Binaural beats were discovered in 1839 by a German scientist named Heinrich Dove. Ever since, they have been touted as one of the most popular forms of brainwave entrainment, along with monaural beats and isochronic tones.
Listening to binaural beats can quickly create states of quiet meditation, which is excellent practice for lucid dream induction. What's more, they don't require any stringent mental focus - only your willingess to lie quietly and relax.
"Slow modulations called binaural beats are perceived when tones of different frequency are presented separately to each ear. The sensation may show how certain sounds are processed in the brain.
If two tuning forks of slightly different pitch are struck simultaneously, the resulting sound waxes and wanes periodically. The modulations are referred to as beats; their frequency is equal to the difference between the frequencies of the two original tones.
Binaural beats have been widely regarded as a mere curiosity. A recent textbook on hearing does not mention them at all. Yet the measurement of binaural beats can explain the processes by which sounds are located -- a crucial aspect of perception. It is possible that hormonally induced physiological behavior changes may be made apparent by measuring the binaural-beat spectrum."
~ Gerald Oster, Scientific American, October 1973
The human brain treads many different frequencies every day, each depicting your current level of consciousness.
For instance, the THETA brainwave frequency occurs during states of still alertness, light sleep and dreaming. It is marked by 3-6 cycles (Hz) per second.
It is possible to entrain this frequency through sound. But we can't simply play a 6 Hz frequency in the ear and expect the brain to respond, because we can't even detect sounds that low. The solution with binaural beats is to play two separate frequencies into each ear (eg, 130Hz in the left / 136Hz in the right).
The brain compensates for the difference in frequencies heard in the right and left ear, creating an internal frequency of 6 Hz, and thereby entraining a THETA operating state. It then produces a frequency following response. Because the effect is produced within the brain it is critical to wear headphones.
Studies have produced a general consensus on what types of effects you may feel while listening to binaural beats. I have experienced various phenomena usually associated with relaxation and mediation:
These effects are the result of listening to binaural beats as well as a conscious effort to meditate. With practice this helps prepare my mind for more lucid dreams.
BrainSync's Lucid Dreaming MP3 features a combination of soft ocean waves, binaural beats and subliminal messages to help you meditate, reflexively question the dreamstate, and ultimately become lucid.
Going deeper into a trance-like state of meditation, you'll enter the Theta state where brainwave activity slows almost to the point of sleep, but not quite. Theta is one of the more elusive and extraordinary realms to consciously explore. It is also known as the twilight state which you normally only experience fleetingly upon waking, or drifting off to sleep.
In Theta, receptivity is heightened and you are able to access knowledge and information that normally lies beyond your conscious awareness. As flashes of vivid imagery dance before your mind's eye, you may feel a floating sensation as your mind disconnects from your body and enters a "mind awake / boyd asleep" state.
In this deeply relaxed state, don't be surprised to receive sudden insights or inspiration. Here, subliminal sees are planted to question your reality and becoming lucid in your dreams.
Here's a good question. If a lucid dream is any dream in which you know you're dreaming, then why aren't we always lucid in dreams? Why doesn't it just become the default state of dreaming? Why do we accept our dreams of flying pigs and dinosaurs as an extension of waking life? What is the mechanism for defaulting to non-lucid dreams? Intriguingly, scientists have approached this question from three different angles./p>
What do blind people dream about? Can they "see" in their dreams? Take a look at scientific studies into the dreams of the blind, colorblind, and black-and-white dreamers. In 1999, dream researchers at the University of Hartford analyzed 372 dreams of 15 blind people. They found that both the congenitally blind and those who went blind before five years old did not have any visual dreams at all. That's because our dreams are made up of real world experiences and our innermost thoughts, anxieties and desires. So for someone who has never perceived images or light (or can't remember any) their dreams simply can't manifest visually.
Not long ago, scientists at Frankfurt University discovered how to produce lucid dreams with electronic stimulation. It was a world first. And - astonishingly - it worked in non-lucid dreamers 77% of the time. Now you can buy the same technology for yourself. The foc.us V2 - which delivers the proven optimum 40 Hz transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) - was originally developed to increase working memory in video gamers and improve sleep.
As technology continues to move us towards more immersive dreamlike experiences, one can only wonder what digital wonders lay just beyond the horizon of tomorrow. We may also question just how the future of virtual reality will impact the study and practice of lucid dreaming. Are we, perhaps, the last generation to whom lucid dreaming will maintain an appeal?
Jeremiah Morelli is a whimsical fantasy artist and visual storyteller. He places conceptual fairytale creatures in vivid dreamscapes to capture the imagination. He's also a school teacher, and amazingly finds the time and motivation to create this huge gallery of artwork. Such light and dark fairytale paintings make beautiful places to visit in your lucid dreams.
Experts agree that everyone is capable of having lucid dreams. Dreaming itself is a normal function of the mind. We all dream every night, even if we don't remember. And we all achieve conscious awareness while awake every single day. So what does it mean to combine these states? Why, the amazing ability to have conscious - or lucid - dreams. Sounds simple, doesn't it? So why do I keep hearing from people who say they can't achieve their first lucid dream?