If you like magic and illusions, you are really going to love learning about binaural beats. Binaural beats are like optical illusions for your ears. They are known as auditory illusions. In this post, you will learn what they are, why they are beneficial to you, how they are used, the research done on them, and how you can begin using them in our Zen mode app.
What are Binaural Beats?
Have you ever heard two different tones in each ear. That’s a binaural beat. Basically, it is when you hear two tones that are slightly different in frequency at the same time.
For example, if you are listening to music that is 132 Hertz in your right ear and 121 Herts in your left ear, your brain starts to fall into synchrony with the difference. Instead of hearing two different tones, you hear the difference of the tones. Thus the auditory illusion.
In order for it to be a binaural beat, the two tones have to have frequencies that are less than 1000 Hertz, and the difference between the two tones cannot be more than 30 Hertz.
Each tone must be listened to separately; one in each ear. These tones have been used in the past to tune instruments, but more recently, we have connected them to potential health benefits.
IMPORTANT: Put on headphones 🎧 before you listen!
The Benefits of Binaural Beats
We all know that meditation is great for our body, mind and soul. In fact, many studies have shown that meditation promotes physical and mental health benefits such as:
- Decreased pain
- Better immune function
- Less anxiety
- Less depression
- A heightened sense of well-being
- Greater happiness
- Better self control
Like meditation, binaural beats can induce the same mental state. However, they can get you into that state much more quickly.
Binaural beats that are between 1 and 30 Hertz can create the same brainwave pattern that you would get during meditation. This is because when you listen with a certain frequency, your brain waves start to synchronize with that frequency. Thus, the binaural beats help create the same frequency needed in meditation.
How are Binaural Beats Used?
Depending on what you want to achieve, you will use different binaural beat frequencies. Every part of your body vibrates to its own rhythm. Your brain has a unique set of waves which include:
Beta Waves: The frequency of beta is anywhere from 12 to 30 Hertz. This is usually associated with your normal waking consciousness. The higher the beta waves, the more stress you have.
Alpha Waves: Alpha brain waves are present in deep relaxation. They are at their peak the closer you get to 7.5 Hertz. Your brain is in alpha between 7.5 and 12 Hertz.
Delta Waves: Delta waves are present in deep, dreamless sleep. You can get into this wave frequency using 0.5 to 4 Hertz.
Theta Waves: The Theta waves are present in your brain between 4 and 7.5 Hertz. They are present during light sleep and meditation.
Gamma Waves: Gamma is the fastest wave frequency. There isn’t much known about this wave frequency, but it is associated with bursts of insight and high level information processing.
Here are some ways binaural beats are used to achieve the above waves in your brain:
Deep Sleep and Relaxation
Many people use binaural beats to get to sleep at night. As you may know, deep meditation can help you to sleep. In order to achieve deep sleep or relaxation, the binaural beats must be in a range of delta or 1 to 4 Hertz.
According to the Wiley Online Library a study was conducted on those who were about to have surgery. This frequency helped reduce anxiety and helped patients to have a deep relaxation and even sleep.
REM sleep is just as important as deep sleep. This is when most of your dreaming happens, and you are quite literally paralyzed during REM sleep. It is very important for emotion regulation and memory. Your brain is literally clearing itself of all unnecessary information. Additionally, it keeps many processes in the body working properly.
In order to get your body into REM sleep quickly, you will need to listen to binaural beats in the theta range, which is 4 to 8 Hertz
Binaural beats aren’t just used in sleep. They are also used to help decrease anxiety, promote positivity, and encourage relaxation.
According to Wiley Online Library, a study was conducted that found that binaural beats in the alpha frequencies or 8 to 13 Hertz will decrease anxiety.
Increased Concentration and Alertness
Just as meditation can help increase concentration and alertness, so can binaural beats. They help with problem solving, improve memory, and promote alertness. Studies have shown that this can be achieved at lower beta frequencies of 14 to 30 Hertz.
Where Can You Find Binaural Beats?
If you want to experiment with binaural beats, you can do so in our Zen Mode app.
Remember, for these binaural beats to actually work, you have to wear headphones. This is because you have to have a different frequency going into each ear.
What is the Research on Binaural Beats?
Studies on the effects of binaural beats have been small. However, most studies have been done on the evidence of auditory illusion related to anxiety, mood, and performance. These studies include:
- A blinded study that showed the benefits of the beta waves in frequency of 16 and 24 Hertz.
- A controlled study on patients experiencing pre surgery anxiety.
- An uncontrolled study that showed a decrease in anxiety among those surveyed.
- A large trial was done that showed significant decreases in anxiety.
Are there Any Side Effects?
As far as we know, there have not been any side effects due to listening to binaural beats. However, you will want to make sure that the sound is not too loud. Exposure to sounds over 85 decibels can cause hearing loss over time.
Additionally, binaural beats could be a problem if you have epilepsy. Therefore, it is important to speak with a doctor before trying it. More research is still needed.
Binaural Beats and The Zen Mode App
During times of stress, meditation is always a great way to combat it. That’s why we have developed our Zen Mode app that gives you everything all in one place. In this app, you will be able to listen to binaural beats, guided meditations, sleep stories, and practice visual breathing to help minimize the stresses of your day.
Have you tried the Zen Mode app? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below!