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What Are Binaural Beats for Insomnia?

Posted Feb 27 2010 2:53am

Do you know what binaural beats are? I see that this term is being written about more these days and often without any real explanation. So I will have a go at filling that gap.

Binaural beats are a way of delivering sounds to induce brainwave entrainment. Brainwave entrainment is fully explained here: Magnetic Sounds but briefly it is the process by which sound is used to guide the brain’s electrical pulses into a new rhythm. In the case of insomnia brainwave entrainment can guide the brain’s pulses into the rhythm of sleep. You see when we are sleeping our brainwaves are pulsing at a different rate than when we are awake. The sleeping rhythm is much slower than when we are wide awake and busy.

When we are having trouble sleeping it can be because we are stressed and unable to relax to allow our brainwaves to slow down. If we can’t relax it is not possible to sleep. You may have heard of  ‘alpha rhythm’ which is often mentioned in relation to meditation. Alpha is a relaxed rate of pulsation that happens when we slow down or close our eyes. Before we sleep we first drift into alpha rhythm, or we do if we are able to relax. Brainwave entrainment can be used to help this process along. That is why we can use it to overcome insomnia.

For insomnia you would listen to an audio that had the sleep rhythms embedded in it. We use background music to make it easier to listen to. The embedded beats guide the brainwaves into alpha, theta and then into delta over 40 to 60  minutes. You can also listen again if you wake up in the night. It is all very natural and there is nothing subliminal in it.

There are different ways in which entrainment is induced. One of these ways is by using binaural beats. This is a method that presents a different sound to each ear and that sound combines in the brain to form a new frequency which is the difference between the two frequencies being played to it. This is why you need to wear headphones to listen to binaural beats.

A similar way to use sound for  entrainment is with ‘isochronic tones’. In spite of the fact that binaural beats are better known,  isochronic tones are more effective at inducing entrainment.These tones can be listened to without headphones because the sound from the left and the right speakers, although different, will combine before entering the ears.

There are other ways to induce entrainment, the simplest being monaural beats. In In this there is only one beat , it could be a simple drum beat. Entrainment can also be used using light combined with sound.

The Sleep Sound Insomnia Program uses isochronic tones so that sleep can be induced very effectively and without the need for headphones. The sounds are embedded in soothing music and nature sounds.

rhythms of the brain

Brainwave Rhythms During The Stages of Sleep

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