I signed up for the test drive of brain.fm. It is a web site that purports to help you focus, meditate, or sleep via music tailored to effect your brain state. I of course signed up for focus. I have often complained that I was having trouble concentrating when I was trying to write, either my morning journal entry or my blog post. I have to report that since I started listening to it right before I started writing this blog post, I have managed to focus on writing it, despite the show on the television. I am wearing headphones.
The music is what might be termed high energy space music, where space music refers to the kind of music played on Hearts of Space. There is a kind of a warble that underlies the somewhat arbitrary melody and driving rhythm. I quite like it. It is varied enough to be interesting without being so complex to distract. I think they’ve accomplished their goal here. I am curious about the meditation track and the sleep induction track.
In the mean time since I am so focused, I intend to take advantage of my state of mind to write a little bit longer post. It will be entirely impromptu due to the fact that I didn’t give it any thought prior to starting to write. To tell the truth, most of my blog posts are written this way. I have some vague idea and I start to riff on it. If I generate questions to which I don’t off the top of my head know the answer, I stop and look them up.
Lately though, I’ve been somewhat agitated and I haven’t followed up with research as much as I would like. It was all I could do just to throw the ideas out there without expending the effort to look up the specific details or studies to support my assertions. This bothered me, but not enough that I did anything about it.
I have studied so called entrainment in the past. The idea is that the brain produces electromagnetic waves at specific frequencies that have been correlated with the subject’s state of mind. The categories of brain waves have been given names from the Greek alphabet, for instance alpha waves, beta waves, delta waves, and theta waves. Each group corresponds to a state of mind.
Studies have been done that indicate that musical content can nudge the brain into one or another of these states. It has been compared to the phenomena where two electronic signals are of nearly the same frequency and one is held rigidly steadfast, the other will drift toward it until they are in unison. This is termed entrainment. I believe this is probably behind the music at brain.fm.
So, I just took a break and went and read on the brain.fm web site about the the science behind their product. It is in fact based on the entrainment research. I think I’m going to give it a try. I would like to be able to get more done when I’m working, sleep more effectively when I’m sleeping, and meditate better when I am meditating. I am not sure about the $150 lifetime program yet but I think $48 for a year is not unreasonable. If I renew my subscription in a year, I may opt for the lifetime plan.
Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.