or a flowing stream.
How to tell the difference between brown noise, white noise, and pink noise
If you're not sure if a sound is white noise, brown noise, and pink noise, ask yourself–"Do I hear a hissing sound or a humming sound? Is it a water based sound, or not?"
If it's a hissing static like sound, it's probably white noise.
If it's a low hum sound like thunder storm, it's probably brown noise.
And if it's a water sound, similar to heavy rain, it's most likely pink noise.
Now that we've got that out of the way, the next question that may come to mind is – where can I find brown noise to incorporate into my routine?
4 easy and free ways to use brown noise for your ADHD
1. Sound machines for brown noise
Getting a sound machine may be the right choice for you if you're looking to play brown noise as an ambient sound. It'll make having a constant background noise whilst you're working through your everyday tasks, or as a sleep aid, super easy and convenient.
There are tons of available noise generators for sale on Amazon and most will have a setting such as 'thunder' or 'wind' sound that is the equivalent of a brown noise sound.
For instance, you could try the Housbay White Noise Machine.
Even though it's called a white noise machine, it has 5 sounds that would most likely fall into the brown noise category: wave, train, thunder rain, wind, and heart beat. It also has 7 fan sounds that may do the trick as well.
- Housbay White Noise Machine sound options
2. Brown noise playlists on Spotify
If you're looking to play brown noise from your computer or phone, either with headphones or without, finding a good brown noise playlist on Spotify may work best for you.
You'll find a large variety of curated Spotify playlists dedicated specifically to brown noise. One of the most popular playlists we came across was this brown noise public playlist with 11 hours of sound and 600k likes.
3. Brown noise videos on Youtube
If you're more of a Youtube person, it may be easier for you to find and favorite a good youtube video that plays brown noise.
You can easily do a search for 'brown noise' on Youtube and find a plethora of options. We like this 12-hour-long brown noise video on youtube the best as the sound is low and soothing, but feel free to find one that sounds best to your ears. There is also a link if you want to download brown noise directly to your device.
4. Brown noise apps for iPhone
If you are looking for a brown noise app, here are a few you can try:
- Brown Noise for Sleep App (iOS) - This one has options for brown noise, green noise, and pink noise. Although there is a $25/yr subscription, so we are not sure how much brown noise you can play before needing to pay.
- Noise Machine: Brown, Pink (iOS)- This one claims their brown noise is "is mathematically true brown noise" which we like, but it also seems to require a paid plan for unlimited play. But with 4.6 rating on 1.5k ratings, it may be worth it.
- ADHD White Noise, Brown, Pink (iOS) - Boasting 4.9 out of 5 stars on over 400 reviews, this one seems like a fan favorite. It's also free, which we love!
- Sleep Jar (iOS)- This app is designed for playing noise while you sleep, and although it has many positive reviews, the brown noise sound they demo on their website sounds more like pink noise than brown noise to us.
- Noise: Brown, Pink, White (Android) - It's not the most beautiful, but it seems to do the job. A simple, basic app with brown noise, pink noise and white noise. It's free with ads or $3 to remove ads.
5. Productivity apps with brown noise built-in
It can be hard to remember to put on brown noise every time you're ready to focus or relax, especially for people diagnosed with ADHD.
That's why we love productivity apps that have brown noise built-in, like Llama Life.
Llama Life takes advantage of the timeboxing technique, which means you write down the task you want to do, set a timer, and try to get the task done within that time frame.
When you start the timer, there is an option to turn on the Soundscapes feature, which you guessed it, has a 'wind' sound that is a perfect brown noise soundscape to accompany your focus period.
Llama Life multiplies the attentional benefits of brown noise, because you also get the productivity boost of writing down your task, setting a timer, and keeping it visible while you work at the same time.
Writing down your task and keeping it visible can help with focus too so you get double benefits!
Getting in the habit of using brown noise
Whatever method you choose, whether a brown noise app, Spotify playlist, Youtube video, or a productivity tool for ADHD like Llama Life - once you find one that you like, try to find ways to work it into your routine by making it easy and obvious to use.
For instance, favoriting or bookmarking for easy access, or putting a sticky note on your desk that says 'use brown noise for focus!'.
Incorporating brown noise into your daily routine may be a helpful tool for managing ADHD symptoms and improving overall well-being. Whether you use it during work or study sessions, or as a way to wind down at the end of the day, the potential calming and focusing effects of brown noise may help you stay on track and feel more centered and grounded.
We'll love to hear your experience with brown noise! Whether you experienced the positive effects, if it helped you to complete cognitive tasks, or you found it completely pointless - please do let us know.
Wishing you a calm, mindful, and productive future.