The Brain and Brain Waves
Brain Waves and Sleep talks about the way in which the brain's activity can be measured using an EEG machine. The output from an EEG looks like a series of waves, closer together when we are alert and further apart when we are relaxed.
It was discovered in the 1930s that brain waves could be changed artificially. If a flickering light or a sound is played at the desired interval or frequency, and for long enough, the brain will fall into step with it.
The word "entrain" means to synchronize or fall into step with. The idea behind brain wave entrainment is to persuade the brain to synchronize with a beat that we present to it. So if we want to be able to relax we can use entrainment to coax the brain to produce slower waves.
If we want to go to sleep we can entrain the brain to produce even slower waves and this will lead us to sleep quite naturally.
History of the Brain and Brain Waves
By the 1960s entrainment was being studied for its use in helping to calm patients undergoing surgery. The patient's brain waves could be entrained to produce slower waves and this resulted in the patient becoming less anxious.
In 1973 Dr.Gerard Oster of Mt.Sinai Medical Center published a paper in Scientific American on the potential uses of brain wave entrainment. Another notable study by Dr. Arturo Mans in 1981 again showed that the brain could be entrained by an outside stimulus.
Studies still continue, each new study shedding more light on the process and its uses. Entrainment is now known to be useful in treating many problems. These include ADD, chronic pain, depression, headache, PMS and of more interest to us, insomnia.
Since it is so well established, why is this method not more widely known and prescribed? After all, it can be used very cheaply at home.
Well, maybe that is where the answer lies. Cheap home remedies do not give a return on the investment.
Drug companies are the major research bodies these days and they are not going to sink funding into what is in fact a cheap home remedy.
Other related pages at Relax and Sleep