What is binaural beats music

Binaural music for AD (H) D and sleep problems

It has long been scientifically recognized that different EEG frequencies in the brain correlate with different emotional states.
⇒ Neurofeedback as AD (H) S therapy

At first we thought that the EEG frequencies of the brain can also be influenced by binaural music was an esoteric gimmick. The first self-experiments with binaural music, obtained via headphones from YouTube, impressed us so much that we discussed the topic with occupational therapists, psychotherapists and doctors. Their reports of effects in their patients confirmed our experience.

Basically, binaural music uses the effect that the body tends to synchronize itself to given rhythms and frequencies.

1. How binaural music works

1.1. Body synchronization to conventional music (rhythm)

The body adapts its reactions to perceived rhythmic stimuli. It is well known that music with slower rhythms tends to calm down and music with faster rhythms tends to stimulate. However, this affects audible frequencies (20 Hz upwards; music usually has rhythms between 60 and 140 bpm) and affects heart rate and blood pressure, among other things.(1)(2)(3)

1.2. Wave interference synchronization in binaural music

In contrast, binaural music does not rely on a synchronization to an audible or perceptible rhythm, but on an indirect synchronization of frequency interference.

The slowest brain waves (theta) start at 4 Hz. 4 vibrations per second as a music rhythm would correspond to 240 bpm. Such a fast rhythm can hardly be resolved acoustically - and would in any case conflict with the function of slow theta waves (deep relaxation, meditation, sleep).
As sound vibrations themselves, rhythm signals below 30 Hz are barely perceptible (and can hardly be transmitted with conventional loudspeakers or headphones).

Binaural music therefore does not work through direct acoustic perception, but indirectly. In binaural music, the frequency of the music between the left and right ear is shifted by the frequency that is to be addressed. To stimulate a frequency of 10 Hz, a tone of e.g. 440 Hz is reduced by 5 Hz for one ear and increased by 5 Hz for the other ear. This results in a perceived frequency of 10 Hz in the brain - the so-called binaural beat.

It has been scientifically proven that binaural music is able to specifically influence brain frequencies and thus emotional states.(4)(5) See our own measurements below under 3.
Frequencies in the higher alpha and lower beta ranges can increase concentration and reduce the error rate in tasks.(6)

Sometimes it is questioned whether the effect is really conveyed by the binaurality. A randomized study (n = 141) showed a significant reduction in anxiety in anxiety patients equally with music and binaural music compared to non-music.(7) In another study, however, the pain relieving effect of binaural theta music compared to non-binaural music was clearly recognizable.(8)

If you search for Binaural Alpha on Youtube, you will find a number of offers of music whose frequencies between the left and right ears have been pulled apart by 8 to 12 Hz. This music should help with concentration and learning.

A victim:

As an esoteric allergy sufferer, I was totally skeptical because that sounds so exotic. But trying it out doesn't cost anything, so I listened to binaural theta music for an hour before going to bed. It was the first time in my life that I had no thought circles, that my head was empty and calm when I went to bed. I could think yes. When I wanted and what I wanted. But I controlled what I wanted to think about, not overrun by thoughts and determined me. I didn't know that before.
I then continued this in the following weeks (1 - 2 hours of binaural theta music before going to bed while I was reading or surfing on the side), in a season of extremely high work in which I had been doing massive Had suffered stress. I was exhausted and exhausted from all the work - but my earlier, typical stressful emotional breakthroughs did not materialize.

A psychological psychotherapist reports:

I have recommended binaural music (in the theta range) to a number of my patients in order to be able to switch off and relax, which is relevant for many problems. The feedback was consistently positive - except for one patient who reported nightmares and sleepwalking.

A victim:

I had been listening to binaural alpha music on YouTube while working. That worked well for quite a while. Until I suddenly got pretty tired and couldn't really concentrate anymore. That's when I noticed that YouTube had switched to the next track - and that was no longer alpha, but binaural theta music.

A victim:

After having had very good experiences with theta music for evening relaxation for weeks, I listened to alpha music for an hour before bed one evening. That night was a complete catastrophe: I was awake by the bell. Only at the end of the night did I have the feeling of sleeping again while I was sleeping and I was dreaming again. Before that I must have slept too, but it didn't feel like that, but rather like a bad sleeping pill that brings some rest, but no or at best a cold, dreamless sheep. The next day was cruel. I will never use binaural alpha music to come down again. Binaural theta music, on the other hand, works well for me.

2. “Binaural” visual stimulation

The effect of binaural music, that frequency differences between the music fed to the right and left ear cause a “beat”, i.e. a difference rhythm in the brain, leads to the question of whether this beat can only be caused by acoustic perception or also by other perceptions, which address the left and right brain hemispheres with different frequencies.
Studies indicate that an optical stimulation with a corresponding frequency differentiation triggers the same effect as an acoustic stimulation.(9)
The mode of action of binaural stimuli reminds us of the mechanisms of action of EMDR therapy (Shapiro). Here, too, it is ultimately irrelevant whether the body side-changing stimuli are conveyed by eye movements, changing touches of the halves of the body or acoustic stimuli. However, EMDR is probably not dependent on the use of certain frequencies and no different frequencies are used on the two body hemispheres.

3. Measurement of brain frequencies under binaural music

In our own experiment, we investigated the changes in brain frequencies caused by binaural music. The measurement was carried out using a medical frequency meter, as is also used for neurofeedback. The experiment included three modes: no music, binaural theta music, and binaural alpha music. The neurofeedback therapist who analyzed the results did not know when to switch or which music was used.

The measurement results show:

  • The changes can be seen to the minute.
  • The frequency changes have an immediate and constant effect, i.e. there are no further changes even after 15 minutes
  • There are no changes in the ratio of the frequencies (e.g. theta-beta ratio or other ratio)
  • The change in the EEG when switching between the 3 test modes (theta, alpha, no binaural music) was clearly visible.
  • The change between the two types of music (theta and alpha) was clearly visible.
    • Theta music did not increase the level of theta frequencies.
      However, there was a noticeable reduction in the theta band deflections. The frequency response became more uniform.
    • Alpha music resulted in an increase in the level of the alpha frequencies.

ATTENTION: This examination of a single person on a single day with binaural music from YouTube does not in any way meet any scientific requirements. This would require a measurement of a large number of test subjects with a piece of music they created themselves according to specific standards. Unfortunately, we cannot do this due to our limited resources.

Last updated on December 27th, 2020 at 2:11 pm