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Strange Sounds: Why Do I Hear White Noise in My Head When I'm Hungry?

May 17, 2024

Have you ever noticed a white noise sound in your head when you're feeling hungry? This phenomenon may seem unusual, but it has a logical explanation tied to the body’s physiological responses to hunger. Understanding the science behind this occurrence can offer reassurance and inform about potential actions one might take to alleviate the white noise sensation.

What Is White Noise ????

First, it's important to distinguish white noise from brown noise as they are subtly different. White noise contains all frequencies within the range of human hearing, distributed equally over the spectrum, creating a consistent, even sound often likened to a steady hiss or static. It’s the noise that you might associate with a TV without signal or the constant hum of an air conditioner.

The Connection between Hunger and Noise

The sound you're experiencing is likely to be somatosensory tinnitus, a form of tinnitus where physical body movements or sensations can influence the perception of sound. When you’re hungry, the body reacts by releasing various hormones like ghrelin to signal the brain that it's time to seek food. This hormonal shift can influence blood flow and muscle tension near the ears, sometimes leading to the perception of a white noise.

Why It Matters

Though not often talked about, somatosensory tinnitus can be slightly discomforting. If the sensation of white noise in your head is a recurring issue when hungry, it's a sign to consistently manage your meal schedules better. However, if you find the noise to be frequent or bothersome, consulting a healthcare professional is recommended to rule out other underlying causes.

Can Brown Noise Help?

Interestingly, brown noise, which is deeper and has more intensity at lower frequencies, can act as a calming auditory background that may mask the more intrusive white noise you hear. In some individuals, listening to soothing brown noise can bring focus and relaxation, potentially creating a sound environment that may mitigate the effects of hunger-related tinnitus. Please consult with a doctor before using sound therapy to address medical symptoms.


The perception of white noise in your head when you're hungry is a remarkable example of the body's interconnected systems at work. Monitoring your hunger levels and maintaining regular meals can prevent this occurrence, and should it become a concern, seeking professional advice is paramount. Exploring brown noise as a potential soothing mechanism could be a secondary avenue to help manage this sensation.

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