The best medicine and solution is Sleep. It’s considered a way to be reborn without really dying. It releases your everyday stress and helps you forget everything around you for some time, and you wake up refreshed with full energy to begin a new day. We all need sleep, but what do you do when you’re insomniac or having trouble sleeping? This is when the Binaural beat comes to your rescue. They go together with sleep.
Binaural beats are a very old technique, discovered around 1839, but is a pretty unique topic for many. Despite being around for a very long time, it has been gaining attention only recently. Music has been a form of relaxation to meditate, improve focus, and get better sleep. The only playlist that can help you achieve all of them, without undergoing years of practice, yet experience the benefits of meditation-produced brain wave change is Binaural Beat.
What Are Binaural Beats?
May sound like a music genre, but technically, Binaural beats are an auditory illusion of processing difference of frequencies when the sound is produced at two different frequencies, each produced in one year simultaneously. When you hear a sound, but the frequency of sound in your left ear is different than the frequency of sound in your right ear (of the same sound), then the brain only compensates for the difference of the sound, producing a third frequency, which we know as Binaural beat.
Does binaural beat help sleep?
Different researches have concluded that Binaural beats do help in falling asleep and relaxing your mind. It isn’t just a tell-tale. It is a very gripping technique that tends to harness the brain’s responsiveness resulting in you being in a state of relaxation and get you to sleep better.
For a binaural beat to be effective, the two sounds should be of frequencies less than 1000 Hz, and the difference between two sounds should be less than 30 Hz. This frequency is very low and barely audible, but the audibility of the sound is not the goal of listening to a binaural beat, rather slow-down the brainwave activity by changing its frequency.
Brainwaves in a Human Brain
Our brain produces electrical impulses, that we term as “brainwave”. These brainwaves play a very crucial role in our day-to-day life, as they are directly influenced by our activities. Our brain produces different types of brainwaves depending on our activity. They are associated with our emotions, thoughts, and actions too. There are four major brainwaves that define our state, namely:
Our brain operates in Beta frequency when we’re awake. They dominate our consciousness and a high level of alertness. These waves allow us to do basic tasks like concentrate, make decisions, or analyze situations. Beta waves’ frequency ranges from 12.5 Hz to 30 Hz. The higher level of this range is associated with anxiety or stress.
When in a resting state, our brain is dominated by the Alpha waves. This state is experienced when the brain is going through light relaxation, calmness, but is alert. The frequency in this state ranges from 8-12 Hz and is associated with the state experienced during light meditation.
The state experienced right before sleep and deep relaxation or deep meditation is Theta state, with low and slower frequency ranging from 3Hz to 8Hz. This twilight state reduces anxiety, increases relaxation, and positivity.
The lowest and slowest among the four waves is the Delta wave, ranging from 0.5Hz to 4Hz. They are loud brain waves that are deeply penetrating, generated in deepest meditation and dreamless sleep. Lower and slower the brainwave frequency, deeper the state of relaxation.
Brain Waves in the Sleeping Pattern
Binaural beats produce the slow and low frequency that are prominent in theta and delta waves. These waves ease the brain helping them to relax and maximize sleep. Proven studies have shown that binaural beats are associated with changes in three hormones that are essential for the sleeping pattern: DHEA, Cortisol, and Melatonin. This brainwave entrainment tunes your brain into various stages, helping you to recreate a healthy sleep pattern.
Binaural Beats: More Than to Maximize Sleep
Undoubtedly, binaural beats are a great aid in maximizing your sleep or improving your sleep. But is it the only purpose of this exciting technique? The answer is NO. Binaural beats are useful for more than in one state. The frequency of binaural beats determines its purpose of use. The various ranges of frequency are associated with four different essential brainwaves, as mentioned above. The frequency of this beat that you use can range from mere 0.5Hz to 30Hz. In between this range, you can choose your preferred frequency for better focus, relaxation, or meditation. Studies have shown effective results among the participants, proving that they can come in handy in training your mind to be in the desired state.
Binaural beats can reduce mild to chronic anxiety. The highest range of beta state can cause you anxiety, but listening to binaural beats for about 30 minutes can also result in an effective reduction. They have been a therapy to reduce the anxiety of the patients about to go through surgeries too.
