Brainwaves are electrical impulses, generate by synchronised electrical pulses from masses of neurons communicating with each other. This is how neurons communicate with each other. We can see these electrical changes between neurons via EEG – electroencephalogram. In EEG, they place electrodes on the scalp, to amplify, analyse, and visualise these electrical impulses. Brainwaves are measured in cycles per second (Hertz; Hz is the short form). There are five widely recognized brain waves, and they are categorized based on their amplitudes and frequencies and brainwaves change constantly throughout the day according to what you’re doing and feeling
Gamma Brainwaves are the fastest and most subtle brain waves. The frequency of Gamma brainwave is 39-100 hertz. When you’re deeply focused and your brain is very actively engaged in solving a problem, this is when your brain is likely producing gamma waves. Therefore, it is important to generate appropriate gamma waves in order to keep focus. If your brain produces high levels of gamma waves, you tend to be happier and more receptive. You may also have a higher intelligence quotient or IQ and better concentration.
If your brain produces low levels of gamma waves, you may develop learning and memory problems. You may experience lower concentration, attention span, and mental ability. Lower levels of gamma waves can even lead to learning disabilities and mental disorders. Research suggested that we can boost our gamma wave production from meditation.
Some of the benefits of Gamma waves are;
- can improve your cognition and problem-solving ability
- help you with information processing
- can improve your memory
- can help increase your attention span
- can increase your awareness and mindfulness
- may boost your brain’s immunity and function
We can simply increase our Gamma Brainwaves by mediation and Yoga. Regular meditation (this includes meditation -in-motion, yoga) is a relatively faster method to trigger gamma wave activity within the brain. It has been observed that students practising Bhramari Pranayama (a breathing technique method) generated high-frequency gamma waves. According to researchers who have studied yoga teacher training, yoga does produce a high volume of gamma waves inside the brain. Monks and nuns have been observed with having the highest level of concentration and cognitive functioning.
Brainwave entrainment is another way to increase Gamma. It is a process that trains the human brain to produce brainwaves of a specific frequency. With the help of a brainwave entrainment specialist, a brain can be trained to produce waves that are the difference between two different frequencies sent into the same ear. It is one of the many ways to escalate gamma wave production inside the brain.
Furthermore, binaural beats can naturally produce gamma brainwaves inside a human brain. This can result in improvement of long-term memory and trigger bettered data processing functions. On the other hand, it could also be used to prevent memory deterioration in the future.
Beta Brainwaves are the brain waves that dominate when you’re wide awake, alert, focused and occupied with mental activities such as problem-solving or decision making. These fast-running waves are the ones most of us produce during the day and throughout most of our waking lives and can detect under 13-38 Hertz. If you are excited or anxious or when you experience something new or have complex thoughts, you have high Beta brain waves. When you are thinking, it becomes lower.
Some of the benefits of Beta brainwaves are;
- Enhance Concentration
- Act as a Motivator
- Enhancement of language and reading skills
We can regulate Beta Brainwaves by mediation. The key is to keep Beta in balance is making our minds relax.
Alpha Brainwaves were the first type to be discovered back in 1924 by German psychiatrist Hans Berger, who invented electroencephalography (EEG – where electrodes are placed on the scalp to record the electrical activity of the brain). Alpha Brainwaves can be detected when you are awake but relaxed and not processing much information – such as first thing in the morning, just before you go to sleep when you’re daydreaming or practising meditation (some scientists also claim aerobic exercise helps create alpha waves)under 8-23 Hertz. Alpha waves assist overall mental coordination, calmness, alertness, mind/body integration, and learning. Furthermore, it can be accessed when we engage in routine tasks, such as showering, using the washroom, or going for a walk.
Some of the benefits of Alpha Brainwaves are;
- Ease anxiety
- Lower depression
- Boost creativity
- Increase pain tolerance
- Boost resilience to stress
There are several ways to boost our alpha brainwaves. Neurofeedback is one of the professional ways and it allows you to listen to your own brain waves in real-time and teaches you to change them at will. Meditation is the old school version of Neurofeedback and it helps to increase Alpha by developing our inner calm and focus. Forgiveness and gratitude are two powerful ways to boost Alpha, and they’re even more powerful when you combine them. Listen to binaural beats let you tune your brain which leads to boost brainwaves. Avoiding Blue light (like the light from electronics and LEDs) is another most important thing to increase Alpha brainwaves.
