Twenty four hours a day, your brain fires off electrical impulses at a speed that makes the fastest computer in the world seem slow by comparison. If you were hooked up to an EEG machine for 24 hours straight, without saying a word, your brain waves would give a pretty good picture of how you’re feeling just by your brain wave activity. Brainwave states fall into 5 categories.
DELTA BRAIN WAVES: 0-4 Hz (cycles per second)
Delta brainwaves are the slowest brainwave activity. Delta brain waves occur during deep, dreamless sleep and are seen predominantly in newborns and infants. Delta brainwaves rarely occur in adults.
THETA BRAIN WAVES: 4-8 Hz (cycles per second)
Theta brainwaves are the second slowest brainwave activity. Theta occurs when your conscious mind is disengaged, such as in dreaming sleep, REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and deep meditation or self hypnosis. Many adults only attain the Theta brainwave state in their sleep, and can not seem to reach or sustain the Theta state when they are awake. Interestingly, the planet Earth resonates at a Theta frequency of 7.83 Hz, a frequency known as Schumann Resonances.
ALPHA BRAIN WAVES: 8-12 Hz (cycles per second)
Alpha is a state of relaxation and daydreaming and the state associated with pre-sleep and pre-waking drowsiness. Alpha brainwaves are associated with an effortless state of consciousness. Watching television can induce your mind to slip from Beta to the Alpha state, and children tend to play in Alpha. Serotonin release occurs in the Alpha brain wave state, at about 10 Hz.
BETA BRAIN WAVES: 12-30/34 Hz (cycles per second)
Beta brain waves are known as the awake state, indicating a strongly engaged mind. The Beta brainwave state is where we focus, learn, create, study, memorize, write and function in our day to day lives. Low Beta is associated with concentration and alertness and higher levels of Beta activity are associated with stress, anxiety and fight or flight reactions. Lack of low beta activity is associated with disorders such as depression, ADD, addiction, OCD and other anxiety disorders.
GAMMA BRAIN WAVES: 30/34 – 100+ Hz (cycles per second)
Gamma waves are the brain’s optimal frequency associated with increased compassion, optimal brain function, awareness of reality and increased mental abilities. Though more rapid than beta waves, gamma brainwaves have virtually unnoticeable amplitude and can be found in every part of the brain. Gamma waves serve as a binding mechanism between all parts of the brain and help to improve brain function and perception.