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While some people prefer higher frequency sounds other people prefer lower frequency sounds. Figuring out which ones you like the most and using them to help you de-stress might be more beneficial than you think.

Frequency sounds can be used to help us as human beings calm down. This is especially important since we’re facing a lot of stressful things right now. We’re seemingly stuck within a huge crisis and it feels like things are going to get worse before they get better.

While most people don’t take the time to consider the frequencies that they’re facing when it comes to sound healing, you should be. Sound healing is basically the act of using sound as a means of healing or getting rid of stress. It works as a means of meditation, of sorts. 

Sound healing, for the most part, is something that uses vibrations through vocal measures or even instruments like gongs to get music that can really work to calm others. If you’ve ever used a ‘sounds to help de-stress’ video on YouTube or elsewhere to meditate over chances are you’ve engaged with this kind of healing means. There is no denying that sounds can induce autonomic responses in listeners. 

Depending on the frequency of the music or sounds we listen to we can work to calm ourselves more properly. I recently came across a study that presented music that had been amplified be it in a higher way or lower way frequency wise to groups of women. The response they gained through listening to both high and low as well as a basic white noise were analyzed and the researchers working on this were able to conclude that high frequency has the most beneficial results. That having been said both were able to make changes. While basic white noise was seemingly ‘stress-inducing.’

Something that many people refer to these different frequency sounds as is a ‘binaural beat’ but not all of them are binaural beats. These binaural beats are basically something gained through combining two slightly different sound frequencies to create a new tone or at least the perception of a new tone. I know, all of this might sound a bit confusing but bear with me.

According to Psychology Today, binaural beats work as follows:

The theory is that when exposed to two different frequencies at the same time, one in each ear, the brain actually perceives a single tone that is the difference between the two separate frequencies. Your brain, in a sense, “tunes” to this new frequency.

You listen to binaural beats using headphones. In each ear, you receive sound at a slightly different frequency (often accompanied by some relaxing background sounds). If your left ear receives a 300-hertz tone and your right ear receives a 280-hertz tone, your brain will process and absorb a 10-hertz tone. That’s a very low-frequency soundwave—one you can’t actually hear. But you don’t need to hear the sound for your brain to be affected by it.

Why is exposure to these soundwaves helpful to sleep and relaxation? Science shows that exposure to binaural beats can create changes in the brain’s degree of arousal. Listening to these sounds that create a low-frequency tone, research indicates, triggers a slow-down to brainwave activity—and that may help you relax, lower your anxiety, and make it easier for you to fall asleep and sleep more soundly.

To understand how binaural beats may help relaxation, mood, mental performance, and sleep, you need to know a little bit about brain waves and what they indicate about our state of consciousness, emotion, and mental activity. Brainwaves are created from the pulses of electrical activity our neurons exhibit as they communicate with each other. Our thoughts, feelings, and actions are all expressed through this constant neural communication—so our brainwaves are associated with how we feel and what we can do at any given moment.

For the purpose of this discussion, we’ll talk about four major types of brainwaves:

Beta. These brainwaves are associated with high levels of alertness and arousal. When beta brainwave patterns dominate, we’re primed to focus and concentrate, to make decisions and think analytically. When you’re analyzing an issue at work, you’re probably in a beta-dominant state. Beta waves are fast, with a higher frequency (between 15-40 hertz). At the higher levels of this range, beta waves are associated with anxiety.

Alpha. Alpha brainwave patterns are associated with a state of wakeful relaxation. Slower and lower in frequency (between 9-14 hertz), alpha waves are dominant when we’re calm and relaxed, but still alert. Alpha waves are associated with states of meditation—your yoga class probably puts you in an alpha state—and also with our ability to be creative.

Theta. This brainwave pattern is associated with deep relaxation and with some stages of sleep, including the lighter stages of non-REM (NREM) sleep. REM sleep itself is mostly composed of beta wave and other activity that’s similar to an alert, waking brain. Deep meditation produces theta waves, which are slower and of lower frequency (between 5-8 hertz) than Alpha waves. That murky barrier between sleep and wakefulness, when you’re drifting in and out of sleep, and your thoughts feel dreamlike and difficult to remember? That’s a theta-dominant state of consciousness.

Delta. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ve heard me talk about slow-wave, delta sleep. Delta waves are slow, low-frequency brainwaves (between 1.5-4 hertz) that are the dominant brainwave pattern of deep (stage 3 and 4), NREM sleep.

As you can see, the faster (and higher frequency) the brainwave pattern, the greater your state of arousal. The slower and lower frequency brainwaves are, the deeper your state of relaxation—or sleep.

As Psychology Today made clear, binaural beats can not only help you relax more and let go of stress, but they can also help you to get better sleep if you’re interested in playing them while trying to sleep. Below you will find several videos holding different healing sounds and binaural beats, if you want to sleep better or get rid of some stress perhaps meditating over these sounds could help you in ways you otherwise would not imagine. Will you be giving them a chance?