Research supports the idea that listening to binaural beats can produce desired effects in the brain like increased relaxation, reduced stress, and greater focus. Additionally, there’s evidence to suggest that listening to binaural beats can positively affect hormone levels within the body by triggering the release of hormones like DHEA. With such significant effects on the brain, some have begun to wonder whether binaural beats can also play a role in the release of neurotransmitters.
So, can listening to binaural beats release serotonin? The effects that binaural beats have on the brain may range based on the actual frequencies you’re listening to. Just like any brain function, the release of serotonin within the brain is triggered by a specific type of brainwave activity. With that said, if you listen to binaural beats within the frequency associated with serotonin release, this may result in an additional release of serotonin.
One of the most important things you can do before deciding to listen to binaural beats is to understand the effects that it might have on the body and what those effects mean for you. In this first section, we will overview what serotonin is and the role it plays in the body.
An Overview of Serotonin
Neurotransmitters are chemicals produced by nerves that, upon release, impact some type of functioning within the body. Serotonin is one of the most important neurotransmitters in the body due to the incredible number of functions it’s responsible for controlling.
Most people correlate serotonin with mood and sleep, but it’s also partially responsible for controlling gastrointestinal functioning, wound healing, and even libido. Take a look at the important role serotonin plays in the body.
Mood & Sleep
The presence of serotonin within the body is directly associated with mood and emotions. With that said, higher levels of serotonin produce an inflated mood while lower levels of serotonin are linked to depression and low mood.
To further confirm the link, think about SSRIs. Also called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, these medications are prescribed to boost serotonin levels in those with depression or other mood disorders. While there are obviously other factors that affect mood, serotonin is one of the most significant.
Serotonin levels also have the ability to directly impact sleep. When serotonin is released in the body, it also triggers the release of the hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is primarily responsible for maintaining the sleep-wake cycle within the body. Given this connection, it’s safe to assume that higher levels of serotonin and the resulting melatonin increase can directly improve the quality of sleep.
Serotonin does much more than simply control mood and sleep. It actually has the ability to affect nearly every function within your body. Here are some roles serotonin plays within the body and how they can be beneficial.
- Improves relaxation: With more of an ability to relax, you’ll experience an overwhelming sense of calmness, mindfulness, and self-reflection. This can significantly improve your mental health while also benefiting your social relationships and spirituality.
- Increases libido: Serotonin doesn’t only increase your interest in sex, but it also can help improve sexual performance and minimize sexual dysfunction in the long-term.
- Regulates the digestive system: Most serotonin is actually released in the gastrointestinal system, which explains why serotonin affects this system the most. It can help boost regularity and also reduce the risk of developing diseases of the GI tract.
- Promotes happiness: As we mentioned earlier, serotonin has the ability to boost your mood and happiness. It can play a vital role in maintaining a positive outlook, a greater attitude, and better social relationships.
- Boosts focus and memory: With an enhanced mood and greater motivation, it’s absolutely clear why serotonin would boost other functions within the brain like focus and memory.
- Reduces appetite: Because of its direct link to the gastrointestinal tract, serotonin is capable of naturally reducing appetite and limiting food cravings, thus encouraging an improved state of health.
- Adjusts perception of pain: When serotonin levels increase in the body and thus improve mood, you’re less likely to be impacted by physical pain and discomfort.
Binaural Beats & Serotonin
Most people could benefit from increasing serotonin levels within their bodies. Though you can increase your serotonin levels with some prescription medication, you might just want to do it without the use of drugs.
And that’s completely reasonable. In fact, it’s entirely possible to do so by listening to binaural beats. This method is completely natural and, when combined with other healthy habits like healthy eating and meditation, it can produce even greater health benefits.
Let’s take another look at the connection between serotonin and melatonin. When serotonin levels rise, melatonin is released in the body. As a result, you’re more likely to be able to fall asleep, stay asleep, and have higher quality sleep.
Nearly every frequency range of binaural beats has the potential to impact your sleep and your sleep quality. If you’re purely looking for improved sleep quality, listening to binaural beats within the delta and theta ranges has the ability to encourage deeper sleep.
As we’ll go over in the next part, there are particular ways to trigger serotonin release with binaural beats. Though the frequency range associated with deep sleep does not directly trigger the release of serotonin, there are clearly several angles from which you can approach this goal.
Improving your Binaural Beats Session
If you’re looking to trigger the release of serotonin within your body by listening to binaural beats, you’d ideally select a track that targets this effect.
But, which frequency should you be listening to get this effect?
8-12 Hz (Alpha frequency).
Alpha waves are directly associated with a reduction in depression symptoms and overall mood improvement. You’ll notice a decrease in stress and anxiety and a calming relaxed feeling as a result of this frequency range.
In addition to strategically listening to binaural beats, there are also other things you can do to boost your mood and serotonin levels in your body. Here’s a list of how you can do that.
- Meditation: This is the most natural way to improve serotonin levels while also naturally boosting your mood. It’s the easiest method and doesn’t cost you anything.
- Healthy eating: In order to increase serotonin through a healthy diet, you need to consume foods that contain tryptophan, which is partially responsible for the production of serotonin in the body. Eggs, seeds, nuts, and other animal products naturally contain tryptophan.
- Remove negativity in your life: Whether you’re removing yourself from a situation or removing negative people from your life, it has the ability to improve your mood which, in turn, can affect serotonin levels within your body.
It’s clear that binaural beats have remarkable potential in impacting body functioning and the treatment of health conditions. By targeting serotonin in particular, you’re opening the door to improved mood, greater relaxation, digestive system regulation, and even improved libido, among other positive effects.
However, you need to be intentional when it comes to listening to binaural beats when you’re seeking specific benefits. Here are a few tips to encourage serotonin release by using binaural beats.
- Listen to binaural beats within the alpha frequency range (8-12 Hz).
- Focus on improving other areas of your life to trigger natural serotonin release.
- Develop a habit of meditating, healthy eating, and removing negativity from your life.