I once met an insomniac who shared that listening to “binaural beats” helped him fall into a blissful sleep. He’d struggled with sleep deprivation for years, and swore that these recordings worked. Intrigued, I gave them a whirl since I too have been plagued with sleep issues my entire life. Here are the key facts you need to know about this novel approach to insomnia.
What are binaural beats?
The term “binaural” refers to sound recorded through two microphones and transmitted through two separate channels to produce a stereophonic effect. “Binaural Beats” is used to describe fluctuations in brain activity due to audio stimulus. When people are exposed to stereo sound with two different tones, their brains produce a response (i.e. binaural beat) that is responding to the tones and hearing the difference between them.
How does it work?
Binaural beats are designed to put your brain into a state similar to what is experienced during traditional meditation. So many of us struggle with old school meditating, sitting still, or focusing our minds; enter the technology of binaural recordings. Binaural beats help to put you into a relaxed state quickly and easily. There’s no training or technique to learn—you simply plug into headphones and press play.
What happens to my brain?
Once you start listening to binaural beats, your brain resonates with the recordings, following the beat. This is referred to as the “Frequency Following Technique.” In 1973, a biophysicist named Gerald Oster researched this phenomenon at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
Many studies have proven that when signals from one frequency are played into the left ear while another is played into the right, the brain can detect the differences between the frequencies and attempts to make sense of it all. By exposing your brain to harmonically layered audio recordings, deep calm and focus are attainable.
What else can they help with?
People are experiencing numerous benefits form working with binaural beats. Research is beginning to show that these seemingly simple recordings may increase creativity and help with anxiety, depression and weight loss. Binaural beats are also conducive to lucid dreams and may even help those trying to quit smoking.
Are binaural beats safe?
There’s nothing to fear regarding using binaural beats—they produce frequencies that our brains naturally experience on a daily basis, and the many benefits of binaural beats could help save you thousands of dollars on sleep aids and therapy. Give them a try and see how you feel.
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If you have any serious health concerns or are prone to seizures, consult your physician prior to trying binaural beats. Also, note that they shouldn’t be used while driving or operating any heavy machinery.
Here are a few links to binaural beats that you might like to try out:
Binaural Beats Youtube