What if I told you that music can deliver more than just comfort? That it can rewire our brains and make the quality of our lives better?

This concept is called binaural beats, and it's begun to gain widespread support from government studies and health advocates.

What Are Binaural Beats?

Binaural beats are specially designed sounds that allow you to hear two slightly different frequencies in each ear. As different hertz come in from your left and right ear, your brain creates waves based on the distinction between the two frequency values you hear.

Here is a formula to simplify this:

Higher hertz minus lower hertz = Brain wave frequency

It's important to note that binaural beats only work through earphones. Using two loudspeakers won't work, as hertz can change while traveling through space and clashing with other sounds.

Which Brainwave Type Fits Your Need?

Graph of your 5 brainwave types
Image Source: Lucid.me

There are five types of brain waves, and their range of frequency can vary depending on what our brain determines as suitable for the situation.

  1. Delta (3Hz and below) - These are the lowest frequency brainwaves and are only experienced during sleep.
  2. Theta (3Hz to 8Hz) - These waves provide an almost euphoric feeling, as well as deep relaxation and drowsiness.
  3. Alpha (8Hz to 12Hz) - During the alpha wave state, you are awake and relaxed. Usually experienced during meditation, it's known to promote creativity, imagination, and relaxation.
  4. Beta (12Hz to 27Hz) - This is the state where we dwell most of the time - when we feel alert, awake, and focused. You're probably in Beta while reading this, and hopefully, it's not driving you down to Theta.
  5. Gamma (27Hz and above)- As the highest frequency of brainwaves, it conditions both your mind and body to perform at its peak state of extreme focus and alertness. However, binaural beats are unable to tap into this wave as it can only be activated under extreme conditions similar to fight or flight scenarios.

Binaural beats are essentially a method of hacking your brain to reach your desired brainwave state. This occurs simply by listening to binaural music with the right difference between the two hertz.

For example, you might be unable to get those creative juices flowing while writing your resume due to feelings of tension and stress. In these cases, listening to binaural beats for alpha waves may be the best choice for you. Revisiting the formula discussed earlier, listening to a binaural beat that produces 210 hertz on your left earphone and 200 hertz on your right results in a difference of 10Hz. Based on this value, you can tell that the brainwave frequency produced is the alpha waves.

How Can Nurses Benefit From Binaural Beats?

Truthfully, binaural beats can offer significant benefits for everyone. However, benefits are especially evident for this particularly high-stress role.

Reduced Anxiety - Binaural beats have many advantages, and one of them pertains to anxiety. It has been shown to positively affect mood states.

Enhanced cognitive flexibility - Your nursing role requires you to fulfill multiple responsibilities during every shift. Whether you provide care for three or five patients all at once, training your brain to multitask quickly isn't always easy. How about getting a little support by listening to high-frequency binaural beats?

Improved attention and focus - Medical knowledge is always subject to change. Sometimes, you may even be required to learn a whole concept from scratch. Understanding how to trigger your focus at its peak makes learning much easier.

Boost memory - With added attention and focus, information retention becomes easier. This is especially beneficial in chaotic hospital settings where everyone seems to be in a rush.

Improved sleep quality - There are times when you feel tired, but still find it difficult to fall asleep. Play soothing theta wave music to bring yourself to a sleeping mindset faster.

One of the biggest advantages of listening to binaural beats is that you don't have to adjust your schedule to reap the results. By simply plugging in your headset and moving forward with your typical routine, you can improve your life significantly.

Another thing we need to take note of is how complex the human brain is. The benefits we've mentioned could only be the tip of the iceberg. Inevitably, as binaural beats can change your brain works, even by a little, it could lead you to tap into your unknown potential. With just a little additional effort and so much to gain, why not try it today?

Karen Cas-Alinas
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