What is brown noise and will it help you sleep better?

The big question is whether or not brown noise helps with sleep. While many people have claimed and even benefited from brown noise for sleep, there really isn’t much research to show a link between better sleep and brown noise. Professor of Neurology and Director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center Alon Avidan MD, MPH tells Form that broadband noises have not proven effective. “If patients ask me if they should buy a machine that cancels ambient noise or plays noise, I tell them not to,” he explains. “The data so far does not show it has scientific merit.”

Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychology at NYU Langone Health Thea Gallagher Psy.D. explains to Shape that brown noise can help slow the mind for better concentration: “There’s no high-level scientific research on this, but [listening to brown noise] seems to be a way to slow down the brain.”

On the other hand, Sarah Silverman, specialist in behavioral sleep medicine, explains to Outside that she found that the best sound for sleep aid would be pink noise, followed by brown noise, then white noise. Brown noise, however, has been proven to aid concentration and relaxation with its deeper tones. Often people use brown noise when working to drown out distracting outside sounds. Silverman reveals to Outside that it’s not ideal for falling asleep as it aims to put you in a focused state of mind.

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