Beta 14 - 100 Hz
Normal waking state, alertness, cognitive thinking, analysis, arousal, agitation/anxiety (higher levels), action, flight or fight response (higher levels)
Alpha 8 - 13.9 Hz
Relaxed waking state, relaxed focus, creative problem solving (non-analysis), super learning, pre-awake or pre-sleep drowsiness (lower levels), access to sub-conscious mind, spiritual awareness
Theta 4 - 7.9 Hz
Dream or REM sleep, creative flow, deep meditation, access to unconscious mind, profound spiritual awareness
Delta 0.1 - 3.9 Hz
Deep dreamless sleep, loss of body awareness
Brainwave Patterns and Their Effects on the Brain and Body
All brain cells communicate via electrical signals. Your brain contains about 100 billion neurons, well over the number of stars in our galaxy. Each neuron is connected to about 10,000 other neurons, making for about 100 to 500 trillion neuron-to-neuron connections in the brain.
Our current technology cannot see what’s happening at the neuron level. They’re just too small, and there’s just too many of them. However, our technology can see overall patterns of brain activity.
We can get a sense of how many neurons inside the skull are firing at any given moment.
And what we find is that the overall brain activity has a pulse, a beat — just like your heart. Except unlike your heart, the brain pulses very quickly — anywhere from 3 times per second to 100 times per second.
These brain pulses, or brainwaves, happen at a variety of speeds. During deep sleep, for example, the brain pulses about 3 times per second. During high-focused thinking, the brain might pulse as much as 50 times a second.
Different brainwave frequencies have been shown to correspond to different “states of mind”. Brainwave frequency seems to correspond to a spectrum of subjective experience.
Slow brainwaves feel more relaxing and introspective. Fast brainwaves can be a sign of concentration or stress.
Although brainwave frequencies exist across a wide range, we generally classify them into 5 groups (from slow to fast): delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma.