Brain Waves and Binary Beats
You probably know that your brain waves register different frequencies based on what “state of mind” you are in. Even if you don’t know the names or the frequency of the wave, you know that “relaxed, drowsy, Netflix time” feels very different mentally than “focused, study, get this project done” inside your head.
You may struggle sometimes with being focused when you need to get things done, or even relaxing when there’s a lot on your mind. But what you may not know is that your brain waves are susceptible to frequencies you listen to–and this is where Binaural Beats enters the chat. So what exactly are binaural beats?
Binaural literally means “pertaining to two ears”, and hopefully we’re all aware of what is meant by “beats” (not expensive headphones, and not the veggie Dwight Shrute grows”. Binaural Beats are not even tricky! It’s simply two different frequencies, sent to your two ears via headphones or AirPods.
As you listen to the beats, usually overlaid with music or rhythmic speech, your brain wave activity naturally begins to sync up with the median of the two frequencies. If you’ve ever sat on the beach and listened to waves crashing, and felt your heart rate slow down to match the pace of the surf crashing on the shore, it’s kind of the same feeling.
Why would I need Binaural Beats?
So why would someone use or need these? Because we’re human, and we have plans that sometimes our brains aren’t yet on board with, but we still need to have happen. Here are a few reasons you may need Binaural Beats in your life!
- Sleep Issues
If you suffer with insomnia or just need to go to bed early for an early flight or big day, you know how hard it is to get to sleep when your brain knows this isn’t your normal habit. Instead of struggling against sleep or popping a sleeping pill (which can be habit forming and cause more sleep issues!), you can simply listen to a Binaural Beats for Sleep or Deep Relaxation and drift off naturally to the sounds of a rainforest, waves, or beautiful music.
What you’re looking for here is something to bring your brain waves naturally to a state of Delta (1.5-4 Hz) or Theta (5-8 Hz), which is where your brain goes when you’re in deep sleep (Delta) and deep relaxation and early stages of sleep (Theta). Saying you’re going to bed? Boring! Try saying, “I’m joining the Delta Theta Fraternity/Sorrority for the evening.” No hazing required.
- ADD/ADHD/Focus Issues
You don’t have to have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD to have focus issues at times when you really need to. Studying for big exams, finishing up big work projects, even just looming tax deadlines can make you feel frustrated, scattered, and unable to complete what you desperately need done. If you’re unable to focus, pop on those headphones and pull up a Binaural Beats aimed at getting you synced into Beta waves (12-35 Hz). This is the state where we think and focus best, and we think a little more analytically. This is also where we feel most anxious (because small amounts of stress help us move–which is a good thing!)
- Relaxation or Meditation
Maybe you’ve had a stressful week and you’re feeling tense and unsettled. Maybe you want to become more aware of your body and mind and have been told meditation can help with that. Either way, you need to access an Alpha brain wave state (8-12 Hz), and maybe you don’t know how to begin to let loose to feel relaxed but attentive. Brain Waves for Relaxation and Meditation abound. You can narrow your search based on the time you want to spend chilling out, or pull up a 48 hour sound bath and let it play for long lasting chill.
- Addiction Issues
We have long known that addiction begins in the brain, so it only makes sense to help support your brain in every way possible when attempting to move beyond addiction. It’s not a magic pill, of course, and it’s not going to substitute for a meaningful drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers program, but it will support a person’s recovery journey and has science to prove it works! Plus, it’s free, easy, and you can do it while you’re cleaning the house, walking the dog, or folding laundry. What could be more simple?
Anxiety issues are rampant in Western Society, so much that it has become the norm to identify with at least some amount of anxiety on a regular basis. But we’re doing harm to our physical and mental bodies by living as if anxiety is necessary or just a fact of life. Binaural Beats for Anxiety can help with that. Studies show that listening to the binaural beat tapes resulted in a significant reduction in the anxiety score reported daily in patients’ diaries. Just like with the other categories, there are a plethora of soundscapes and even music genres built to help get you to Alpha or Theta wave state where anxiety can be naturally quieted, so you can think more clearly and rationally and make better choices for yourself that you might not otherwise be able to access.
We all get down from time to time, but depression is more pervasive. It can be hard to get out of a cycle of depression, and it can affect all aspects of our daily lives. But once again, Binaural Beats has us covered, because studies show that patients who listen can access Alpha, Delta, or Theta waves which helps them feel more focus, boost their natural mood state, improve motivation and sleep cycles, and reduce anxiety and depression. If you feel better, you can do better, and slow, stop, or avoid the cycle of depression when you feel it coming on. Once again, it’s not a substitute for a proper mental health program if you need it, but it can absolutely support your journey towards better mental and physical health. There’s a reason we crank up our favorite tunes when we’re feeling down–we’ve been using music as therapy for millennia.
- General Alertness
Sometimes Starbucks just isn’t enough to help us feel alert and mentally “on our game”, and we need an extra boost for clarity and mental dexterity. This is when we reach for Binaural Beats for Gamma waves, which are the highest brain waves humans access. It’s important, because people that access Gamma waves often tend “to be happier and more receptive. It may even help you have a “higher intelligence and better concentration.” If you produce low levels of game waves, “you may develop learning and memory problems…experience lower concentration, attention span, and mental ability.” Who doesn’t want to access higher intelligence for themselves? And all without the side effects Bradly Cooper had to go through in Limitless.
What does Binaural Beat therapy sound like?
Some people ask what it sounds like to listen to binaural beats for mental health or addiction support, and a lot of it does sound like music you’d listen to at a spa, especially if you’re going for frequencies that help you feel calm. Other Binaural Beats tracks are more upbeat like this one helpfully titled “Get a lot of work done” on YouTube which sounds a bit like a cheerful movie soundtrack.
There are even Binaural Beats laid under popular kids nursery rhymes which are used in Occupational Therapy for children for a variety of reasons. The short answer is you can find Binaural Beats for just about any music preferences. There are also paid and free versions on every streaming platform, so play around and find your favorites!
Are there side effects to Binaural Beats?
There are no known side effects to using Binaural Beats as a way to support your mental and physical health. However, make sure your headphones aren’t up too high. Prolonged noise at a high volume can damage your hearing, especially when fed directly into your ears via headphones. Depending on the type of Binaural Beats track you listen to, you may feel a little tired.
Some people find that certain tracks give them a mild headache, like you’ve been reading or focusing for a long time. This isn’t unusual, of course, and if you concentrate on anything for a long duration you often feel a bit mentally fatigued. But of course, play around and find tracks that work best for you and your needs–don’t just stick to the first one you find or the most reviewed tracks.
Who should not use Binaural Beats?
If you have epilepsy or heart issues talk to you doctor before trying any sort of Binaural Beat therapy. Due to the nature of the beats, you could irritate an existing problem. Think of any sort of repetitive drum beat–if you have ever felt your body sync up to the pounding of the drums, you can see why it might not be best for people with these conditions.
If you suffer from mental health issues like anxiety, depression, or addictions, the addiction recovery program you choose should support and inform you of everything that could potentially help make your recovery a lasting success. Many programs will identify as being “holistic”, and hopefully all programs have their client’s best interests at heart, but the best drug rehab in Atlanta for mindfulness-based addiction and mental health recovery programs will make sure to give their clients everything they need to move towards whole health.
If you want to find the best addiction treatment in Georgia or the best mental health treatment program in Georgia, look no further! Call us at 800-556-2966 today to find out how our mindfulness-based program can help you, no matter where you live in the state.