When you type “brainwave study music” into your search bar, more than likely, you are going to get a good variety of results: alpha brain waves, gamma, theta… But how do you know which one is the best to use, and when?
You’re in luck, because in this article, we will be exploring just that! But first, let’s quickly take a look at the 5 different types of brain waves.
Types of Brain Waves
Here is a brief summary of each type of brain wave and how it affects your brain — beginning with the highest Hz and working our way down to the lowest Hz:
Frequency range: 40 Hz – 100 Hz
Associated with: Bursts of insight
Increases when: Meditating
Gamma brain waves are associated with high-level information processing and rapid insight. These waves are important for learning new material and forming strong memory recall. When you reach a blissful state of meditation, you are most likely experiencing gamma brain waves.
Frequency range: 12 Hz – 40 Hz
Associated with: Normal waking consciousness
Increases when using: Coffee, stimulants, exercising
Beta brain waves are commonly observed during our waking consciousness while we are alert and displaying logic and critical reasoning. Being in a healthy beta brainwave range can spark alertness and productivity, but being too high in this frequency range is commonly associated with stress and anxiety.
Frequency range: 8 Hz – 12 Hz
Associated with: Relaxation
Increases when using: Relaxants
Alpha brain waves can be found in that mysterious space between our conscious and subconscious minds—it is present during deep relaxation and light meditation. This brain wave state increases your imagination, learning, visualization, and memory.
Frequency range: 4 Hz – 8 Hz
Associated with: Spiritual connection, intuition, light sleep
Increases when using: Depressants, during sleep
Theta brain waves are present while we are in deep meditation or light sleep. Our precious REM sleep happens during this brainwave state, and is only experienced briefly as you first begin to drift deeper from alpha.
Frequency range: 0 Hz – 4 Hz
Associated with: Deep sleep, restoration, healing
Increases when using: Depressants, in deep sleep
Delta brain waves (which are among the slowest possible brain wave frequencies) are what help you to feel fully rested and restored when you wake up from a wonderful night of sleep. Delta is experienced in our deep, dreamless sleep and is greatly important for our body’s healing and restoration.
What is the best brainwave music for studying?
Studies show that listening to brainwave entrainment music statistically increases IQ and improves test scores. Exciting news, right? You can learn more about how music can improve focus and learning here.
So, what is the best brainwave entrainment music to listen to while studying? Good question. The answer entirely depends on what type of studying you are doing.
Alpha brainwave music (8 – 10 Hz) is best for learning. In alpha, the body and mind are both relaxed, which slows down the brain’s mental activity and makes it much easier to focus and process information.
Memorization and creativity
If you are having to do a lot of memorizing or creative work,theta brainwave music (5 – 8 Hz) is going to be most helpful. In theta, your brainwave activity slows down below alpha, and begins forming an even greater connection to your subconscious mind. In this state, accessing the creative wonders of intuition and problem solving becomes nearly effortless, and connecting with your subconscious mind makes memorization much easier. You might take a look at Deeply Theta or NeuroFlow for tracks with a theta brain wave target.
For overall enhanced cognition, it is valuable to listen to gamma brainwave music — however, it is recommended to listen to it in a meditative state, not while studying. Gamma brain waves are produced during deep meditation, so it’s easy to see why getting your brain into this powerful state is helpful.
This blog was written by Mindvalley authors. Mindvalley is a global school of 3+ million people that produces some of the world’s top trainings for peak human performance. Mindvalley hosts unique events and experiences around the world, and supports communities and causes aligned with their vision for mankind.