How Do Binaural Beats Work?
Various binaural beat programs may alter your mood, help you stay focused on losing weight or quit smoking, get you pumped up for a contest, calm you down, help you sleep better, heighten your memory, act as an aphrodisiac, heal headaches, and even balance your chakra.
What Are Binaural Beats?
Binaural beats are sounds that stimulate the brain in specific ways. These sounds have been claimed to help induce relaxation, meditation, creativity, and other desirable mental states.
The way the brain is affected depends on the varying frequencies of each tone. Each ear listens to these tones at different frequencies.
This may sound strange, but that is the basis of binaural beats. The right ear may listen to a tone of 300Hz while the left ear listens to the same sounds but at a different tone of 310Hz.
In order for the phenomenon to work the low-frequency pulsations in the amplitude and sound localization of the sound must be presented separately, ideally using headphones .
The frequencies of the tones must be below 1000Hz for the beating to be noticeable.
Also, the difference between the two frequencies must be small, otherwise the two-tone sounds would begin to cancel each other out and sound out of phase, and thus the binaural effects are lost.
Binaural beat programs have created much interest to those in the neurophysiological world where there is always an ongoing research investigating the sense of hearing. Binaural beats reportedly influence the brain in more stubble ways to reduce anxiety and provide other health benefits too.
As previously noted, binaural beats influence the brain using brainwaves in different frequencies to produce the desired effects. All this, of course, is related to the brain “hearing” and processing these sounds and then relating them to different body states.
The Science Behind Binaural Beats
Upon hearing a binaural beat audio track, the brain the processes these sounds through both spatial perception and stereo auditory recognition and then creating the responses and activations of the various points in the brain.
These activations then bring to the forefront of the brain, into the thought process the different feelings, sensations, and perceptions in specific areas.
Below are a few examples of what one can expect to gain from the different binaural beat waves:
Gamma waves – should ideally be at the 40Hz level. When tuned to this the brain in than expected to be able to simulate higher mental activity, which includes better perception, better problem-solving features, better control of fear and consciousness.
Beta waves – range frequency should be between 13 – 39 Hz in order for the binaural beat to stimulate the desired results. These results are noted as an active, busy, or anxious thinking coupled with active concentration levels, arousal, cognition, and paranoia. Not altogether desirable but may have some purpose.
Alpha waves – are kept between 7 – 13 Hz in order to ensure optimum levels of relaxation while being in a fully conscious state, pre-sleep and pre-wake modes of drowsiness. REM sleep phase and also dream-like states.
Theta waves – normally adjusted to 4 – 7 Hz which is ideal the deep meditative and relaxed levels need to be reached or achieved. It is ideal for NREM sleep patterns.
Delta waves – tunes to 1-4 Hz to create the natural inner self-relaxed state to encourage deep dreamless sleep and loss of body awareness. This, of course, is ideal when an individual is seeking complete disconnection from the conscious state.
There are several things that one needs to take note of before using binaural beats to improve their sense of well being.
That’s why knowing how binaural beats work is important as it will have a profound impact on the choices made.
The binaural beats, isochoric tones and monaural beats all share the common point of being connected to music, but understanding how binaural beats work will allow the individual to move forward in this area.
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