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What are Binaural Beats?

06.January.20

How Music Meditation Can Switch Your Brain into the Mood You Need 

 

Do you ever lie in bed, annoyed that your brain is ‘too busy’ for sleeping, and find yourself scrolling desperately for some calming sleep music to help you ‘switch off’?

Have you ever done a quick online search for ‘focus music’ to help you block out the background chatter in the office so that you can concentrate on a difficult project? 

You’re not alone, and there’s a reason why we do this.

Science proves that sound has the power to affect the mind and trigger emotions. That we can train our brains with music to help us focus or relax.

MEYA takes this science and makes it easy for you to unlock the power of music for meditation.

We have in-house music producers who create specific rhythms to put the mind at ease, meaning all you have to do is choose the meditation you prefer and your favourite music beat/genre.

In this blog we explain a bit about the science behind the process. About how something called ‘binaural beats’ can help you switch your brain into the right mode for sleeping, chilling, dancing, focusing or whatever else you’re in the mood for.
 
So, what are binaural beats?
 
Binaural beats are a tone created in the brain when it is presented with two different frequencies at the same time.

In 1839, a Prussian physicist named Heinrich Wilhelm Dove discovered that if you play one frequency in one ear, and a different one in the other, then your brain cleverly creates a new frequency – the difference between that in your left ear, and that in your right – and focuses on this new frequency. This – the difference – is the binaural beat.

What’s interesting – and lies behind meditation music, focus music or sleep music – is that you can use binaural beats to help you find a certain sound to change your state of mind. 

Your brain is very much like the internet – lots of people talking to each other all at once, all over the world. Or, in your brain’s case, lots of neurons lighting up and firing off information, expressing your thoughts, feelings and actions through these neural pathways. As this happens, small amounts of electricity are released, which we can measure using an EEG.

What we measure are frequencies called brainwaves – produced by your brain, and at a different frequency depending on how you’re feeling. When you’re alert, awake and reactive they are high, when you rest or sleep, they are low.

So, back to that discovery of binaural beats in 1839. If you’re ‘wired’ and you want to feel tired, then you need your brain to focus on a low frequency to make you feel sleepy.

You can do this by listening, for example, to a tone of 410hz in your left ear and 400hz in your right ear – meaning your brain will make up the difference and hear an imaginary tone of 10hz.

This tone is the binaural beat.

At that very low-frequency, you can’t actually hear a sound. But you don’t need to be able to hear the sound for your brain to be affected by it.

And if you’re feeling sluggish and need some focus music to up your brain’s tempo and make you fire on all cylinders, then your brain needs focus music that provides an imaginary tone of a high – level frequency to help it do this.
 
Four Major Types of Brainwave
 
There are five major types of brainwaves:

Gamma - Your brain produces Gamma brainwaves to heighten your mental ability. At this higher frequency (above 40hz) they are also associated with conscious perception, fear and problem solving.

Beta - Your brain produces beta brainwaves when you’re a state of high alert. With your beta brainwaves in action, you’re able to do those complicated, analytical tasks at work, make decisions and concentrate well. Beta waves are fast, with a higher frequency (between 15-40 hertz). At the higher levels of this range, beta waves are associated with anxiety.

Alpha - Your brain produces Alpha brainwave patterns when you’re awake and relaxed, but still alert. Your brain probably reaches this state in your regular yoga class or when you’re in the middle of a creative project, since these Alpha brainwaves are associated with meditation, and also with our ability to be creative. Numbers wise, these alpha waves are slower and lower in frequency (between 9-14 hertz).

Theta - This brainwave pattern is associated with deep relaxation and with some stages of sleep, including the lighter stages of non-REM (NREM) sleep. REM sleep itself is mostly composed of beta wave and other activity that’s similar to an alert, waking brain. Deep meditation produces theta waves, which are slower and of lower frequency (between 5-8 hertz) than Alpha waves. That murky barrier between sleep and wakefulness, when you’re drifting in and out of sleep, and your thoughts feel dreamlike and difficult to remember? That’s a theta-dominant state of consciousness.

Delta - When you’re really, properly, deeply asleep, then your brain produces very slow, delta waves (between 1.5-4 hertz).

    So, that’s what binaural beats are, and how finding the right one in focus music, meditation music, or sleep music, can take you to your happy, focused, or calm place.

    But, how on earth do you know which of the many binaural available on the internet is the right one? You want to find high quality binaural, embedded in the kind of music that inspires you, that will help you meditate in the way you need.

    That's where MEYA comes in.

    Using our website and app MUSIC section, you will find a growing selection of music, with and without binaural, specifically produced to switch your brain into the right mode for sleeping, chilling, dancing or whatever else you're in the mood for.

    Choose your track and let the binaurals do the work.