Artwork by Malak Aboulenein
As we all know, one of the main ways one can experience different feelings or see unusual things is through touch or consumption. But, what if there was a way to experience different moods and feelings through sound?
Let me introduce you to binaural beats- the auditory illusions.
Now, what exactly is a “binaural beat”? Essentially, it’s when you listen to two tones that evoke slightly different frequencies at the very same time. The difference in the frequencies is defined in hertz (Hz), or cycles per second. Your brain translates these two tones as a single beat and can allow your mind to reach a specific state, depending on the hertz.
There are said to be many reasons one may listen to binaural beats to improve their health and mindset depending on the brainwave that fits their ideal state. It is claimed some frequencies can be good for one’s mental health. Some binaural beats are good for meditation, deeper sleep, boosting creativity, and other feelings.
- Here is a quick guide to a few brainwaves and their general associations:
- Delta (1 to 4 Hertz) with heavy sleep
- Theta (4 to 8 Hertz) with REM sleep, relaxation, or creativity boosts
- Alpha (8 to 13 Hertz) with positive feelings or anxiety reduction
- Beta (14 to 30 Hertz) with better concentration and memory
- Gamma (30 to 100 Hertz) with better attention to detail or cognitive advancements
Yet, as we know, different people experience different things.
In addition to enhancing one’s feelings, there are some that have been claimed to cause hallucinations for some listeners. Although this is not a common effect of listening to binaural beats, it is possible. Some binaural beats have been known to cause the brain to produce psychedelic effects in the theta, delta, and gamma frequencies. If one feels uncomfortable, if the volume is too loud, or there is hear ringing in one’s ears, STOP listening to binaural beats immediately.
With the majority of positive effects binaural beats can have on people – maybe this has sparked your interest in discovering for yourself what exactly are binaural beats. Yet, always know that along with the many positive effects you may feel, there are also negative ones that can occur, so always proceed with caution. A quick search on YouTube or Spotify and a set of headphones connected to a personal device for yourself are all you need to experience them! Closing your eyes, listening beside a friend, and being in a comfortable place without distractions can boost your focus on the beats.
Have you ever listened to binaural beats?
Brennan, D. (2021, April 12). Binaural beats: What are they and what are the benefits? WebMD. Retrieved October 20, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/balance/what-are-binaural-beats.
Cafasso, J. (2021, September 9). Binaural beats: Sleep, therapy, and meditation. Healthline. Retrieved October 20, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/health/binaural-beats.
Padmanabhan, R., Hildreth, A. J., & Laws, D. (2005, July 7). A prospective, randomized, Controlled Study Examining Binaural Beat Audio and pre‐operative anxiety in patients undergoing general anesthesia for day case surgery*. Association of Anesthetists. Retrieved October 20, 2021, from https://associationofanaesthetists-publications.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2044.2005.04287.x. Singh, S. (2020, May 24). Will listening to binaural beats make you hallucinate? Brain Hacker Expert. Retrieved October 20, 2021, from https://brainhackerexpert.com/will-listening-to-binaural-beats-make-you-hallucinate/.
Singh, S. (2020, May 24). Will listening to binaural beats make you hallucinate? Brain Hacker Expert. Retrieved October 20, 2021, from https://brainhackerexpert.com/will-listening-to-binaural-beats-make-you-hallucinate/.