Brainwave Entrainment – This is using stimuli (such as sound, light, or EM fields) to influence the rate of our brainwaves, which in the process affects our mental state.
Our brain plays “monkey see/monkey do” with stimuli in the proximity. If you have lights flashing at 4 cycles a second, our brain will begin to mimic that with its own brainwaves. When our brainwaves are at a certain frequency, our body will do whatever it normally would do — we normally produce brainwaves of 4 cycles a second when we’re sleeping – so pulsating light at this rate would put a person to sleep.
Say you want to do this with sound instead of pulsating light – since most brainwave entrainment frequencies are below 30 HZ, and are often below human hearing range, you (usually) can’t just generate the tones using a wave generator. There are two methods that are typically used to generate these ultra-low tones in a way that humans can perceive them and feel their effects :
1. Binaural Beats.
Binaural Beats – Using a computer or synthesizer (and a good pair of stereo headphones), generate two tones, one in the left ear, one in the right – your brain imagines it hears a third tone equal to the difference between the two tones. (For instance, if you had a 400 HZ tone in one ear, and a 404 HZ tone in the other, you would perceive a third tone of 4 HZ.) And this would have the same effects that a pulsating light at 4 cycles per second would. In order for this to work, the two tones need to be below 1000 HZ.
2. Isochronic Tones.
Isochronic tones – While a tone at 4 HZ would be too low to hear by itself, if you can generate four beeps per second, this will have the same effect as 4 Hz binaural beats. So Isochronic tones can also be used for brainwave entrainment.
Which one to use?
As far as which of these two methods are better – binaural beats probably work better for brainwave entrainment, but the second method will work from speakers – headphones aren’t required. That can come in handy – especially when you want to experiment with brainwave entrainment while sleeping or meditating – ever tried falling asleep wearing headphones? I have a cordless pair, and even with those, it’s not that comfortable.
I like to use a Bluetooth speaker next to my bed and then play whatever night MP3 I choose for the night or even a complete playlist. There are many sleep better and sleep programming (with subliminal messages) recordings available.
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