February 23, 2024

Between classes, work, sports, homework and other time-consuming commitments, the life of a college student can become overwhelming. 

Students often forget how important it is to rest and relax. Binaural beats, auditory tones played at different frequencies, may be the solution for some students’ stress and anxiety.

Binaural beats can significantly help a student relax, focus and think clearly. The tones are best heard through headphones and are made up of sound patterns that activate certain parts of the brain.

As different frequencies play separately in each ear, a low-frequency pulsation is produced that targets specific brainwaves, which induces a distinct feeling of calmness. Studies have also shown that this deep state of relaxation helps improve sleep. 

Different sound frequencies have different effects on the brain. Studies have shown that high sound frequencies can enhance critical thinking or analyzing. Lower sound frequencies, such as binaural beats, allow people to enter a relaxed and meditative state of mind. 

Binaural beats can also potentially strengthen memory, which can help students retrieve information easily and concentrate effectively. 

Jenny Aguilar, associate professor of psychology at California Baptist University, said certain kinds of music can be beneficial.

“Music can have wonderful effects on memory. Doctors have even used music to treat patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia because it has been shown to improve their memory, allowing them to have better focus,” Aguilar said.

Since binaural beats may enhance memory and concentration, this type of music can be beneficial when it comes to studying. 

Ashley Moore, sophomore creative writing major, listened to binaural music while writing an essay and said it successfully lowered her stress and improved her concentration. 

“This music gives me a sense of calmness and it helps me focus more as I write my paper,” Moore said. “Even though the same tune repeats throughout the music, it is soft and relaxing. Usually, music distracts me when I’m studying but this music does quite the opposite.”

While binaural beats can be effective for some people, they can be less helpful for others. Every human brain is individual, meaning that sound can affect people differently. 

Individuals who are often stressed or anxious may respond to binaural beats positively. However, people who are easily able to focus and are naturally relaxed may not respond to this kind of music at all. 

Jenesis Kendale, freshman applied theology major, listened to binaural beats while studying and said that it had little to no effect on her. 

“I listened to binaural beats as I was completing my homework, and while the tones were very intriguing, it wasn’t something I’d choose to listen to while studying. This music did not distract me, but it also did not help me focus or relax,” Kendale said.

It is important for college students to dedicate time to taking care of their mental health and resting. With binaural beats, students may be able to easily focus and take care of their stress.

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