If you’ve been reading our blog posts, or doing any kind of research on sleep, you should know that the brain is very involved in the process of sleeping.
It doesn’t “switch off” or go into rest mode when we sleep. In fact, it’s very busy! While our physical body sleeps, our brain is filing stuff away, creating memories, and telling the body to heal where it needs to.
The good news is that because of this busyness, we can make use of the best sleep frequency to help us fall asleep quicker!
No, we’re not talking about how often you sleep. We’re talking about binaural beats! These use the frequency of your brain waves to give you certain benefits.
Here’s everything you need to know!
What are Binaural Beats and How Do They Work?
The prefix “bi-” means two, and the word “aural” means related to the ear or hearing.
You may be thinking that “binaural” means two ears, then! That’s not quite accurate, but it’s close. It means “relating to both ears”.
It has to do with two sounds, a different one in each ear.
A binaural beat is not music. It actually doesn’t often even have a beat. Binaural beats consist of two different, single tones, one that’s played into each ear.
When your brain processes this, instead of hearing two different frequencies, you hear a single tone - the difference between the two frequencies in your ears.
For example, if the tone in your left ear plays at 300 Hz and the one in your right ear is 320 HZ, the binaural beat is at 20 Hz.
Why Is This Significant?
Basically, binaural beats are said to induce a trance-like state, similar to that of deep meditation.
This happens because your brain waves begin to sync with the frequency you’re hearing. Brain waves have frequencies, which is why different things happen at different stages of sleep.
Being in a meditative state has many benefits, but why use binaural beats instead of actually just meditating? Well, binaural beats supposedly get you to that state much faster.
When you’re in an “altered state of consciousness”, your brain and body communicate in a much smoother and faster way.
This facilitates healing, stress-relief, and even things like memory recall.
How Do Binaural Beats Help Sleep?
Anyone who’s ever used a fitness tracker to monitor their sleep will understand that there are different stages of sleep.
As you get deeper into sleep, the frequencies of your brain waves change. This is why different things happen in different stages of sleep!
Basically, you’re tricking your brain into thinking that it’s falling asleep already!
So What’s the Best Frequency for Sleep?
To answer this question, it’s necessary to explain the different frequency categories.
- Gamma: Maintain focus while a person is already awake - 30 to 50 Hz
- Beta: Promotes concentration and focus - 13 to 30 Hz
- Alpha: Awake and relaxed - 7 to 13 Hz
- Theta: Meditation, creativity, “in the zone” - 4 to 7 Hz
- Delta: Deep, dreamless sleep - 0.5 to 4 Hz
As you can see, three of the five categories are about being awake. That’s not what we’re looking for! While they can be useful for other things, we can exclude them from our search for the best sleep frequency.
You can see that Theta and Delta frequencies are the most conducive for sleep. So, our brain waves need to be between 0 and 7 Hz to be in the perfect zone to fall asleep peacefully.
Tips for Using Binaural Beats for Sleeping
So, you know that the best sleep frequency is between 0 and 7 Hz. Now what?
The first step is to find yourself some beats! This can be tough, but we’ll give you some tips down below.
Choose High Quality Beats
YouTube is most people’s first stop for binaural beats. If you’re using YouTube, be aware that the quality may be less. When files are uploaded, the site automatically compresses them in order to fit maaaaaany files on their servers.
Also, different file formats end up compressing differently. So you never quite know the quality you’re getting. Lower quality beats means a lower quality experience.
If you’re just starting out, you’ll probably find value on YouTube, though! If it’s your brain’s first experience of binaural beats, it’s likely to notice something and you’re likely to feel something.
It’s best to search for binaural beats for sleep using the name of the frequency category—Theta or Delta.
Don’t be alarmed if you see things like 432 Hz or 528 Hz. Remember, binaural beats use two different tones. This large number is called a “carrier tone”, and it’s the frequency of the lower of the two tones.
Usually, the video description will mention the binaural beats frequency (eg. 4 Hz). Let’s say you find a Theta tone that’s labeled “432 Hz Deep Relaxation Binaural Beats”, with a binaural beat of 4 Hz.
This means that:
- The carrier tone (lower tone) frequency is 432 Hz.
- The offset tone (higher tone) is 436 Hz.
- Therefore, the binaural beat is 4 Hz.
Right on the cusp of Theta and Delta. Make sense?
Your brain needs to hear one specific frequency in one ear, and the other tone in the other ear. They need to be distinctly separate in order for the brain to create the difference.
Playing the beats through a normal stereo won’t have quite the right effect. Using earphones will give you the best, most effective experience!
If you dislike wearing earphones in bed because they’re uncomfortable, Bedphones could be the solution. They’re made specifically for sleeping with!
Keep the Volume Moderate
Binaural beats are meant to be background noise. They shouldn’t be overwhelming or so loud that you can’t hear anything else around you.
You should be able to hear them clearly, but not too loudly. Keep the volume moderate for best results.
Stick to Shorter Times
Remember, your brain moves effortlessly through different stages of brain waves as the day and night progress.
Binaural beats is a quick, tricky way of getting your brain into the best sleep frequency for rest. But stick to shorter periods of time.
Bombarding your brain with binaural beats for excessive periods of time can either:
- Give you headaches
- Change your mood, or
- Become ineffective as your brain finds them disruptive
You won’t fall asleep effortlessly within minutes of plugging binaural beats into your ears. You’re basically tuning your brain to feel sleepy, but it takes time and effort.
Be prepared to spend a good 30 minutes on it each night. It also may be difficult to adjust to the first few times you try it.
Like all new habits, make a good go of it for at least 21 days. After that, you can decide if it works for you or not!
What Else Can I Use Binaural Beats For?
If you find the best sleep frequency useful, you can use binaural beats for other things too! Try them for:
- Alleviating symptoms of anxiety
- Stress reduction
- Improved focus when working or studying
- Intense focus during exercise
- Shifting consciousness during meditation
Who Shouldn’t Use Binaural Beats?
As with any alternative therapies, binaural beats may not work for everyone. But, like anything, there are some people who should avoid trying them in the first place, as they may cause further complications.
- People who suffer from seizures
- Those who’ve been diagnosed with psychological disorders
- Anyone with a heart condition
Now you know the best sleep frequency, how to find a beat containing it, and how to use it to guide you into a more restful sleep!
Why not try it tonight and let us know how it goes? Who knows… You may just find that your sleeping habits (and in turn, how you feel and perform every day) improve in surprising ways.