Restful Mind (Part 1) - The Zen-Like Benefits of Alpha Brain Waves

Restful Life
5 min read

You're staring out the window. Fluffy clouds drift gently across an impossibly blue sky.

A deep and pleasant sigh escapes your lips. You lift your cup of warm tea and take a delicious sip.

The chair beneath you feels soft yet sturdy. You notice the birds chirping and a warm breeze.

There’s no rush to be anywhere. Everything feels calm and relaxed.

This is your brain on Alpha waves.

When Alpha brain waves are dominant, you’re in a state of wakeful rest.

Alpha waves naturally occur just after you wake up, during daydreaming and relaxation. You’re awake but you aren’t concentrating too hard.

What are alpha brain waves?

Graph of 5 seconds of alpha brain waves including their benefits

Your brain contains billions of neurons that use electrical signals to communicate.

Neurons fire together to send signals to other neurons. And the resulting patterns form brain waves.

Brain waves are measured by their frequency per second, or in Hertz (Hz). And there are five types of brain waves that range from very slow to very fast.

Alpha waves fall somewhere in the middle. Not too fast, not too slow.

The frequency of Alpha brain waves are between 8-12 Hertz. This means Alpha waves peak 8 to 12 times per second.

Benefits of Alpha waves include:

  • calm focus
  • reduced stress
  • quiet reflection

Types of Brain Waves

Alpha brain waves are one kind of brain wave. There are five types of brain waves, each with a different frequency range and unique benefits.

From slowest to fastest they are:

Brain WaveFrequencyBenefits
Delta0.5 - 4 Hzdeep, dreamless sleep
Theta4 - 8 HzREM sleep or deep calm
Alpha8 - 12 Hzcalm focus or relaxation
Beta12 - 30 Hzalert and focused
Gamma25 - 100 Hzspike during active problem solving,
information processing and learning

Why Alpha brain waves reduce anxiety & calm you down

When you’re producing alpha waves, you’re in a more relaxed, restful mental state. Which means alpha brain waves help you to reduce stress and feel calmer.

One study found that alpha brain wave neurofeedback training helped participants reduce anxiety.

Another study found that increasing alpha activity in the brain’s parietal lobes helped decrease symptoms of both anxiety and depression in those with generalized anxiety disorder.

So by boosting your alpha waves, you might also experience less anxiety and a greater sense of calm.

Can you increase alpha brain waves?

Woman relaxing back in a chair with her eyes closed

In a word? Yes.

You can activate alpha brain waves through neurofeedback - a brain training program where you try to produce specific brain waves.

A 2009 study also suggested that meditation and mindfulness training could boost alpha brain waves states.

But an easy and effective way to increase alpha waves is by listening to meditones®. Because meditones help entrain your brain.

What is alpha brain wave entrainment?

Entrainment refers to the synchronization of organisms to an external perceived rhythm.

Your mind and body integrate musical patterns in unison with your biological rhythms. Like tapping your foot along with the beat.

But some entrainment rhythms are more subtle. Music can entrain your heartbeat, your hormones and even your brain waves.

Both brain waves and sound waves are measured in Hertz. Which means we can use sound to stimulate or entrain specific brain wave patterns.

How do meditones entrain alpha brain waves?

Meditones are precisely tuned frequencies of sound, that when heard with headphones, guide your brain into effortless calm.

Here’s how they work.

When two frequencies combine they create a humming vibration. When you listen to this vibration with a pair of headphones? Your brain synchronises to the vibrating frequency.

For example, when you listen to a vibration of 10Hz, your brain will produce brain waves of 10Hz.

Illustration of a person wearing headphones listening to Alpha meditones at 10 Hz

Brain waves that are at a frequency of 10Hz are in the Alpha range. So by listening to meditones at 10Hz, you’ll start to produce Alpha brain waves. And feel blissfully relaxed. Effortlessly.

The technical term for meditones is binaural beats. And their results are completely backed by science.

But all you need to remember is that they make you calm without you having to do a thing. Just listen with headphones, and the meditones effect occurs naturally and easily.

Alpha brain waves and music

Back of a woman's head with long brown hair, with headphones on and her hands over the earpads

Slower-paced music is perfect for inducing a relaxed state of mind. By combining Alpha meditones and calming music? You can quickly reap the benefits of Alpha brain waves, such as:

  • calm focus
  • reduced stress
  • decreased anxiety

Inside the Restful app we have hours of calming meditones music for alpha brain waves. Download for free today on Google Play or the App Store.

Takeaway

Electrical activity is always occurring in your brain. But alpha brain waves are dominant when you are awake and calm.

You can boost alpha brain waves when you listen to meditones, meditate or practice mindfulness. Which in turn will help you reduce stress, overcome anxiety and feel calmer.