Effects of White Noise on Off-Task Behavior and Sleep for Elementary-Age Students with ADHD

Ephraim Rosalez, Carl Merle Johnson, Sharon Bradley-Johnson, Sandra Kanouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Children with ADHD were administered 75 dB of continuous white noise during independent seat work in the classroom and during bedtime in their homes. Compared to baseline all three students exhibited decreases in off-task behavior. Off-task behavior returned to original baseline levels when white noise was removed and decreased again when reintroduced in classrooms. White noise also decreased bedtime sleep latency and spontaneous night wakings at home. Both sleep latencies and night wakings increased during return-to-baseline conditions. Surprisingly, when white noise was reintroduced only in the classrooms sleep improved a second time. White noise in classrooms with or without simultaneous treatment during sleep at night resulted in lower levels of off-task classroom behavior as well as less disruptive sleep. Results were independent of whether children were on ADHD medication. Children, teachers, and parents all rated white noise favorably.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-36
Number of pages17
JournalChild and Family Behavior Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020


  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • off-task behavior
  • sleep
  • white noise


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