What are Binaural Beats?
It may seem like it was only recently that someone discovered what binaural beats are, given their hip name and the recent spike in the craze, but the fact of the matter is that this phenomenon was created in 1839 by Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. Binaural beats are basically created when two ears tend to hear the same sound but at slightly different frequencies; it is like your ears are listening to what is below the surface level sounds.
Listening to these tones tend to affect the state of your brain and it is important that one must use headphone for this therapy. The headphone makes it possible for the brain to detect the acoustic differentials; which are needed to make sure binaural beats are having meditative and healing effects. Meditation Industry is generally said to be on a rise and using binaural beats is one of the most effective techniques used by the professionals.
How Do They Work?
At this point, you may be questioning the dynamics of its functionality and that how can sound waves, with varying frequencies, create such massive effects. To see how they work, we need to understand what does sound frequency means. Our human ear is capable of hearing only a specific range of sounds within the rate of 20- 20000 Hz. Anything less or beyond this range will be inaudible to us. However, other species may hand varying ranges. Sound and music have said to have soothing effects on people. Generally, the music of all kinds is said to have an impact on our cortisol levels and is recorded to reduce levels of stress and anxiety, claiming to be therapeutic.
Brainwaves and Their Impact
To understand this process better, we need to know how brainwaves tend to operate and react to sounds of different frequencies. Brainwaves are a consequence of the activities our neurons showcase in the form of electric pulses; as a means of communicating with each other. Everything that we feel, do, and think is a direct result of neurological communication happening in our bodies.
There are majorly four kinds of brainwaves:
These brainwaves are linked to high levels of awareness and arousal. When beta waves are what we are hearing, we are inclined to focus and concentrate; make decisions, and think critically. Beta Waves are faster and with a broader range of frequency (15-40 Hz).
This brainwave pattern is linked to a state of wakeful relaxation. The range for this brainwave pattern is lower (9-14 Hz) and is more dominant when we are in a calmer and more relaxed state of mind. These kinds of brain waves are associated with meditation and are often used by yoga practitioners during their classes to put the people in their alpha state.
This brainwave pattern is associated with more profound relaxation and some stages of sleep. These sound waves are of an even lower frequency, i.e. (5-8 Hz), and are responsible for your dream-like state – where you are in the cloudy barrier between sleeping and being awake.
These kinds of waves are even slower, and the ones that are dominant when you are sleeping or in the zone of deep relaxation and are said to be in the range of (1.5-4 Hz).
As we can see, the lower the frequency, the higher the state of relaxation the mind experiences. Sound can affect this brainwave pattern and alter the state of consciousness. Binaural beats are one specific kind of music therapy. It is one of the fastest-growing methods in sound wave therapy.
For example, to illustrate this with a practical presentation, if your left ear is hearing a sound at 200Hz, your right ear will be hearing a sound at 210 Hz, and the difference between the tones will be the binaural beat of 10 Hz. And this binaural beat is then used to change our state of mind by trying varying frequencies for different purposes, as mentioned above.
How Can They Help With Sleep?
One of the most acclaimed benefits f using binaural therapy is that it helps with sleeping better. Patients with chronic insomnia or other ailments that affect the ability to sleep peacefully. Often when is trying to sleep, they desperately want to shut down their thought cycle and let go of any trails of events that may be keeping their mind running. This, in itself, is a tough thing to achieve for many people out there.
Hearing Binaural Beats when you want to sleep can help you sleep better and quicker. Even though the binaural tone itself is of a shallow frequency, it creates an impact on your brain activity by putting you in a state of deep relaxation.
How Can They Help With Meditation?
Regular Meditation has proven to have several advantages for the human mind and body alike. Generally, meditation practice can be time taking in terms of trying to get the brain to refocus on things.
Each thought is a neurological pattern, and each brainwave tends to create a different state for us to immerse in. Using the binaural beats, we can synchronize our brain better and get the desired effect, as mentioned above. If familiar with the correct frequency of sound required for deep meditation, the usage of binaural tones will put us in a state of deep meditation faster, helping us skip years of practice needed otherwise.
Can There be Any Potential Risks To Listening to Binaural Beats?
Scientifically, the impact of binaural beats hasn’t been recognized as a safe procedure yet. At the same time, binaural beats haven’t shown to be dangerous generally, but if listened to at a very high volume can cause risks such as Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. It is suggested that if you are to opt for this kind of therapy, it is better to listen to these beats at a medium to low volumes and not for too long.
Binaural beats can help you! Despite the lack of scientific evidence, incorporating Binaural beats in our life for purposes like reducing anxiety, improving our attention span, improving cognitive abilities, migraines, and sleep can prove to be beneficial. Binaural beats are just one kind of music therapy that can help your meditation process and sleeping pattern.