TikTok's 'Brown Noise' could be the answer to sleeping soundly

TikTok's 'Brown Noise' could be the answer to sleeping soundly
We’ve tried every trick in the book in pursuit of a good night’s sleep - and now
there’s a new trend that’s taken the internet by storm. Over on TikTok, brown
noise is giving its better-known cousin, white noise, a run for its money as the
trick to sleeping better. 
If you’re looking for a way to fall asleep easily, drown out distractions, and
generally enjoy deeper, better quality sleep, you need to know about brown noise.

So what exactly is brown noise?

Across the spectrum of sounds, there are several ‘colours’ that represent the
various types of frequencies we can hear. Known as sonic hues, these are
‘constant’ noises with minimal variation of things like pitch or speed. And they’re
great for tuning out the less constant noises like talking or traffic, creating a
calmer, more consistent environment for your sleep - or as we like to think of
them, mini holidays for your senses!
But while most people are familiar with white noise, it’s the lesser known brown
noise that’s gone
viral on TikTok recently as being useful for sleep, focus, and
people with tinnitus or sensitivity to noise. What separates brown noise from the
many other soundscapes is the pitch, or frequency. Whereas white noise
incorporates sounds from across the spectrum, brown noise uses only low
frequencies - think the sounds of thunder, rough surf in the ocean, or a shower
with good pressure. 
With its bass-heavy notes, brown noise makes a much deeper sound than white
noise, and can be more soothing if high pitched sounds tend to put you on edge. 
Give brown noise a listen to see what all the fuss is about.


How brown noise (and its friends) help us sleep better

There’s several theories that point to why certain people enjoy better sleep as a
result of sonic hues, brown and otherwise. Studies show that sensitivity to
unwanted sounds is common in the general population, with 20-40% of the
population being noise-sensitive. These individuals were proven to be more prone
to noise-induced awakenings, which basically means lots of interrupted and
sleepless nights as a result of external sounds. 
Thankfully, sonic hues provide a nifty solution.
As a source of relaxation, noise can act as a soothing solution to busy brains.
In fact, a study in 2018 looked at how listening to sounds like music could help
people fall asleep, citing its power of distraction as one of the reasons it worked.
The study also claimed music could induce “a physical or mental state conducive
to sleep”. 
While brown noise - and others like white and pink noise - aren’t the same as
music, they share a number of similarities in their consistency, pitch, and pace
that work together to make a relaxing, ambient noise. 
Another reason these noises can promote better sleep is through their ability to
mask other sounds. Our brains provide a unique protection from external sounds
while we sleep, deciding which ones to let in and which ones to block out.
Of course, for survival reasons, they can’t shut every sound out, which is why
louder, more alarming ones are more likely to disturb our sleep.
And that’s where brown noise comes in. 
Brown noise acts as a kind of shield from the more distracting sounds that might
be waking you on a nightly basis - like your partner snoring, dogs barking, or a
child crying. But it’s not so much the noise as it is the sudden change in sounds
that wakes us. Having that constant hum of brown noise in the background
actually masks these loud, disruptive sounds, bringing a more consistent sonic
environment to the bedroom.
Another explanation for why brown noise helps us sleep better is its lower
frequency. According to scientific articles, certain frequencies stimulate certain
brain activity, with low frequencies more aligned with deep sleep, as well as
improved memory.
Ultimately, however, it’s our individual sensitivity and triggers that determines
whether brown noise will be our own personal sleep hero. In that regard, ‘classical
conditioning’ - or learning through association - is a useful way of exploring which
noises can help us sleep better. 
In simple terms, “two stimuli are linked together to produce a new learned
response”. Therefore, if you find a particular noise relaxing, listening to it during
sleep may improve your ability to drift off to the land of nod. But if listening to
brown noise for a period only irritates you, then it’s more likely to hinder your
sleep than help it.

What if brown noise doesn’t quite cut it?

If the low buzz of brown noise doesn’t bring the sweet sleep you’re hoping for,
then maybe one of its close relations will. 
Most of us have heard of white noise - that continuous, static-like sound that’s
similar to an untuned radio or vacuum cleaner. On the spectrum of sounds we can
hear, white noise contains all of the frequencies in equal parts, with research
showing it can help improve sleep and focus.
Compared to brown noise, it can seem more high pitched, with some comparing it
to the sound of water falling at different speeds and hitting different surfaces.
Take a listen for yourself.
The third type of noise we’re hearing more about is pink noise, which has a more
consistent frequency to create an even, flat sound like a steady rain, wind rustling
through trees, or waves on a beach. Its added depth and lower waves can filter
out higher sounds for better sleep, and has also been flagged for its potential to
bolster our memory.

The source of better sleep      

We’d love to say we found the magic solution to the best sleep of your life - and
for some, brown noise will be just that - but at the end of the day, there’s no
one-size-fits-all answer. 
The research on brown noise is still in the early stages, and for now, most experts
are coming to the same conclusion: if it works for you and helps drown out other
sounds, there’s no harm in using brown noise to rest a little easier. Although if
these TikTok users are anything to go by, brown noise could be the next best way
to find deeper, more relaxing sleep. And as a natural bedding company, that’s
what we’re all here to find…. 
Have you tried sleeping with brown noise yet?