If you have ever had trouble sleeping, you know the struggle is real. Whether you have straight insomnia or just can’t seem to fall into a deep enough sleepit can really upend your life. It will affectevery single aspect of your health, social life, and general sanity. On top of all that you have to be careful how you deal with the problem, as sometimes even taking prescribed medicine can be detrimental.
There has to be a better way than tranquilizers and sedatives, luckily sleep scienceis on the job working late so you can get some rest! One potential lead is studying brain waves to sleep, as these oscillations have a tremendous effect on your ability to have more than just a quick catnap. The specific brain waves for sleep are known as delta waves and that is where researchers are focused. In this article we will look into how delta brain waves for sleep have the potential to make your life better and more rested.
The Science of Delta Wave Sleep
When studying delta waves for sleep the first thing to understand are oscillations. Try to remember high school classes. An oscillation is a back and forth movement in time usually at a regular speed. These movements are everywhere in our world. For example from pendulums swinging, electrical energy, guitar or violin strings vibrating, and of course your own vocal cords as you talk or sing. They also occur in your body like you heart and even your brain. When in the brain they are known as neural oscillations or brain waves. Also remember thatin a wave the amplitude is the distance from peak to peak and the frequency is how many cycles per unit of time (labeled Hertz or Hz). An EEG or Electroencephalography machine is how we can monitor these waves in the brain, it is noninvasive and will tell us how our deep sleep delta waves are working.
As we can see above there are a variety of brainwaves, each representing different states of consciousness. The most active and squiggly line on the image are the beta waves. At 13-30 Hz these are the frequencies of a person who is awake, alert, and active. The one below is an alpha wave at 8-12 Hz which shows the brain is still awake but relaxed, maybe the eyes closed. Notice at the next line, theta 4-8 Hz, it moves much less. At the theta stage we are in a deep and relaxed state off mind, right at the edge of drowsiness and sleep.
Ways To Increase Sleep Delta Waves
Ok so you know the very basic underlying science as to why you may not be able to sleep at all or at least get a refreshing sleep. Now the question is, what can you do about it? If delta brain waves for sleep are so important than it makes sense that utilizing them can be very helpful in your quest to get a good night’s rest. There are a few ways for our brains to harness deep sleep wavesand one method we know as binaural beats.
When your oscillation is a smooth periodic wave, it is known as a sine wave. Now for those who still have nightmares of math, no worries we aren’t doing any more than that. It’s just imperative to understand a sine wave before you can learn about binaural beats for sleeping. When you put a pair of headphones on and play two different frequency sine waves in each ear you will have an auditory illusion where you perceive a third beat. Let’s say one headphone has a frequency of 510 Hz. The other ear has a frequency of 520 Hz. It will cause you to think you are hearing a third beat of 10 Hz (the difference of the two).
Now after learning some of the science above you can likely tell where this is going for delta waves to sleep. When our two different sine waves are 1-4 Hz apart it will give our brains the illusion of hearing delta waves.
Because we can use different waves in each ear,we can make more than just binaural beats for sleeping, binaural beats are also created in theta, alpha, and beta waves. These can be used for relaxation, meditation, and to increase concentration. Sometimes binaural beats can be used alone or with relaxing music, it depends on what you need them for. A binaural beat and ambient music soundtrack can great make great delta sleep music. Of course you may also be the type to get a deep delta wave sleep with fewer distractions like music. Binaural beats for sleep and relaxation can be found on many sitesacross the Internet. By the way there is even software you can use to create your own delta brain waves for sleep. If you have some computer and audio skills, you can try making some deep sleep wavescustomized only to you.
If you find audio meditations and YouTube binaural beats aren’t doing the trick you can step up to the next level of mind machines. These are not cheap, but lauded by many who end up using them. A mind machine is a light and auditory delight for the brain. They look like large wrap around shades with noise canceling headphones that are both attached to a smartphone size device. This device can do more than just play a deep sleep delta wave.
A mind machine is for more than just sleep. They are also for meditation, concentration, and even non drug induced altered states of mind. Wow! Binaural beats for sleep are what originally inspired mind machines to be built. Another heavy influence was the hippy scene of the 60’s when expanding one’s consciousness was a popular curiosity. By using flashing lights and specific rhythms, individuals were able to alter the state of their mind without the help of drugs. From there people realized they could use mind machines for a variety of purposes.
