While learning to lucid dream, you will probably learn about REM and the non REM cycles of sleep. While dreams can occur during any phase of sleep, the majority of dreams, especially lucid dreams, happen during REM. It is important to truly understand what is happening in the brain while we dream in order to create a sleeping environment ideal for inducing lucidity. Consuming any form of media right before bed, such as a movie or music will likely carry over into your dreams and affect its content. Luckily, there is a type of music called binaural beats, that can actually help induce lucidity.
Binaural beats are external sensory stimuli that can have a magnificent impact on our brain functioning both whilst awake, and also dreaming. Two different frequencies are played in an oscillating fashion which shifts the frequency of brain waves, resulting in a relaxing, meditative state of altered consciousness. Binaural beats are meant to be listened to with headphones on so that each ear receives a different frequency. The binaural beat that a person’s brain perceives is the frequency difference between the waves entering the left and right ear, similar to how a tuning fork works. If you’re playing 80HZ frequency in your left ear, and then 90HZ in your right ear, the result should be that your brain experiences a combined sound of 85HZ. Binaural beats can be used for insomnia, restlessness, anxiety, and even to induce lucid dreaming.
When your brain is at work, neurons transmit information to each other via electrical signals. These signals produce rhythms, which are displayed in the form of brain waves. These are the most common brainwaves that humans alternate between throughout the day:
Gamma (40 Hz+) are the fastest brainwaves, and are usually associated with our waking state of consciousness, while we are excited or very focused on something. This state is linked with higher mental function like critical thinking and concentration.
Beta (12-40 Hz) waves are produced during most normal activities such as conversation or daily tasks. This state is linked with being logical, aware, alert and awake.
Alpha (6-14Hz) waves are associated with resting wakefulness. This state is linked to relaxation, reflection and creativity. Someone who is daydreaming or even meditating might be in this range.
Theta (4-8 Hz) waves are linked to dreaming, light sleep, heavy relaxation and calmness. They usually occur when we feel drowsy, daydreaming, sleepy or very relaxed. This is the best frequency to induce lucid dreaming.
Delta (0.50-4 Hz) are the slowest of brain waves and are associated with dreaming and very deep sleep. They are necessary for our bodies to heal and restore mental functioning. They are extremely low frequency and deeply penetrating, like a drum beat.
There are binaural beats designed for any of those frequencies, and they each may produce different effects. For assistance with lucid dreaming, it is best to use binaural beats that entrain your brain to the theta and delta wavelength.
Binaural beats are very popular for inducing a lucid dream. Our brains alternate between various brain wave states and when we are sleeping, we generally experience Theta and Delta, which are the slowest. The best brainwave state for lucid dreaming is the Theta stage, which is a frequency of 4HZ-8 HZ. There are many videos and playlists online with free binaural beats tracks, so experiment with which ones work best for you. You can also find binaural beats that include suggestive programming, which are verbal affirmations that will tell you that you may be dreaming in addition to the frequency of the beats. Binaural beats can be played in the ears all night, or just after returning to bed in the middle of the night, when you are more likely to be in REM sleep. If using a mobile phone, it is best to silence other notifications so other sounds do not interrup your sleep.
Binaural Beats work best with stereo headphones, because they rely on your being able to play two different frequencies in each ear. It is good to try them in combination with other lucid dreaming techniques, such as MILD or WBTB. As always, be patient and give it your best shot.
Note: If you have heart problems or any sort of medical condition which might affect your sleep, breathing, or brain, consult your doctor before trying them. Avoid using binaural beats therapy while undertaking tasks that require alertness and full attention, such as driving.
You are likely reading this because you are interested in inducing lucid dreams. Therefore, you should also be keeping a dream journal! This is very important for building recall and incubating a lucid dream. This practice will make any external stimuli, such as binaural beats, more effective. Binaural beats are generally very safe and effective, offering a wide variety of applications including relaxation, meditation, enhanced creativity, intuition development, enriched learning, improved sleep, wellness, and the personal exploration of expanded states of consciousness.
Sweet dreams, oneironaut!
“Understanding Brain Waves.” Neurofeedback Alliance, Neurofeedback Alliance | The Science of Neurofeedback, 9 June 2021, https://neurofeedbackalliance.org/understanding-brain-waves/.