The old wives tale of counting sheep to help fall asleep has long been proven ineffective. Yet, if you have tried reducing screen time, taking time to relax before bed, eating earlier and decreasing caffeine intake and you are still struggling to sleep… you may feel a little lost.

If so, have you considered trying binaural beats?

Binaural beats, a technique where two different sound frequencies create the perception of a single new frequency tone, has been proven to reduce stress. How? Well, it helps create a low-frequency tone which enables the brain to slow down and relax, as well as reducing anxiety levels. We already know that sound is essential to sleep- many who struggle with insomnia have tried listening to relaxing music before bed, for example. Yet, whilst this has been proven to help quiet the mind, binaural beats go one step further and make it easier for you to fall asleep more soundly.

Let’s look at the contributing factors.

Brainwave activity during sleep is different from your brains activity when it is awake. Brain wave activity that is at a low frequency, compared to when you active, aids relaxation and sleep. Binaural beats have also been proven to create changes to three key hormones. These are DHEA, Cortisol and Melatonin. DHEA works to suppress cortisol, a hormone that stimulates alertness, and studies have shown more DHEA is produced when listening to binaural beats. Meanwhile, melatonin regulates our sleep by relaxing the body and mind. Whilst melatonin naturally rises in the evening as our body prepares to rest, studies have shown 73% of those who listened to binaural beats before sleeping had significantly higher levels of melatonin.

It is also good news for those who experience acute pain and anxiety- as these are often factors that interrupt our sleep pattern. When using binaural beats in connection with visual stimulation, perceptions of pain can be greatly reduced. Likewise, those who struggle with anxiety should consider binaural beats as cases have suggested not only an increase in relaxation, but also lower blood pressure.

The best part?

Binaural beats is a completely non-invasive therapy, that doesn’t rely on sleeping tablets or any other form of medication. It is also easily accessible- all you need is a quality recording and a pair of headphones! If you tend to feel anxious or stressed before bed (which then prevents you from switching off at night), you can also try incorporating another binaural beats session into the day. Just remember, these are designed to aid relaxation, so slot this into your day at the appropriate time! That extra binaural beat session may just be what you need when it’s time to go to sleep.

Once it becomes part of your routine binaural beats it an easy therapy to maintain, but the benefits could just be extraordinary.

Are you interested in listening to binaural beats to improve your sleep? Dr. Jeremy Alford has recorded several guided sleep meditations which use Binaural beats. These are all available to listen to for free here: https://www.choicesretreats.com/guided-meditations/

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6165862/

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