The benefits of binaural beats are well documented in the scientific literature, and are similar to those produced by meditation (1).
In this post, we will look at the parallels between the two and highlight key research studies in popular areas of binaural beats use, namely relaxation, sleep, anxiety, pain relief, and memory.
We'll also show why using binaural beats is more effective than simply meditating, and explain how to use binaural beats effectively.
- Binaural beats benefits
- ‘Whole Functioning Brain'
- Comparison with meditation
- Using binaural beats
- Get started
The Proven Benefits of Binaural Beats on Health
We have thousands of users using our music to improve important aspects of their wellbeing and personal development.
We get a lot of feedback, but we also have a growing body of research that proves the effectiveness and benefits of regular use.
These benefits include:
- Reduced levels of stress and anxiety.
- Increased ability to focus and concentrate.
- Improved learning capacity & cognitive skills.
- Deeper, more restorative sleep.
- Reduced feelings of depression and anger.
- Deep meditation for inner healing.
Let's look at some of the scientific research in for binaural beats in five popular areas of use.
1. Meditation & Healing
Research has shown that binaural beats can help induce a meditative state for deep relaxation and inner healing (2).
Where meditation is concerned, binaural beats can help shift the brain into the relaxed, centered state required for inner focus and reflection. Theta binaural beats recordings are generally used for this purpose.
In the study cited above, a frequency of 6 Hz was “suggested as a stimulus for inducing a meditative state”.
The study measured brain functionality during the test and showed that “the pattern recorded for 10 minute exposure appeared to be brain functions of a meditative state.
The researchers also noted that the tension factor of those listening to the recording decreased.
A meditative state is conducive to healing in both mind and spirit. And the reduction in tension is conducive to better immunity and lower levels of stress response hormones such as cortisol.
2. Anxiety & Stress
Research has shown that binaural beats music can be used to significantly reduce anxiety (3, 4).
In a study of preoperative dental patients, an area in which many people find themselves feeling anxious, researchers found that the experimental group using binaural beats experienced reduced anxiety.
The study concluded that “binaural beats may be useful in reducing preoperative anxiety in dentistry”.
In another study looking at psychological effects, a reduction in anxiety was also seen.
There was a decrease in trait anxiety, an increase in quality of life, and a decrease in insulin-like growth factor-1.
The researchers concluded that “binaural beat technology may exhibit positive effect on self-reported psychologic measures, especially anxiety”.
The decrease in IGF-1 is also notable, since high levels of this hormone in adults have been linked with cancer.
3. Pain Relief
Research has shown binaural beats to be effective at reducing the severity of chronic pain (5).
This is because at low frequency levels (Delta), binaural beats are found by many to have an anesthetic effect.
Thirty six adults, all suffering from chronic pain symptoms were given two recordings to listen to for 14 days.
Again, as we saw above in the meditation research section, a 6 Hertz binaural beat was used. The control (sham) group was exposed to a random frequency of 300 Hz.
In pain test scores, the binaural beats (experimental group) showed most improvement.
The study concluded:
The results supported the hypothesis that an external audio protocol of TBB was effective in reducing perceived pain severity for participants.
4. Sleep & Insomnia
Research has shown that binaural beats can improve sleep quality and motivational state (6 7).
With so many people suffering from insomnia, the benefit of using binaural beats is a preferred natural approach to sleep improvement over prescription medication, which is often costly and potentially addictive.
One study set out to see if binaural beats could help improve the sleep of young, elite soccer players.
The players were given binaural beats to listen to while they slept over a period of 8 weeks. The recordings were between 2-8 Hz (Delta and Theta).
The results were positive and the study concluded:
Auditory stimulation with binaural beats improved perceived sleep quality and the post-sleep state of athletes,
Another study showed that listening to 3 Hz (Delta) binaural beats improved deep sleep by extending this period of sleep.
The study concluded:
This increased N3 duration was induced by the 3-Hz binaural beat, as was clearly observed by the comparison of the change in the control group at the same time-point, night 3 compared with night 2. This comparison was conducted to confirm that this effect was indeed the effect of the stimulus, not the effect of habituation to the surrounding environment.
Research has shown that binaural beats may improve working memory and long term memory (8, 9 10).
A number of key areas have been looked into, with perhaps the most interesting being the proportional relationship between gamma activity and long-term memory.
Researchers used 40 Hz binaural beats to study this relationship and found that “stimulation of gamma should enhance long term memory capacity”.
This is particularly good news for those wanting to maintain memory capacity as they age.
Indeed, regular use of Gamma state binaural beats may “enable the processing of information directly to and from human memory via gamma, the hippocampus and the temporal lobe”.
Another key finding emerged from a different study. Researchers found:
Listening to 15 Hz binaural beats during a *visuospatial working memory task not only increased response accuracy, but also modified the strengths of the cortical networks during the task.
* Visuospatial skill is the ability to represent, analyze, and mentally manipulate objects.
15 Hz is the start of the Beta waves state. What's interesting about this finding is that at 5Hz (Theta) and 10 Hz (low Alpha), they did not see the same effect. So the effect binaural beats has on memory seems to start in the Beta state and continue up to the Gamma state.
