ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Are Brain Waves (Theta, Delta, Alpha, Beta Brain Waves)? What Is Brainwave Entrainment?

Updated on January 17, 2018

What is the definition of "brain waves"?

The brain constitutes of a countless amount of neurons, which all communicated with each other. That electrical activity can be measured with special equipment, the EEG. The EEG (electroencephalogram) measures the electrical activity over an area of the brain. The resulting map is called a “brain wave pattern”, because the neurons use brain waves for communication. Brain waves are measured in Hertz (Hz).

There are several different brain wave types, which will be discussed in this article. Different types of brain waves are associated with different states of consciousness (e.g. being asleep or awake or even meditative states). Brain waves are also associated with different benefits for the body and for the mind. For example, the human growth hormone, HGH, is normally released in sleep. The HGH is very important, because is needed for bone growth, hair growth and for the body in order to grow at all! This can also be induced with the help of binaural beats (will be discussed later) without being asleep. Another benefit is that very to extremely relaxed states of body and mind can be induced. There are, of course, countless other benefits and association of brain waves. For now, let’s take a look at the different types of brain waves and when they normally are produced by the brain.

Beta brain waves - "thinking waves"

Beta brain waves range from 12.5 Hz to nearly 40 Hz. Your brain produces many beta waves during your waking state. When you are solving a math problem, reading or focusing on any kind of problem which requires a thinking process (in words) your brain produces beta waves. That means beta brain waves can be imagined as the “working brain waves”.

They can be also produced when someone is angry, since this leads to an increase in certain parts of the brain.

Having too many beta brain waves during the day will eventually become very harmful to a human being, since other brain waves, such as alpha brain waves, are not produced or just a too little amount. People often encounter health issues such as stress, unconcentration and even depressions. Depressed people show a very unhealthy amount of beta brain waves in an EEG.

More can be read in the full beta brain wave article.

Alpha brain waves - "relaxation waves and gate to other brain waves"

Alpha brain waves are the other brain waves, which people have in a normal waking state of consciousness. They range from 12 Hz to 8.5 Hz. They tend to occur more often, when people are relaxed rather than when they are focused on a task. Alpha brain waves can be thought as the “chill brain waves”.

Having a healthy amount of alpha brain waves is very important! There needs to be a balance between beta and alpha brain waves, otherwise, the individual will encounter different mental and physical problems.

By inducing an alpha brain waves state of mind, one feels more relaxed and the emotional well-being is supported. Also, the heart rate slows down, which is healthy for the heart and the body is able to “recover” itself more easily than in a stressed-out beta state.

Another very important aspect of the alpha brain waves is that it is a “bridge” to your subconscious mind. This is especially important in meditation. If a person has a so called “alpha block” (someone, who does not produce alpha brain waves or only a little amount) he will have the feeling that there is something deep inside him. This can be, for example, inaccessible creative power or an emotional issue which is in the subconscious mind and cannot become really conscious.

In meditations, it is important to have enough alpha brain waves, a bridge, which can make the deep experiences become conscious and actually remember them.

So, stimulating alpha brain waves with binaural beats is often very beneficial for anyone, be it a person with an emotional issue, a meditator and so on.

There are far more benefits of increasing alpha brain waves than mentioned in this article. For more information and how to induce those brain waves, read the full alpha brain waves article.

Pure theta waves

Theta brain waves - "creative waves"

Theta brain waves are associated with the subconscious mind. They range from 8 Hz down to 4.5 Hz. Theta waves do not normally occur in a waking state. They are often associated with sleeping and dreaming. Musicians, painters and other people who do a creative work tend to have more theta waves and produce even more theta brain waves when they are, for example, playing on the piano or painting.

So, theta brain waves not only have to do with sleeping and dreaming, but also with creativity and with spirituality. Stimulating your brain to produce more theta waves with binaural beats does increase creativity and can enhance learning. There is also a term called “super-learning”. It has been shown that people, who have a lot of theta waves (for example, after a deep meditation) can learn information at a much faster rate than usual.

In meditation, people access the theta brain wave state eventually. There are numerous results. One of them is that people gain more personal insight. They learn more about themselves and might be confronted with issues lying deep inside a person’s mind. This can be revealed as a picture or a scene – it’s different in every person! Once again, if there are not enough alpha brain waves at the end of a meditation, one will most probably forget it right away and will not have enough time to write them down in a journal to make the experience fully conscious.

Again, more information on theta brain waves, their benefits, how to access them and more, can be found in the full theta brain waves article.

Delta waves - 1.05 Hz (special frequency that stimulates the Pineal Gland)

More binaural beats tracks can be found on my YouTube channel.

Delta brain waves - "intuitive waves"

Delta brain waves are associated with the unconscious mind. They have a range from 4 Hz to 0.5 Hz. Delta waves occur in deep dreamless sleep. They never occur in a waking state and it is very hard to maintain fully conscious in a meditation if someone actually manages it to go that deep down.

