Monaural Beats

Monaural beats and ASMR

May 25, 2023
Shawny Kwon

We can think of meditation, yoga, or sleeping pills as sleeping aids. But there is one of the cheapest and most effective methods we already know of. It is to give auditory stimulation.

As explained in previous article, we can help sleep by inducing the desired brainwaves with “binaural beats” and “monaural beats”, which are sound wave combinations that effectively induce brain waves.

However, there are downsides to these as well. It's just that you can feel the discomfort of the sound itself. There is also a study1) that people felt dizzy and uncomfortable when they listened to binaural beats without considering these inconveniences beforehand.

As the positive effects of brainwave entrainment have been revealed, more people are sleeping while listening to these frequencies. However, a solution to the inconvenience caused by the frequency sound was still in need.

To solve this problem, a combination of frequency and ASMR started to come out. ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), which is common, can give us a sense of psychological stability and joy by providing visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory and cognitive stimuli. This is why people listen to ASMR to find peace when they are having negative emotions.

Another benefit of ASMR is that it relieves our tension, making it easier to fall asleep when we can't go to sleep. The effect of ASMR on sleep was shown not only in the subjective result of a good night's sleep, but also through fMRI, which measures brain activity via detecting changes in blood flow. For instance, when listening to ASMR, the salience network and the visual network decreased, whereas the neural networks related to sensation, movement and attention increased.

In fact, as a result of providing a combination of 6Hz theta waves with ASMR--a natural sound, the “angry” score, one of the indicators of psychological stability index, increased with the binaural beats, whereas the binaural beat and ASMR combined sound (hereafter ‘combined sound’) were found to reduce the score. Also, “tension” scores also increased for binaural beats but decreased for the combined sound, while “calm” scores decreased for binaural beats and increased for the combined sound. As they show, it is a well-known fact that the quality of sleep increases with the increase in psychological stability.2)

In conclusion, it was found that uncomfortable sounds caused by binaural beats were reduced when binaural beats and ASMR were combined, and the effect of brainwave entrainment derived by binaural beats was improved.

If you’ve felt uncomfortable with the sound of binaural beats or monaural beats before, feel free to refer to the effects of mixing them with ASMR. And please do feel free to improve any discomfort, and enjoy deep sleep with psychologically stable sound.