Sleep is critical to our health. It might not have the understanding or consideration it deserves because, well…we tend to be asleep! However good sleep patterns and quality sleep impact greatly on our overall wellbeing. But what do we really know about it?
Achieve good sleep
The importance of sleep cannot be stated highly enough, especially for athletes who must recover and repair between intense training sessions and remain healthy throughout competitive seasons. Poor sleeping patterns can negatively affect neuroendocrine function and glucose metabolism, compromise the immune system and lead to decreased cognitive performance 1, 2.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
How can you improve your sleep? sleep and binaural beats
Methods to achieve better sleep continue to be researched and practiced widely. These include making changes to the sleeping environment; implementing strict supplementation/nutritional protocols and employing pre-bedtime relaxation techniques to help the mind and body unwind into a more favorable sleeping state. For further details on these methods please see http://watchfit.com/general-health/benefits-of-sleep-on-athletic-performance-by-shopie-suri/
Recently I was introduced to Decibel Nutrition, a fitness and lifestyle brand that seriously exploring and implementing the fascinating world of Binaural Beats to help individuals optimize their workout by influencing their brainwaves. After researching further I was intrigued to find that this non-invasive therapy could benefit sleep-related variables 3, 4.
So what are binaural beats?
When two different but similar pure tones are presented to the ears at the same time (one tone to each ear) the brain will follow the third beat, namely the binaural beat (the difference between the two tones) 5. Evidence suggests that the presentation of binaural beats in select frequency ranges can induce different brainwave-states so that we feel for example more relaxed or more alert 3, 5. How does this relate to sleep?
It is known that brainwaves in the theta and delta frequency ranges are associated with sleep thus it is possible that binaural beats could influence our sleep quality, highly important as deep sleep is essential to growth and repair 2, 3, 4. Preliminary research shows promise and indicates that binaural beat therapy can improve perceived sleep quality and post-sleep state 4.
Although these are relatively early days and future work is needed to build on these initial findings. But it is truly fascinating and encouraging to find a further potential sleep aid in an era where the importance of high quality sleep is coming to light. Please stay tuned for more articles as the evidence base continues to expand!
NB: Binaural beat therapy may not be suitable for use when certain medical conditions are present. Please check contraindications and seek medical advice if required prior to use.
Hope you enjoyed reading artcile on ‘Sleep and Binaural Beats’!
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Leproult R, Van Cauter E. Role of sleep and sleep loss in hormonal release and metabolism. Endocr Dev 2010; 17: 11-21
Halson SL. Sleep in elite athletes and nutritional interventions to enhance sleep. Sports Med 2014; 44: S13-23
Lane JD, Kasian SJ, Owens JE, Marsh GR. Binaural auditory beats affect performance and mood. Physiol Behav 1998; 63: 249-252
Abeln V, Kleinert J, Struder HK, Schneider S. Brainwave entrainment for better sleep and post-sleep state of young elite soccer players – a pilot study. Eur J Sport Sci 2014; 14: 393-402
Padmanabhan R, Hildreth AJ, Laws D. A prospective, randomised, controlled study examining binaural beat audio and pre-operative anxiety in patients undergoing general anaesthesia for day case surgery. Anaesthesia 2005; 60: 874-877