Healthy living is a huge industry! Anything that might help us sleep better, live better, eat healthier, or just simply get more satisfaction in life is big money. Some of the most popular products sold are those that might help us relax and potentially sleep better. Of course there are many scams and schemes to provide zero relief and frustration on your part. You have likely heard about meditation music, music therapy, or even binaural beats. The first two you probably know the gist, but you may wonder about the latter. What do binaural beats do? How do binaural beats work?One important concept to grasp right away is they are not miracle workers. They are often lauded as cures for sleep, potential digital highs, and capable of increasing brain power! None of that is true, but they do have researchers very interested in what healing power they may have.
Binaural beats in scientific studies are not exactly in abundance. While they have known about them for some time, we are only recently gaining access to better tools to understand the brain. They seem to have a lot of great potential in enhancing concentration, increasing focus, elevating mood, and reducing stress and anxiety. Despite the science lagging many people have tried binaural beats and found them to be very helpful. Even if some if it is from a placebo effect, that’s really not a problem.
If you attempt a treatment and it works, you likely don’t care if it is a placebo or not, after all you are better! So it is true that we don’t know exactly how binaural beats work, but that doesn’t mean we should just cast then aside. If approached correctly you will experience some benefits from them. Below we will show you the basics and how to use binaural beats.
Binaural Beats 101
Binaural beat research technically started in 1839 when they were discovered. In the science of acoustics the beat can often refer to the illusion of a third beat heard when playing two tones that are close in frequency. This is how trained musicians would tune pianos and other instruments. If you play two C notes that are slightly out of tune, they will have a pulse or beat between them that will slowly disappear as they get closer together. Sadly we use machines these days to tune so this is a lost art for many. (Fun fact, pianos still mostly have to be tuned by ear as machines make them too perfect and our ears don’t like that!)
When you can hear the beat aloud with both ears that is a monaural beat. The binaural beat has a few more parameters that make it so. Early binaural beat research found that they had to be under 1500 Hz and no different than 40 Hz apart. Headphones are essential and each tone was played into a different ear. If you play 520 Hz in one ear, and then 530 Hz in the other you will “hear” a beat of 10 Hz. There is no actual 10 Hz wave there, we just perceive one in an auditory illusion. Binaural beat scientific studies still cannot find what part of the brain is coming up with the illusion, but our mind stilldoes, nonetheless.
We now know some basics, but it doesn’t answer the question, what do binaural beats do? What does that 0-40 Hz binaural hallucination accomplish? Not only do vibrations and oscillations occur in music and mechanical functions, they also happen all over in nature, especially your brain! There are various frequencies just vibrating through our heads known as brain waves. So the goal is to get our brainwaves to potentially synchronize with the simulated beat. The result hopefully being that we get the desired state of mind we are trying to achieve. If you go to a hospital, they have a machine called an EEG that allows them to read your specific brain waves at the moment. You have seen these on TV whenever a character flat lines and dies. These waves below are what you would hopefully see on a living person!
- Gamma – at 30-50 Hz these waves are when we are very wide awake and alert.
- Beta – at 13-30 Hz the brain is likely concentrating on a task. Low activity and just not sleeping yet. The beta and gamma waves can cause anxiety at the higher ends. It is not common to find binaural beats for beta and gamma.
- Alpha – at 7-13 Hz we are dipping further into a relaxed state, still awake but not nearly as alert. Some binaural beats therapy can include simple alpha waves for meditation.
- Theta – at 4-7 Hz we are in deep meditation or at REM stage sleep. Using theta waves can be helpful for those looking for deep relaxation not necessarily deep sleep.
- Delta – at 1-4 Hz we reach the stage of very deep sleep and no dreaming. While REM is of course essential it is that deep rest that our body desperately needs at times. Most binaural beatstherapyare theta or delta waves as these are the states most users seek.
How Do Binaural Beats Work?
You might ask, if the science is still coming in then we can’t answer the question of what do binaural beats do? It is a little more complicated than that. Science has used lights, sounds, and external stimuli to affect our very own neural oscillations. The part where it gets fuzzy is how are our binaural beats specifically helping us? Many agree that there are probably some benefits for stress, concentration, and sleep as so many users seem to have luck with it. It is true in the meantime when we ask, how do binaural beats work, of that we aren’t exactly sure. But it doesn’t mean we can’t attempt some form of binaural beats therapy.
