BrainwavesPosted 9 years ago under Health
Brain cells, known as neurons, use electrical signals to communicate throughout the brain and to send signals through the nervous system. The combined electrical activity of the brain is referred to as brainwaves because of the oscillating, wave-like effect of the electrical activity. When looking at the data from an EEG readout, the lines look just like waves. (1)
Neuroscience has demarcated four different types of brain waves: delta, theta, alpha, and beta. Each type of brainwave is distinct due to the different speeds of oscillating charges that make up the brain activity.
Beta brainwaves make up the fastest cycles, firing at 13 to 60 pulses per second. Generally, when we are awake, we tend to exhibit more beta brainwave activity than any other type of brainwave. Routine stressors of everyday life typically require us to be able process information quickly, and beta waves are ideal for rapid cognition. We don’t exhibit beta brainwaves when we are sleeping. (2)
Alpha brainwaves are somewhat slower, oscillating at 8-13 pulses per second. Alpha brainwaves can occur when we are sleeping or awake. Alpha brainwaves are present during REM sleep, but they are more common when an individual is awake, relaxed, and in a state of focused calm. When our brainwaves slow to alpha speed, we put ourselves in the ideal frame of mind to handle complex information, to create art, to acquire a foreign language, or to analyze concepts at a deep level. (3)
Theta brainwaves are present in deep meditation and light sleep. Theta brainwaves are common in stage 1 sleep. Theta brain waves are markedly slower, oscillating at 4-7 pulses per second. (4)
Delta brainwaves, oscillating at speeds of 0.1 to 4 pulses per second, are the slowest brainwaves. Typically, this is the rhythm the brain favors during stage 3, deep sleep. We do exhibit delta brainwaves when we are awake, only when we are sleeping or unconscious. (5)