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Change Your Brain With Binaural Beats

Updated on January 20, 2014

I first came across binaural beats while living in a small one bedroom apartment with my wife. The living room also doubled as the office and I needed something to block out the television noise while I worked on the computer.

I dug out my headphones and began searching YouTube for some soothing sounds. What I found was a curious list of something called binaural beats. There were hundreds of different audio clips promising such things as improved concentration, relaxation, sleep aid, and so on.

For months I experimented with the different frequencies. The white noise they produced provided a nice distraction and I did notice that I was more focused while working. I didn’t know how these strange sound waves worked; all I knew was that they did what they claimed they would.

I decided to do some research.

What is a binaural beat?

Binaural beats were first discovered in 1839 by physicist Heinrich Wilhelm Dove. What he found was that when the brain is presented with two different frequencies (one in each ear), it will create a third signal which sounds like a beat. This newly created frequency, when measured in cycles per second, will be the exact difference between the original two frequencies.

For example, if a frequency of 100 Hz (hertz) is played in your right ear and 105 Hz is played in your left, your brain will manifest a third frequency of 5 Hz, the exact difference between the two.

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How does this affect my brain?

First let me quickly explain what brain waves are and how they work.

A fully functioning brain can generate up to 10 watts of electrical power. That is because the billions of neurons that make up your brain are ceaselessly using electricity to communicate. Day and night, these little cells transmit signals to each other regardless of your state of consciousness. They can communicate to each other from distances of up to several feet away!

This electrical activity in the brain shows up as brainwave patterns and they change depending on what you are doing at the moment. For example, someone who is wide awake will have a different brainwave pattern than someone who is sleeping.

There are five categories of brainwaves and they are measured in hertz, which is the equivalent to cycles per minute. One hertz equals one cycle per minute.

The waves and their frequencies break down like this:

Gamma waves (27hz and up). These waves are associated with high level information processing, learning, and the formation of ideas.

Beta waves (12-38hz). These are the brainwaves of our “normal” wide-awake and engaged state.

Alpha waves (8-12hz). Awake but relaxed, as in meditation.

Theta waves (3-8hz). These waves are associated with light sleep or extreme relaxation such as hypnosis or day-dreaming.

Delta waves (0.2-3hz). These waves are known to occur during deep sleep.

By creating a binaural beat between your ears, you can alter your state of mind. The beats are specifically designed to work within the above mentioned frequency ranges. Therefore, by inducing a frequency of 8hz you can mimic the brain activity found in a meditative state.

If you needed help falling asleep, you could try creating delta waves.

It generally takes several minutes of listening to these sounds through headphones before your brain begins to change direction and march in-step with the newly created pattern. This process of manipulation is known as: the frequency following response.

Stimulate your mind with Gamma waves

Relax with some Theta waves

Benefits of binaural beats

The ability to quickly and easily choose your state of mind can be incredibly useful. Find a beat to help promote any of the following:

● Relaxation

● Creativity

● Mental focus

● Pain relief

● Deep sleep

● Meditative state

● Simulation of drugs

In addition, it is possible to synchronize the two hemispheres of the brain using binaural beats. This powerful phenomenon occurs when the electrical activity in both the left and right side of the brain resonates at the same frequency and occupies a much greater area between your ears. The result is known as: whole brain synchronization.

This enhanced level of performance in the brain is normally only found in moments of heightened creativity and inspiration. Now you can achieve it within minutes!

About the tones that are used

The two different tones used to create the beat are known as carrier tones. For a true binaural beat these two tones must be pure, smooth, and unmodified in order to hit their desired frequency. The sound waves used to achieve this are called sine waves. They are known for their smooth, repetitive oscillation.

Some binaural beat sessions are overlapped with soothing sounds such as ocean waves, or falling rain. These sounds can be a pleasurable addition to the otherwise monotone white-noise.

No matter what state of mind you wish to achieve, there is a binaural beat out there to suit you. So grab your ear buds or your headphones and plug in to this safe and inexpensive sound therapy today. You’re going to love the results.


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    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 4 years ago from Savannah, GA

      DDE, thanks for reading and commenting. I thought this subject was pretty cool and I like the idea that we can alter our state of mind any time we need to. It really seems to help!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Most incredible about the brain we often take for granted. You certainly did a thorough research on this interesting topic.

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 4 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Hi, Shyron. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I'm not sure of the definition of white noise, but with binaural beats there are two slightly different tones (one in each ear) and your brain creates a third. It's kind of cool. I think white noise is really just one, flat sound.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Brian, welcome to HP, glad to see something that will not make me gain weight just by looking at it.

      I have heard a little bit about this, and yesterday at Best Buy, I was checking out the speakers and heard the the three sounds through the ear buds, but I thought it was just the surround effect. But, I think I missed something, what is white noise?

      Voted up, UAI and shared and pinned to Awesome HubPages

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 4 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Trust me, buddy. When we strip ourselves down to the bare level of vibrations, everything in the universe relates. As far as the AUM or OM, it is thought to be the original vibration of our creation, and it has become a favorite mantra of mine. Thanks so much for dropping by.

    • StageCheck profile image

      Joseph Minor 4 years ago

      Interesting. I wonder how this could relate to the law of attraction. Seems like a topic you can definitely write. There is a similar hum pronounced AUM that Buddhist and yogis claim the brain naturally makes audible in certain states of meditation. From this, practitioners have simulated it and others like it with what you may already know as mantras. Thnx for your work.

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 4 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Thank you, mathira. It's always nice to hear that all that research actually made sense, and that somebody found it useful. Thank you.

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 4 years ago from chennai

      Brian, you have done lot of research and it shows in your hub. Very useful information about sound therapy.

    • Brian Prickril profile image

      Brian Prickril 4 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Hey Bill, great to hear from you. I apologize for the low profile lately. My wife and I have been weathering major life-altering events over the past few weeks. All is good. I too thought this was an interesting subject the more I looked into it. I actually realized there was something to these frequencies when I stopped using them for a while and experienced a noticeable difference in my brain performance.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Now that was absolutely fascinating. Beats the heck out of another recipe for lasagna. LOL I knew none of this; thanks for the education. I'm going to do some more research on this.