Brain waves during sleep
Our thoughts are communicated through the neurons, which respond and form electrical pulses and signals. Millions of signals communicate with each other and produce electrical activity in our brain. This leads to the production of brain waves around the scalp which can be measured by the use of electrical activities near the scalp. These electrical activities are referred to as waves because their type, shape, and nature are just like a wave.
Brain waves during sleep can be detected via a procedure named electroencephalogram (EEG) where a sensor is placed on the scalp for detection.
Now, we know what are brain waves actually, but we are still far away from the details of brain waves. Like, there are many types of brain waves. Each brain wave has its own significance and plays its own role in the brain. Let’s proceed to the types of brain waves.
EEG or Brain waves Sensor during Sleep
Electroencephalography (EEG) is an electrophysiological monitoring method to record the electrical activity of the brain. Brain sensors are typically noninvasive, with the electrodes placed alongside the scalp, though invasive electrodes are sometimes used in electrocorticography.
EEG measures voltage fluctuations that arise from the ionic current within the neurons of the brain. EEG is most often used to diagnose epilepsy, which can be identified from the abnormalities in EEG readings. Some other problems which can be diagnosed via EEG sensors are sleep disorders, depth of anesthesia, encephalopathies, and brain death.
Earlier, EEG was widely used for the first-hand diagnosis of tumors, stroke, and other focal brain disorders. But still, EEG is a valuable tool for research and diagnosis. It offers millisecond-range temporal resolution which is certainly not possible in other methods like in CT, PET, or MRI.
So, it can be concluded that the frequency of brain waves is directly proportional to the attention span of the brain. For example, the lowest frequency Delta state occurs when we are in a state of deep sleep while the highest frequency Gamma state occurs when we are in a state of being highly cautious.
A brain wave sensor is a remarkable tool to keep a note of the brain waves. With the whole world proceeding towards a digital era, such high technology devices should be used in an affirmative way.
Types of brain waves
The brain waves consist of a spectrum of frequencies which are mainly between 1Hz-100Hz. This spectrum is majorly divided into five different types of waves, which are as follows:
- Alpha waves: These waves were discovered by German neurologist Hans Berger. Alpha waves originate from the occipital lobe of the brain. Alpha stands in between beta and theta and thus holds the gap between conscious and subconscious mind. This wave is often recognized by a pleasant feeling and is co-related with relaxed wakefulness as well as unique thoughts. During some meditative states, alpha waves are likely to be dominant as they aid overall mental coordination, calmness, and mind/body integration. When we are stressed, a phenomenon named ‘alpha blocking’ has a probability of occurring which involves little alpha but excessive beta activity. These beta waves block out the production of alpha waves. The frequency range of alpha waves is between 8 to 12 Hz.
- Beta waves: These waves are associated with the highest attention levels of the mind. When our brain is indulged in activities that require active participation, beta waves are generated. These waves signify alertness, logic, and waking consciousness of the mind. These waves have low amplitudes but high frequencies. Their frequency ranges from 15 to 40 cycles a second.
- Further, these beta waves are divided into three bands:
- Low beta: These are of the frequency 12-15Hz and are characterized as fast or idle,
- Beta: These are of the frequency 15-22 Hz and are firmly defined as high engagement.
- Hi beta: These are of the frequency 22-30 Hz and are characterized as anxiety or excitement.
- Gamma waves: These waves are associated with the processing of visual, auditory stimuli, and with our ability to learn. People who are mentally challenged have low gamma activities. These waves are always supported by other waves such as alpha, theta, and delta. These waves have a frequency range of >30 Hz and thus are the fastest of
all the brainwaves, which makes them pass information at a rapid pace.
- Theta waves: Scientists believe that all the spiritual connections of our brain are experienced due to theta waves. That is to say, theta waves are responsible for memories and visions. Theta waves are not an external factor but instead the inner sense of the body. These waves have their involvement in restorative sleep and short-term memory as well. Their frequency lies between 4 to 8 Hz.
- Delta waves: Delta waves (1-4 Hz) activity in infants is higher than in adults. Studies have proven that delta waves are the most dominating brain wave in children till five years of their birth. There’s a decline in the drop rate of delta wave by 25% from 11-14 years of age, which further continues declining the whole life span, and is almost absent at a rough age of 75. Interruption in delta waves can be caused by a change in nutrient metabolism, physiological damage, and chemical alteration. If there is a proper amount of delta waves present, there is quite less anxiety, improved sleep, and relief from headaches.
As there are various types of brain waves, there is a chance of their instability to occur. To learn about the instability of brain waves, let’s read the next few lines.
Instability of brain waves and brain wave sensor
Brain wave patterns tell a lot about a person, and any imbalance in them can affect the emotional as well as neuro physical health of a person. Various conditions caused due to instability of brain waves are OCD, panic attacks, migraines, and many more. The two conditions of instability of brainwaves include:
- So, we know what are brain waves, their types, and their instability. But, how do we know how to sense them or calculate their frequency? Well, there is a device for that, called a brain wave sensor.
- Under arousal: This condition leads to problems like insomnia, depression, lack of attention span, and chronic pain.
So, we know what are brain waves, their types, and their instability. But, how do we know how to sense them or calculate their frequency? Well, there is a device for that, called a brain wave sensor.
“I believe that there is a direct parallel between the condition of your body and the condition of your brain. When you release the stiffness in your body, you are also creating flexibility in your brain. You become the instinctive spontaneous healer of your own body and mind.”– Ilchi Lee, Brain wave vibration: Getting back into the rhytm of a happy, healthy life