August 29, 2007

Something New – White Noise

Posted in ADHD, Posts by Renee, Self-Therapy, Tools at 5:29 am by bloggingawayadhd

So I know I probably shouldn’t be trying something new when I haven’t even been able to get back into my old pre-vacation “daily goals” yet, but that’s how I am…. I see something new and I want to try it now! I guess that’s an ADD thing.

OK so my new thing to try is white noise/sounds to block stuff out in order to get more work done.

I used to only be able to study or sleep in college if there was music on. I haven’t been listening to music while working lately because my new music player of choice is on Pandora Radio where I can hear all kinds of new songs. I can’t recommend it enough – I just love Pandora! The problem with it, though, is that the new songs and the Pandora interface of thumbs up/thumbs down keep all of my attention  – which is great when I’m just listening to music, but not great when I’m supposed to be using the music to keep out distractions.

What worked in college was listening to music that I knew and loved and not adding any new songs to my “work playlist”. That way, the music was familiar and soothing and not distracting.

So, what I’m trying now is to have a “work sound” that I use all the time when I’m in work mode so other noises and thoughts are less distracting and my brain can focus on the sound. The one I chose to try first is a mountain river. Kind of an aggressive water noise with some minimal bird noises in the background. I chose this because I used to go camping near a river in a forest as a kid, and my house was also in the woods, so woodland sounds and rivers are relaxing to me. You may prefer ocean sounds, or just plain white noise (which is available at several frequencies and tones on iTunes).

On iTunes, it’s called “The Sound of Streams: A Mountain Stream 3”. I’ll let you know after a few days of getting used to it if it’s helping me focus any better.

Have you ever tried using a white noise machine or something similar? Let us know how it worked out in the comments!



  1. I’ve used one for the last 8 years. It helped me sleep when I still lived in a noisy dorm, and has been invaluable ever since for apartment living.

    I have a machine at work but hardly use it. Usually I do ok with classical music, which is great because the machine doesn’t do enough to drown out the noise of the city outside my office.

  2. Razz said,

    I find the most helpful noise for me (on the very few times I’ve tried it) is a constant machine noise, specifically the sound of an air-conditioning or heating unit or the sound of a running clothes dryer. My fiance uses a little machine to make noise while he sleeps (he’s not ADD) and I’ve found that I like the noise it makes on the few times I’ve shared a hotel room with him. I might have to see if he’ll let me borrow his noise maker sometime for working.

  3. […] update if I do more with it, but that’s what I’m starting with for now. Time to put my Mountain Stream sounds on and get back to […]

  4. bloggingawayadhd said,

    Here is the link to other people’s responses to the “white noise” question on the LiveJournal community….

  5. bloggingawayadhd said,

    To: Razz and Addled Academic,
    Oops I thought I had replied to your comments already. Sorry so late!

    Thanks for your input! What brand of noise maker do you (or your bf) use? What kind of sound does it make?

  6. Robert said,

    I find that the shower is one of the few places I can think straight for long periods of time. Something about the sound of the water sparying out of the showerhead and the splatter of it on the shower wall tiles is incredibly soothing. Here’s the trick – it has to be angled just right. If it hits the bathtub dead-on, I find the noise to be too rumbly and bothersome. If it hits the wall tiles (or me) first , then the sound is more of a ‘spraying/hissing’ sound with a subtle undertone of the deeper sounds casued by the water droplets hitting the bathtub floor.

    Hope this helps!

  7. Oh yes! We’ve always used a white noise machine… in fact, everyone in the house has one in their room (including the Hubs and I). I splurged and got the one from Brookstone and love it!

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