For a long time, scientists and psychologists have been busy inventing and explaining how the human brain operates. Your brain is the central part that controls all the activities you engage in. In 1839, Heinrich Wilhelm discovered binaural beats, a brainwave entrainment technology that is designed to put your brain into a relaxed state. Brainwave entrainment describes a method by which the brain is made to synchronise its own wave patterns with those of an external source. It’s kind of like playing the game ‘Follow-the-Leader’, but with your brain! Binaural beats involve the use of tones that occur when two slightly different tones play adjacent to one another. Ideally, the same note is played but one at a slightly different tune. Your brain is then conditioned to a frequency similar to the difference between the two tones. This brings about an interference pattern known as binaural beating. Binaural beats, therefore enable you to achieve a powerful state of focused concentration, mood stability, deep relaxation and also help to get rid of inappropriate behavior patterns. These?beats can also help you?to eliminate irregular sleep patterns that can negatively affect your health.
Can Binaural Beats Promote Great Sleep?
Several studies have been done to confirm whether binaural beats help resolve various sleep-related problems. After the first discovery of binaural beats in 1839, small studies on binaural beats exploded bringing in an entirely new era in the way we can resolve sleep problems. These studies focused on how we can deal with stress, learn, control our moods, meditate, grow and sleep among other things. All these activities are initiated in the brain, and correlate with specific wave patterns.
Five specific waveforms have been identified to occur in our brains: alpha, beta, theta, delta and gamma (the last being the most recently discovered). We spend a lot of time in the beta waveform, which is obviously dominant since it is associated with consciousness and alertness. Though we can access the others through natural processes (eg. meditation and relaxation techniques), brainwave entrainment?provides an easier route for transitioning the mind. Ideally we are after theta and delta waves because they are concerned with restful, deep sleep. Theta is associated with REM sleep, a lighter stage of rest where dreaming tends to occur. As the brain progresses into deeper sleep, it exhibits Delta frequencies typical of SWS or slow wave sleep–a completely dreamless, and restorative form of rest. Naturally, both of these are very beneficial to anyone having problems sleeping, but it would be good to have some research to back this up.?Coming up below are some of the empirical studies that confirm the work and ability of binaural beats in resolving sleep problems.
Research and Studies on Binaural Beats
Dr. Gerald Oster?s Research on the Effectiveness of Binaural beats
In October 1973, Gerald Oster of Mount Sinai Medical Center published his research paper titled ?Auditory Beats in the Brain?, he described how different frequencies of various tones also pulsations in the brain. In his study, Oster confirmed that different brainwave frequencies lead to the production of different neurochemicals in the brain that are associated with stress relief, creativity, memory stability and other benefits. All of these are beneficial in improving the quality of your sleep.
Robert Monroe?s Study on Binaural Beats and Sleep Patterns
Robert Monroe from Monroe Institute of Applied Sciences also worked on binaural beats and the brain. Monroe conducted several experiments aided by binaural beats and EEG machines to determine the electrical brain wave patterns. Monroe discovered that response does not solely come from the auditory center of the brain but the brain as a whole. He came to the conclusion that exposure to binaural beats in a controlled environment with guidance in the process can lead to many states of consciousness, attention, focus and awareness. He also affirmed that the benefits of a relaxed mental state extend to better sleep patterns.
Dr. Arthur Hastings? Study on the Effectiveness of Binaural Beats on Sleep Induction
Dr. Arthur Hastings, PhD, 1975 also did a comprehensive study on the effects of brain wave entrainment of binaural beats on sleep patterns. Arthur used an EEG machine to determine how a sleep tape influences the brain waves. He found that wave sleep patterns move with different types of waves. He uses different wave variations such as beta, alpha and theta brain waves. The study concluded that these waves lead to varying levels of consciousness that could?make you feel alert and focused or very relaxed. The meditative benefits of these wave patterns, particularly theta waves, lead to improved quality of sleep.
