Binaural beats are a tool used by some people to help them induce states ranging from sleep to high alertness. If you are not familiar with binaural beats, they are two tones you listen to in headphones. The tones are two different frequencies that cause your brain to synchronize the tones, inducing a mental state depending on the range you have selected. The difference between the two tones cannot be greater than 30 Hz, and the two tones have to have frequencies less than 1000 Hz.1
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Using Binaural Beats
When using binaural beats, there are different frequency ranges used to create different states of mind. Delta range binaural beats in the range of 1 to 4 Hz are associated with relaxation and deep sleep. Theta range binaural beats, which are 4 to 8 Hz, are associated with reduction in anxiety, relaxing, creativity, and meditative states. Alpha range binaural beats, 8 to 13 Hz, are associated with improved mood, relaxation, and increased creativity. Beta binaural beats, 14 to 30 Hz, have been used for increasing focus, memory, and ability to problem solve.1 Binaural beats can be a great addition to your self-care regimen.
Do Binaural Beats Work?
There is mixed information about the efficacy of binaural beats in inducing different mood states. One study used binaural beat stimulation to help patients with pre-operation anxiety symptoms. Using binaural beats, participants experienced a 26.3% decrease in anxiety compared to an 11% decrease experienced by a group listening to a placebo.2 Another investigation found that beats in the beta range were associated with a less negative mood.2 An optimal amount of time to listen is 15 – 30 minutes, as it takes about 7 minutes to begin working. You should never use binaural beats while driving or operating heavy machinery.
Sarah Tronco, LCSW, provides online counseling in New Jersey and works to develop a strong therapeutic relationship with her clients, which helps to create a secure place where individuals can achieve meaningful change.
Sarah Tronco, LCSW, now also provides online counseling in Pennsylvania, contact her to learn more.
3. Photo by Henry Be on Unsplash