This theory is corroborated by a third study, in which researchers used 5 Hz (Theta) and 20 Hz (Beta) binaural beats on the subjects.
They found the following:
Exposure to beta-frequency binaural beats yielded a greater proportion of correctly recalled words and a higher sensitivity index d' in recognition tasks, while theta-frequency binaural-beat presentation lessened the number of correctly remembered words and the sensitivity index.
For a deeper dive on the research discussed above, you can click on the numbers in brackets. These number link to the original study papers.
All studies are published in peer-reviewed journals to ensure they meet the standards required for publishing medical-related data and information.
If you are keen to understand the theory behind binaural beats, please visit our how binaural beats work page. You can also download our free guide.
Developing a ‘Whole Functioning Brain'
Regular use of binaural beats encourages a synchronization (balance) between brain hemispheres, which helps improves mental/emotional health and mental functioning.
This is what is known as “whole brain functioning”: the stimulation and creation of new neural pathways between the right and left hemispheres of your brain. This is thought to result in elevated brain performance (12).
Based on the research cited above and feedback from our users, regular use of this music therapy may improve your life in the following ways:
- Able to focus better on work and study.
- Improvements in your short and long term memory.
- The ability to think with greater clarity and better informed decision making.
- Lower stress and anxiety levels, which in turn will make you feel happier.
- Better sleep and more energy.
- A marked improvement in emotional stability and management of relationships with colleagues, friends, and family.
- Increased use of intuition and subsequent higher levels of creativity.
- More spiritually connected to the wider world.
The combined benefits of binaural beats have a holistic effect that impacts your life as a whole.
Being less stressed, more focused, better rested and energized means being a better version of yourself. You will operate to a higher level of your potential and generally feel happier.
Binaural Beats Vs. Meditation
If we compare the benefits of binaural beats to those seen in meditation, the two are similar.
1. Happier and less stressed
Research suggests this may be due to the fact that meditation reduces the area of the brain responsible for anxiety, fear and stress.
This would mean less stress and anxiety and increased feelings of contentment and joy. (13, 14).
2. Better problem-solving abilities
Those who meditate have sharper minds. This is because meditation is associated with changes in gray matter concentration in the brain regions involved in learning and memory processes and emotion regulation.
It is no coincidence that so many successful people make meditation part of their daily routine, and that companies around the world encourage their employees to engage in meditation practice (4).
3. Preserving Memory & Aging
Meditation may help preserve brain structure and function from progressive age-related decline, and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (15, 16)
4. Better Sleep
Meditation may also improve sleep quality and help those with insomnia (17).
The research is certainly clear: meditation is good for your overall health. It is free health benefit that everyone can enjoy. So then, the question remains…
So Why Isn't Everyone Meditating?
The problem with meditation is that it isn't for everyone.
Some people are turned off by the idea of sitting in a meditation class, or at home, for an hour in silence.
It isn't suited to those who are elderly and inflexible, those who have particular disabilities, or find it hard to sit on the floor or in the lotus position (cross legged).
Others associate it with Buddhism, and being of another religious persuasion may be uncomfortable with this. And some may feel the association with temples and monks simply doesn't represent them.
Those who do want to give it a go often find themselves unable to switch off. And it is no surprise. What with thoughts of work, bills, kids, etc., finding “mental stillness” is no easy feat.
It can take time for the benefits of meditation to begin to manifest too, which means some people get bored and frustrated at the lack of significant change.
And that's where the benefits of binaural beats music comes into play. This form of brainwave entrainment provides the benefits of meditation without the traditional approach and religious association.
By combining binaural beats and relaxing music, our special music helps people access states of wellbeing conducive to better health. This is done simply by putting on headphones and pressing play.
How to Use Binaural Beats
Our signature music delivers the benefits of meditation through the medium of relaxing music that incorporates the necessary frequencies, as outlined in the research above.
Typically, our listeners show impressive improvements in sleep, stress relief, focus, productivity and general personal motivation after just a couple of weeks of regular use.
Using binaural beats is easy: Simply put on a pair of headphones, press play on your computer, phone, tablet, or mp3 player and listen.
Often people ask whether they should sit or lie down, or whether they can continue working or doing another task. The answer is to do what is most conducive to the desired outcome.
So if you are listening to binaural beats to improve your sleep, you should listen up to an hour before bed, or even in bed while you relax.
You might listen while you read your book in bed, or choose to sit on the sofa and listen for 30 minutes before bed (TV and phone switched off).
If you're listening for meditation and relaxation purposes, you should sit or lie down in a place that is generally free of distraction.
On the other hand, if you are listening to binaural beats for helping you focus, it would be fine to listen while you work at the computer or engage in any other task.
This is because such tracks usually use Alpha state beats, designed for wakeful focus.
One thing you shouldn't do is listen to binaural beats while driving or operating heavy machinery. Any kind of music/frequency-based distraction can be dangerous in such situations.
Are you ready to begin enjoying the benefits of binaural beats?
Click here to download a sample and try our special music today.
The free download also provides you with a guide that will explain more about our audio technology, and how to get the most out of your listening experience.