Theta Brainwaves are the gateway for learning, memory, and intuition. Theta Brainwaves are produced during light sleep, during very deep meditation, or extreme relaxation and can be detected under 4-7 Hertz.
Some of the benefits of Theta Brainwaves are;
- Stress Relief
- Easier Meditation Practice
- Increased Levels of Creativity
- Body Healing & Rejuvenation
- Increased Mental Clarity
- Lucid Dreaming
- Increased Vigour
- Improve Relationships
- Better Sleep
Children from 2-6 where it facilitates their rapid learning abilities and vivid, creative imaginations. It’s during their highly suggestible ‘theta years’ that a child’s fundamental, life-shaping beliefs, experiences and assumptions about the world are ‘programmed’ into their subconscious. That’s why loving, positive early parenting and safe, supportive environments are absolutely vital for their best future. Furthermore, mediation and listen to binaural beats also helps to boost Theta brainwaves.
Delta Brainwaves are generated in deepest meditation and dreamless sleep. They can be detected under 0.5-4 Hertz. Healing and regeneration are stimulated in this state, and that is why deep restorative sleep is so essential to the healing process. Delta is prominently seen in brain injuries, learning problems, inability to think, and severe ADHD. If this wave is suppressed, it leads to an inability to rejuvenate the body and revitalize the brain, and poor sleep. Adequate production of delta waves helps us feel completely rejuvenated and promotes the immune system, natural healing, and restorative/deep sleep. Delta is the dominant brainwave rhythm in infants up to one year of age. It makes sense, though, because babies spend so much time asleep – but they experience high volume delta when awake. Delta waves will be the last type of brainwaves we produce before we die. It makes sense: the brain slows down and fizzles out. Scientific research has shown that women have more delta wave activity than men. Interestingly, females among most other species of mammal display a similar tendency.
Some of the benefits of Delta Brainwaves are;
- Help to Access the Subconscious Mind
- Help to rejuvenated and promotes the immune system
With brainwave entrainment, it is possible to stimulate delta production. For example, delta frequency binaural beats have become a popular sleep aid. Listening before bed helps encourage the production of delta waves. This happens because of the frequency following response created by binaural beats. The brain follows along at the frequency it is played and begins producing brainwaves at that frequency.
Now you have a better understanding of brain waves, their functions, and how to stimulate them or control them and let’s talk about how brain waves make us who we are now …
As you know the five types of brain waves and their functions, you can imagine that our brain waves relate to our emotional and neurological conditions. Research has identified that when our brainwaves are out of balance, there will be corresponding problems in our emotional or neuro-physical health.
Over-arousal in certain brain areas is linked with anxiety disorders, sleep problems, nightmares, hyper-vigilance, impulsive behaviour, anger/aggression, agitated depression, chronic nerve pain and spasticity. Under-arousal in certain brain areas leads to some types of depression, attention deficit, chronic pain, and insomnia. A combination of under-arousal and over-arousal is seen in cases of anxiety, depression, and ADHD.
Instabilities in brain rhythms correlate with tics, obsessive-compulsive disorder, aggressive behaviour, rage, bruxism, panic attacks, bipolar disorder, migraines, narcolepsy, epilepsy, sleep apnoea, vertigo, tinnitus, anorexia/bulimia, PMT, diabetes, hypoglycemia, and explosive behaviour.
Therefore, it’s important to keep our brain waves in balance in order to have a healthy and clear mental status which is the key to focus on our goals and work towers to achieve them.
Some of our actions can make your brain waves slower such as not having enough sleep, too much caffeine consumption, alcohol, restless work or having brain damage.
If you can control your brain waves, you can be whoever you want to be. You can be a great mathematician, innovator, or anyone else who is in the top of their field. Our emotions, daily habits, and everything that we engage in daily life are inseparable from our brain waves. Therefore, our conscious actions can make a big difference in our lives.