What is Brainwave Entrainment & Does It Really Work?

DefinitionBrainwave entrainment uses audio or visual stimuli to induce specific brainwave patterns associated with different mental states
Main TechniquesTwo main techniques: binaural beats (different pitches in each ear) and isochronic tones (evenly spaced sound pulses)
Purported BenefitsRelaxation, improved focus and creativity, better sleep, stress reduction
TheorySounds synchronize brainwaves; allows accessing sleep-state brain patterns while awake
EvidenceSome studies show measurable changes in brainwaves and benefits like less anxiety, but other studies show no effects. More research needed.
ConsiderationsGenerally safe, but not for children, those with pacemakers/epilepsy. Effects of long-term use unknown.
find out what is brainwave entrainment and how it works

Brainwave entrainment is a technique that uses auditory or visual stimuli to induce specific brainwave patterns. These patterns are associated with different states of consciousness, such as relaxation, focus, and creativity.

There are two main types of brainwave entrainment:

  • Binaural beats: These are auditory stimuli that create a difference in pitch between the left and right ear. The brain attempts to harmonize these two tones, which can produce brainwave oscillations at the difference frequency.
  • Isochronic tones: These are auditory stimuli that consist of evenly spaced pulses of sound. The frequency of the pulses is related to the desired brainwave frequency.

Chances are that you’ve used brainwave entrainment at least once in your life, even if you’ve never realized it.

It is a simple way to relax after a stressful day, unwind your thoughts, or even prepare yourself for a difficult day ahead.

Many people listening to the brainwave entrainment music can manage their emotions better, which, in turn, helps them to manage their relationships, important decisions, and even finances more effectively.

music for meditation, stress relief, relaxation

Brainwave Entrainment & Human Brain

The human brain is considered by many to be the best supercomputer ever created.

It’s billions of cells, called neurons, that actually fire electrical signals across the brain to create neural pathways.

These pathways then become how we each uniquely perceive the mental, physical, emotional, and even spiritual world.

Just like a computer can operate in a peak efficiency state when you’ve got the performance factors maximized, the same is true for the human brain.

Does your laptop might run a little faster if you shut down a few programs?

The human brain reaches peak performance during times of dreaming sleep in terms of creativity and problem-solving, while dreamless sleep tends to have our body secrete certain hormones.

Can you tap into these sleeping periods of peak performance during your waking hours?

The answer is yes when you use brainwave entrainment.


Specific Tones Create Specific Brain States

Brainwave entrainment works by allowing the brain to interpret certain tones and associate them with the periods of dreaming and/or dreamless sleep.

These tones, which are often inaudible to the human ear, allow you to literally begin remembering how to access the parts of the brain that you use during your sleep cycles.

  • a Tibetan monastery,
  • waterfalls,
  • singing bowls, or
  • wind through the forest.

You simply place your headphones on to block out the rest of the world, assume your meditative pose, and let the brainwave entrainment do the work.

Why Does Brainwave Entrainment Work?

It works because the brain “harmonizes” with the sounds that it hears. Does your foot tap or head bop when there’s a great song on? Do certain sounds generate feelings of happiness? These are simple ways that the mind harmonizes with the sounds of the environment.

Brainwave entrainment enhances this concept so that sounds become associated with the mental need you have. Better focus, enhanced creativity, or a better night’s sleep can all be achieved when brainwave entrainment is being used.

Have you ever been in a cave, a canyon, or even a valley where your voice echoed repeatedly?

When you put the headphones on to experience brainwave entrainment for the first time, you’re essentially experiencing this concept inside your mind.

Say you’ve got a signal of 420hz in your right ear, but only 400hz in your left ear. Your brain will distinguish the 20hz difference and interpret it as a sound, even though it’s not something that you physically hear. That 20hz difference is where brain entrainment begins to work.

Your brain waves will actually begin to synchronize to the brainwave entrainment frequency. This is how stress reduction, emotional control, and even event structuring begin to take place.

The stressed out mind has brain waves that are literally all over the place, and many of them are out of control. By having your brain waves synchronize, you’ll experience fewer negative emotional and physical side effects to the stress you’ve been encountering.

In other words, brainwave entrainment works by helping you effectively cope with what is going on.


The Evidence on Brainwave Entrainment: Mixed Research Findings

There is some research evidence that brainwave entrainment can have measureable effects, but the findings are mixed:

  • Several studies show that brainwave entrainment, especially with binaural beats, can entrain and alter brainwaves as measured by EEG. There is evidence it can increase alpha, theta, and delta waves associated with relaxation and certain levels of meditation.
  • A few studies found brainwave entrainment helped induce meditative states, improve cognition, and reduce anxiety and insomnia. But other studies found no effects on cognition or mood.
  • Most research has focused on short-term effects during or right after listening. Less is known about longer-lasting benefits on mental abilities or states. More rigorous, larger trials are still needed.
  • The mechanisms underlying brainwave entrainment are unclear. More research is needed on exactly how and why some techniques may or may not work consistently.

Can People Become Immune to Brainwave Entrainment?

Listening to brainwave entrainment has benefits that can be experienced at virtually any time of day. If you listen to 30-60 minutes of brainwave entrainment 6 days per week, then you will maximize your experience. Shorter amounts will provide smaller benefits, while long-term use has not been shown to have any additional value.

Think of it like a good night’s sleep. When you go to sleep, it is because you’re tired. You wake up and start a new day without being as tired.

Your mind needs balance. Brainwave entrainment helps the brain be able to naturally achieve that balance. Once balance is achieved, however, then the mind is ready to get going on the next task.

Gamma Brain Waves mp3

Is Brainwave Entrainment Right For You?

If you are suffering from daily stress and you feel like you are just getting beat down, then the answer is yes… but with a caveat.

Brainwave entrainment is not right for children, people who have a pacemaker, or if you have been diagnosed with epilepsy. It is also not recommended for women who are pregnant or think they could be pregnant.

what is the difference between isochronic tones and binaural beats

Are You Ready to Try Brainwave Entrainment?

If you believe that you could benefit from an energy boost to start your day, help yourself get to sleep faster at night, or you just need to relieve some stress so that you can feel like yourself again, then you may wish to give brainwave entrainment a try in the coming days.

With a little practice, you can tap into the hidden resources your mind has for you, utilize them to your advantage, and feel much better.

In return, all you need to do is dedicate 30 minutes of your day, without distraction or interruption, to brainwave entrainment. Is that a deal you feel is worth making?

You may also be interested in:

1. Do Binaural Beats Work? 

2. Download Binaural Beats MP3 Files 

3. Quality Headphones For Binaural Beats


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