Most mind machines have preprogrammedsettings depending on the state of consciousness being reached. If you are looking for a mind blowing effect, you would turn the waves up to beta frequencies and have light or strobe flashing in the goggles. However since you are here you are likely looking to sleep. In that case you would change it to deep sleep delta waves in frequency and have any visual effects muted so as not to take your attention away.
As far as mind machine prices and specifications that can vary quite a bit. This David Delight Pro is a top model that is quite the package, with settings for all brain waves during sleep, relaxation, meditation, concentration and more. There are models like the mindLights that are about half the price, they don’t have as many presets and of course the hardware is not as fancy. The question at the end of the day, is a mind machine worth the value? Is it possible you can use a pair of noise canceling headphones with binaural beats for sleep, absolutely. If your budget just doesn’t fit a mind machine not all hope is lost. However when it comes to your health and sleep you may find it is worth saving the money to invest in a machine that offers you an array of brain waves to sleep and relax too.
Now one thing that you will see with mind machines and binaural beats is they still need to do plenty of science to figure out the best ways that they work. We know that delta brain waves for sleep are essential, but we do not know specificallyknow how listening to deep sleep waves can influence us. This is one reason why mind machines are not allowed to make grand medical claims as they are not approved for that by most medical organizations.
We are only now getting the technology to better understand the science of the brain and sleep, so we must rely on some anecdotal evidence. The popularity and reviews of binaural beats and mind machines show they clearly help many people who suffer from sleep and mood disorders. For many even tricking their brain with the illusion of a sleep brain wave is enough to provide relief in the long run
The Science is Catching Up
Despite the fact that items like mind machines are not medically approved they are generally not something that’s dangerous. Granted flickering lights and similar visuals can cause issues for epileptic patients. That is pretty much the only problem you will encounter. Perhaps also high frequency brain wave settings and mind blowing strobes could be uncomfortable for some, but if you stick to sleeping delta waves you will experience nothing but relaxation. Even without a mind machine by just using binaural beats for sleep you aren’t going to face any health risks. You might have sore ears from falling asleep with headphones, but you cannot hurt yourself. Binaural beats are everywhere and worth trying out especially if free. And with mind machines the only real con is the price. Otherwise using either can really only help you in the long run.
It is also important not to forget about the other aspects of sleep issues, problems that science has studied thoroughly. Besides using delta sleep waves you will need to take a little life audit and figure out what else is wrong. Like many problems you have to approach it from all angles not just in one direction. If you are overweight than exercise is not enough, diet, and water consumption matter just as much. The same factors effect sleep like poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle choices. Alcohol is an enemy of rest; it keeps your brain from deep sleep waves even occurring. If you drink before bed and then use a mind machine or binaural beat for sleep than you will not succeed!
Another reason why the science has not caught up is this problem of so many different factors. One can’t just focus on sleep brain waves, they need to make sure they approach sleeping from a bigger picture of health.
Eventually we will know more on exactly how things like binaural beats and mind machines work. As the science progresses, we will figure out how better to control all frequencies in our brain including the deep sleep delta waves. Recently a potential breakthrough was made in Alzheimer’s research, showing that when specificoscillations are seen and heard by the brain, it has a tendency to copy them.
At a frequency of 40 Hz our brain naturally cleans out the damaged tissue that eventually leads to dementia like diseases. By flashing that same 40 Hz we might be able to guide our brain in repairs. While this study uses flickering light as opposed to sound waves it still shows promise that we have the right idea when using oscillations like deep sleep waves to convince our brains to rest and relax.
If you really are having that much trouble with dream land than you can’t go wrong listening to delta brain waves for sleep. As mentioned above with proper lifestyle changes it is only going to help your overall health. Start with simple binaural beats for sleep a few nights a week. Keep notes on whether or not you sleep well on the nights with and without the therapy. A couple weeks after using the binaural beats add some delta sleep music in and see if that helps.
Which makes you feel only relaxed? Which makes you pass right out and fall to sleep? Overtime if you find these help then you can take the next step and enter the world of mind machines. Eventually they will be a tool used for more than just brain waves to sleep. But for a better connection and control over your own consciousness. In the meantime though, all you need is rest so turn on that low frequency delta wave and hit the sack!