Delta waves are also associated with intuition, empathy, hormones, such as the human growth hormone (HGH) and more. Stimulating the brain to increase the production of delta brain waves can be done with binaural beats, for example. Delta binaural beats are the most relaxing of all. People often feel calmer, happier and also more emotionally connected to other people and they can understand other people’s feelings better in general. Also, the production of hormones, such as Serotonin, which makes you feel happy, and HGH is increased. Exposing the brain to delta binaural beats for a longer period of time during the day can result in a better general well-being and understanding of emotional depth. Also, likewise in the theta state, learning also becomes easier.

Delta brain waves have far more associations and benefits than mentioned here. Sometimes, it is not recommended to increase delta waves in your brain. For more information, read the full delta waves article.

Those four brain wave types are the four “main” brain waves. There are rather extraordinary brain waves, which have been discovered recently.

Pure epsilon waves

Special brain wave types (Gamma and Lambda & Epsilon waves)

Gamma brain waves

  • Gamma brain waves tend to occur more often in very smart people, when they are doing something, what they enjoy very much. For example, when Albert Einstein was working on his relativity theories, he must have had a lot of gamma brain wave activity.

    Gamma brain waves range from 40 Hz to 100 Hz. There is a subtype of gamma waves, namely “hyper gamma waves”. Their frequency is 100 Hz and more!

    I like to call them “the genius brain waves”. They are also extremely fast and reach all parts in the brain.

    People, who practive the “loving-kindness meditation” (Metta meditation) also seem to have a lot of gamma brain wave activity. They often feel a universal connection, but also a deep feeling of inner peace and unconditional love.

    Gamma brain waves are something very exciting. More can be read in the full gamma waves article!

Lambda and Epsilon brain waves

  • Lambda and epsilon brain waves are the most recent brain waves to be discovered. Lambda brain waves have an extraordinarily high frequency, namely 200 Hz and more!!

    Epsilon brain waves are at the exact opposite brain waves spectrum. They are 0.5 Hz and below. They are slower than delta brain waves! For example, they were found in Buddhist monks, which were in an immensely deep meditation.

    Lambda and epsilon waves occur together in an “out of body experience”. In an EEG, it seemed as if the lambda waves were riding on the epsilon waves. But these waves are still quite mysterious to humans, since they normally occur under very, very special states of consciousness.

Binaural Beats and brainwave entrainment

In this article, I have often mentioned the term “binaural beats”.

In a nutshell, it is an audio file. This audio file is purely made of 2 beats. Those beats of course have a certain frequency. Headphones are needed to experience all the benefits from binaural beats, because on the right ear a beat is heard, and the other beat is heard on the left ear.

For example, the right binaural beat has a frequency of 120 Hz. The left binaural beat has a frequency of 125 Hz. When one listens to them, they sound like “woop-woop-woop” and so on. The brain is directly influenced by them and creates a third beat. The third beat is the difference of the two beats. This means, the third beat has a frequency of 5 Hz.

And what does this exactly mean? The brain is stimulated by the third beat (5 Hz) and the brain waves start to have 5 Hz as their frequency. And as we now know, this is the frequency of the theta brain waves. The brain is simulated in the theta brain wave state of mind!

That way, one can take advantage of the theta waves benefits! Of course, there are other conditions to fully benefit from them. For example, one would need to calm down first and so on. There is a more elaborate article, which explains how to benefit from certain brain wave states as good as possible.

Brainwave entrainment means that a human being listens to one kind of brain waves (or to several) over a longer time and stimulates the brain to produce the desired brain wave state naturally.

Quick summary of the definition of brain waves

Book Reviews (regarding Brain Waves and Meditation):

Further Reading

Brain Waves:

Applied Binaural Beats:

  • Self-Healing
  • Super-Learning

© 2013 Slaven Cvijetic


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      15 months ago

      In binaural beats any types of language are added?

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Is it possible to determine which waves need to be supported or increased without an eeg machine?

    • profile image

      The Source 

      4 years ago

      Many thanks, extremely valuable information.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Try to play the first and secound togehter :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      hey thats really cool. can we start braintreat ment business?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Gracias por la información¡

    • mbyL profile imageAUTHOR

      Slaven Cvijetic 

      6 years ago from Switzerland, Zurich

      thanks for this nice comment! ;)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Your awesome and this is awesome. Much Love to You!

    • mbyL profile imageAUTHOR

      Slaven Cvijetic 

      6 years ago from Switzerland, Zurich

      Yes, I think it's really important to know that. It is not some pseudoscience or something for weirdos, their effect on mood, Memory, consciousness, sleep Quality etc. has all been proven scientifically. It can contribute to making a change in a person's life.

    • jirel profile image


      6 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for sharing.It is very interesting on how these frequencies affect us.

    • mbyL profile imageAUTHOR

      Slaven Cvijetic 

      6 years ago from Switzerland, Zurich

      thanks neurotrancer! New ones will be coming soon!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a very good article that introduces brainwaves! I am looking forward to reading the other articles!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)