Some studies also suggest that binaural beats can enhance cognition and creative thinking. These beats are said to strengthen network connections of the brain as well as long-term memory. But verified effectiveness in these sectors is yet to be known.
Briefly, we can say that binaural beats have following claimed benefits:
- Reduce stress
- Enhance cognition
- Improve creative thinking
- Reduce or control anxiety
- Help relax mind
FAQ About the Binaural Beats
Binaural Beats: Myth or Reality?
Though binaural beats were discovered decades ago, it is a new technology that requires more research and proven studies. The experiments conducted on some individuals before surgery to calm their anxiety and level down their blood pressure after they were given these beats to listen to has proven its effectivity. Not only that, but people have also said that binaural beats really did help them in getting better sleep, improving focus, and relaxing their minds.
Are Binaural Beats Harmful or Good?
Binaural beats are considered safe, for they do not use any chemical drugs for medication. Rather a very inexpensive method, like music, is used. The low frequency generated in theta and delta states calmly the mind, and improve sleep, which is done by binaural beats. These states are often experienced by people when they are meditating, relaxing, or going to the initial state of sleep or dreamless sleep. The process is natural as it coordinates with the brainwave by producing the same level of frequency. But doesn’t mean that binaural beats are 100% flawless in every user’s scenario.
Pros and Cons of Binaural Beats
Like every coin has two sides, binaural beats to have their weak points. Briefly discussing,
Pros of binaural beats
- Relaxation of mind
- Better sleep
- Reduce anxiety, high blood pressures, stress
- Better focus and concentration
- Improved creative thinking
- No use of chemical medication
Cons of binaural beats
- People who suffer from seizures
- Pregnant women and children
- Individuals who use a pacemaker/ suffer from heart problems
The Science Behind Binaural Beats
The science behind the mechanism of binaural beats is very simple. Like our brain produces impulses during different activities, they also produce frequencies similar to these brainwaves, especially theta and delta waves, which associate with the relaxation of mind, and improved sleeping pattern. Since binaural beats are the third frequency (difference of two frequencies) processed by the brain, it should be less than 30Hz, so the frequency of the sound corresponds to the frequency produced by the brain.
Binaural Beat For Whom and Why?
The binaural beat can be used by any individual unless they have a specific heart condition or health issue. The sole purpose of this sound is to relieve the individual from their stress and chaotic life, assisting them to meditate, relax, and improve their sleeping pattern. It is safe to say so as it is a very simple and logical technique in altering the brainwave temporarily, so as to train the mind for a longer period.
How Does Binaural Beat Work?
Binaural beats are a mere auditory illusion of third frequency processed by the brain when two different frequencies are introduced in the ears simultaneously, meaning, the difference between two frequencies generates is the binaural beat.
For binaural beats to work, you need to have access to binaural beat audio along with a pair of headphones/earphones. The audio should have two different frequencies, each less than 1000Hz and the difference should be less than 30Hz. According to the difference, the brain performs the desired activity. To achieve a calm state of mind, it is suggested to use the binaural beat that can produce frequency as in theta or delta state.
Which Binaural Beat for Which Activity?
As per your activity or requirement, you can choose your binaural beat. Say, for deep sleep and relaxation requires binaural beats in delta state (0.5Hz-4Hz). Similarly, theta state (4Hz-8Hz) for REM sleep, meditation, reducing anxiety, and creative thinking. You can also use binaural beat in alpha state (8Hz-12Hz) or beta state (12.5Hz-30Hz) for alertness, cognition, or analytical thinking.
The binaural beat is a new technology, and the research on this topic is still expanding. There aren’t enough resources already to verify the effectiveness of this technique, but the few studies that have been done to date have given positive feedback, and have been effective.
Binaural beats are a potential treatment for people having anxiety, sleeping problems, difficulty in focusing. Unlike other treatments, they don’t require an individual to rely on expensive drugs. They are inexpensive, easy to adopt, and are behavioral therapy for sleep, meditation, focus, or relaxation.