The best course of action will be to make or find some binaural beats in the frequency that we desire to attain. For most people this will be delta waves! Almost everyone is looking for deep sleep! Theta is the next most used for deep meditation or a waking nap. Some even use alpha waves for creativity and concentration. Once we have our binaural beat it helps to have a great pair of noise cancelling headphones. In many cases listeners like music with their binaural beats therapy, so you will often hear more than just the beat. In fact that is one great way to approach it, as a meditative session of deep concentration and blocking out the rest of the world. Use the same frequencies our brains use to train it to work like we want… after all it is our brain!
Experiment with how you listen and try the basic waves of alpha, theta, and delta. See which sessions work best for you, perhaps 20 minutes before bed or a 10 minute lunch break recharge. Treat it like exercise and find your own routine that works. Eventually you will have the answer to the question, how do binaural beats work best!
How to Make Binaural Beats
Now that you know how to use binaural beats where can you find or create them yourself? Of course there are a myriad of binaural beatstherapy resources online, ready-made programs to suit your needs. Some places make complete meditations with music and beats. There are also these little futuristic devices sold on Amazon called mind machines. They have headphones and goggles to give you an immersive experience. As far as the auditory part they offer a range of binaural beats, white noise, and specific frequencies that you can utilize. These companies keep up with the latest in binaural beat research. However as amazing as these devices sound, they can be quiteexpensive. Perhapsthough it will end up being a great machine for relaxing and binaural beats therapy.
If you don’t want to spend so much, then try some apps or software that allow you to create your own. First do some making binaural beats research by listening to other finished tracks and any video tutorials. Get an idea of what others use for their binaural beats therapy. Once you have a solid idea of how do beats work then give it a try. That way you can make your own customer made tracks to suit your specific needs. Imagine making a late night track that takes 20 minutes starting from alpha, to theta, and then finally ending at delta for the last 8 minutes. Use that as a relaxing track every night before bed and see if that doesn’t provide some sleeping help. Whatever works for you, that is how to use binaural beats.
Are Binaural Beats Safe?
Normally in any situation with an unverified medical claim the first advice of smart people is to run! Fast! But binaural beats aren’t exactly that kind of issue. There is one potentialproblem and that is for anyone with epilepsy. We say potential problem because there are some binaural beat scientific studies that say it could help epilepsy. Others claim it is dangerous and to avoid it, which makes sense as any medicine can be both a healer and a poison. However until the science is certain, anyone with epilepsy or seizure issue should avoid binaural beats therapy. The same advice goes for kids, we don’t know exactly what the entrainment can do so don’t risk it. Young people have developing brains that can be harmed and altered a lot worse than an adult.
Those very basic warnings aside, binaural beats research so far isn’t showing any major red flags. In fact some might say it’s technically safe because it does nothing whatsoever, but that is not established either. Like using music for meditation or therapy it is going to have many varied results depending on how used. The fact that mind machines are sold, and binaural beats are everywhere it just shows they have a great anecdotal track record of happy people. When used in a proper fashion binaural beats therapy will provide stress relief and enhanced concentration. Those two simple things right there are very healthy activities to engage in at least once a day! One doesn’t needbinaural beats scientific studies to know that meditation and sound therapy are good for the body and the mind.
As mentioned in the beginning we really don’t know how binaural beats work, there is some mystery still. However they have such great potential it would be foolish to not try them out. Unless you are epileptic, there are really no serious safety concerns. It’s kind of like meditation, while it is not a proven healer, any medical professional will say mediation is a great mental exercise to reduce stress. The same can be said for binaural beats, as long as they are used properly it will clearly not make your situation worse. You now know how to use binaural beats and even how to create them yourself if you so wish.
Like meditation one of the key factors of success is sticking to them and making them a habit. The simple process every night of using theta and delta waves will train your brain to relax more and rest better. It’s like exercise, the more you do it the better your body gets at it.
Imagine someone wanted to sell you an herbal pill to lose weight, and when you got the pill it told you to take it after exercise, a small meal, and with plenty of water. Well even if the pill is bunk, you will start losing weight! Because you are making the better decisions of eating right and working out. While binaural beat scientific studies clearly outnumber herbal medicine studies, the process is the same. If you use them as part of a bigger process of healthy living, they will of course make your life better.
That’s not a crazy or exaggerated medical claim, just plain common sense. Keep studying binaural beats, make your own, try different apps and software, and eventually you will find what works best for you. You will know best as far as what do binaural beats do for you.