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Breaking Down Binaural Beats

by BetterSleep
Apr 25 • 4 min read
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A binaural beat is when you hear different tones in each ear, at a slightly different frequency and the brain perceives them as a beat of its own. For example, if you were listening to a 430Hz in your left ear and a 445Hz in your right ear, you would be able to hear a 15Hz tone.

This is classified as an auditory illusion. Binaural beats cause your brain to fall in line with the frequency set by the beat. This ‘frequency-following effect’ is what people use to reach a preferred mental state.

For the brain to detect a binaural beat, the frequency should be lower than 1,000Hz. A previous study suggested that listening to binaural beats for a controlled period, can have positive effects on behavior and sleep cycles.

Health Benefits of Binaural Beats

Binaural beats are thought to have the same effect as meditation inducing a calming feeling and relaxing the mind. Other health benefits include:

How to Use Binaural Beats to Improve Your Life

Binaural beats influence the brain in many ways. A brainwave is affected according to the frequency it hears. In the BetterSleep app, click on ‘brainwaves’ and choose a binaural beat to listen to with headphones, that relates to your goal. Options include:

  • Delta 2.5Hz. Delta wave binaural beats are linked to meditation, deep sleep, pain relief, cortisol reduction and accessing the unconscious mind.
  • Low Theta 4Hz. The low theta frequency helps the listener to experience dreams while asleep.
  • Mid Theta 5Hz. Linked with meditation, creativity, deep relaxation and letting go of stress.
  • Low Alpha 8Hz. This mimics your pre-awake and pre-sleep brainwave activity allowing smooth sleep transitions.
  • Mid Alpha 10Hz. Alpha binaural beats help to calm your mind after you’ve been active.
  • Beta 20Hz. Use beta waves when you need to focus and solve a difficult problem.

Any Side Effects to Using Binaural Beats?

No known side effects have been reported after listening to binaural beats. However, make sure you don’t have the sound turned up on your headphones for prolonged amounts of time. Sounds louder than 85 decibels, over long periods, can lead to hearing loss.

Final Thoughts

Multiple research studies have shown binaural beats to have a positive effect on stress, anxiety, sleep health, memory, creativity and focus. Use binaural beats with regular meditation practice before you go to bed to reach a deep, relaxed state.

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