On the Frequency Limits of Binaural Beats by Harvard and the Acoustical Society of America
Another comprehensive study was done by the Harvard and acoustical Society of America on the effects of binaural beats on the brain. This study confirmed that the human brain synchronizes when binaural beats are played. Later in the 60s and 70s, further studies concluded that learning could be enhanced brain synchronization. Being able to learn faster leads to several states of consciousness, problem-solving and a stable mindset. A stable and controlled mind is beneficial in eliminating irregular sleep patterns and nightmares since anxiety and stress are better managed
Other Uses of Binaural Beats
Binaural beats to delay aging
By exercising your brain, you can have better emotional and mental health which leads to proper intellectual functioning. Further studies have been done on the benefits of binaural beat stimulation on cerebral performance. This is based on research done by Robert Costa Junior PhD and MD. Binaural beats help delay brain and body aging.
Binaural beats to help addiction
Dr. Eugene Peniston and Dr. Paul Kulkosky did research on the benefits of lower frequencies, Alpha and beta from binaural beats technology. They tested alcoholics who showed positive feedback compared to the control group. Along with helping resolve drug addiction, binaural beats also led to other benefits such as boldness imaginativeness, self-control, and decreased anxiety and depression.
Binaural beats to promote super learning
George Lozanov, a psychiatrist, did research by subjecting them to the Alpha state. He found that the students showed improvement of grasping information for up to five times in a small study. Additionally they showed longer retention time. However Suzanne Evans Morris, PhD also confirmed that introducing theta signals to learning environments promoted focus, attention and information processing.
By introducing a defined and peacefully layered blend of frequencies into your brain through auditory technology, you can achieve a powerful state of relaxation, concentration, and mood stability that leads to better sleep. Binaural beats have been found to be useful in resolving various sleep related issues. It does so by simulating several parts of your brain to work harmonically in synchronization. I’ve mentioned the above studies to?prove how efficient binaural beats can resolve various sleep issues. That being said, do not jump into the use of binaural beats regularly without determining your own level of personal sensitivity. Persons prone to?seizures are especially warned to be careful in their use, and even then only at the advice of their physician.
If nothing healthwise is an obstacle to you, then I’d recommend looking into a few samples that are publicly available just to get a general impression of how they work.?They will help you to fall asleep pretty quickly and may even promote lucid dreaming! I’ve provided two types below–one with affirmations toward the end, and another without.
Neuroscape (includes affirmations)
Dreamscape (without affirmations)
Give them a try and let me know how it goes; I’m also here for any comments or queries you may have. Start a conversation in the comments area below! I look forward to hearing from you.
Sleep well until next time!
That really is a fascinating read.
I really struggle getting to sleep and I suspect that I have insomnia. I travel a lot also, so I have to deal with Jet lag quite a bit.
The science behind this is really interesting in that it calms the brain waves which leads to relaxation. I am definitely going to check this out ASAP.
Hopefully, it will help me get to sleep more easily.
Glad you found value in this article Mark. Speaking from a personal standpoint, binaural beats are great for helping you relax. If you’re traveling a lot it’s possible as well that your sleep pattern is irregular…which would explain the insomnia (in part). Use the beats as part of your bedtime ritual for falling asleep faster and I do believe you’ll see some improvement. As always I’m available for any questions you may have.
Hi! I am usually very sceptical to any spiritual enforcement but why not to try one or both of your samples of Binaural Beats. In fact, I have a couple of days a week when is hard to get asleep. Why not try your samples? Just one question. What is better listening with earphones or just put iPhone on the bedside table and when I’ll be asleep these bits will not interfere with other family members or pets? Thanks
Hi Andre, go ahead and give it a shot! I’d love to hear about your experience. I’d really recommend listening with headphones for the full effect–otherwise the sound will get diluted by other noises. Remember it’s important that each beat be perceived in each ear (ie binaurally). Let me know how it goes!
I am thankful to you for sharing this awesome article with this helpful knowledge.It is a very useful article about the Binaural Beats Study.
Hey Tom, I’m glad you enjoyed it.