Understanding Brain Waves

Understanding Brain Waves

Brainwaves are electrical impulses in the brain.  They are the root of all our emotions, behaviours and thoughts which are communicated between neurons within our brains.  These waves are produced by synchronized electrical pulses from masses of neurons communicating with each other and are detected by placing sensors on the scalp.  Brainwaves occur at various frequencies, ranging from slow to fast. They are divided into bandwidths, each with a different function and unique state of consciousness.   Each frequency is measured in cycles per second (Hz). A frequency is the number of times a wave repeats itself within a second. If there are too many or too few of the frequencies it greatly affects our mental health and the ability of our bodies to rejuvenate.  

Our brainwaves change according to our actions, emotions and ongoing events.  When we have too many or not enough of each bandwidth it indicates a variety of emotions, behaviours, energy levels and mental clarity etc.  

Ideally, each bandwidth or frequency is synchronized, working with each other. 

These are only broad descriptions, providing a basic understanding:

Delta waves (1 to 3 Hz)

  • Too little: Inability to rejuvenate our body,(affecting the immune system), inability to revitalize the brain, and poor sleep
  • Too much: maybe a brain injury, learning difficulties, inability to think or severe ADHD.
  • Healthy level: Prominent during deep sleeping
  • The strong immune system, natural healing, restorative/deep sleep

Theta waves (3.5 to 8 Hz)

  • Are more active when experiencing very deep emotions.
  • Too much: Possible ADHD, depression; hyperactivity; impulsivity and inattentiveness.
  • Too little: anxiety, stress and low emotional self-awareness.
  • Traumatic experiences and depressive thoughts are stored in Theta.

Alpha waves (8 to 13 Hz)

  • Alpha waves arise in those in-between, twilight times when we’re calm but not asleep. 
  • Too Much may be an inability to focus; daydreaming, and may even make us feel like we don’t have energy.
  • Too Little: anxiety, high stress and insomnia.
  • A healthy level is a positive mental state where ideas flow naturally without censorship or self-doubt.

Beta waves (12 to 33 Hz)

  • Involved with logical thinking, accomplishing tasks
    and socializing
  • Too much:  Anxiety, high arousal, inability to relax,
    stress and adrenaline
  • Too little:  ADHD, depression, daydreaming and
    poor cognitive thinking
  • Healthy level:  conscious focus, memory and
    problem-solving

Gamma waves (25 to 100 Hz)

  • Associated with high-level cognitive processing tasks.
  • Always complimented by other brainwaves.
  • Too much: Anxiety, high arousal and stress.
  • Too little: ADHD, depression and learning disabilities.
  • Healthy level: binding senses, cognitive thinking, information processing, learning, perception and REM sleep.