The huge problem will all such studies is that there is a clear placebo effect on any kind of mental performance whenever the subject is observed. Do any intervention, then measure performance, and the intervention and measurement are likely to cause an increase in effort and attention which will increase performance. This generic “placebo” effect needs to be factored out of any such study by proper blinding and controls in order for the results to have any meaning at all.
Why is exposure to these soundwaves helpful to sleep and relaxation? Science shows that exposure to binaural beats can create changes in the brain’s degree of arousal. Listening to these sounds that create a low-frequency tone, research indicates, triggers a slow-down to brainwave activity—and that may help you relax, lower your anxiety, and can make it easier for you to fall asleep and sleep more soundly.
Many studies on mindfulness meditation, assessed in a review by Cahn and Polich in 2006, have linked lower frequency alpha waves, as well as theta waves, to meditation.[4] Much older studies report more specific findings, such as decreased alpha blocking and increased frontal lobe specific theta activity.[5] Alpha blocking is a phenomenon where the active brain, normally presenting beta wave activity, cannot as easily switch to alpha wave activity often involved in memory recall. These findings would suggest that in a meditative state a person is more relaxed but maintains a sharp awareness. Two large, recent comprehensive review works, however, point to poor control and statistical analyses in these early studies and comment that it can only be said with confidence that increased alpha and theta wave activity exists.[4][6]
Back in 1839, Dr. Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, a Prussian physicist and meteorologist, discovered that when you introduce tones with certain frequencies into each ear, you could actually entrain the electrical patterns within the brain to resonate in very specific patterns, called brainwave states. The last two decades have seen an amazing amount of scientific interest in this world transforming field of study, laying the foundation for the hundreds of studies conducted since then, boosting the technology’s significance and importance immeasurably.
Why is exposure to these soundwaves helpful to sleep and relaxation? Science shows that exposure to binaural beats can create changes in the brain’s degree of arousal. Listening to these sounds that create a low-frequency tone, research indicates, triggers a slow-down to brainwave activity—and that may help you relax, lower your anxiety, and can make it easier for you to fall asleep and sleep more soundly.
Known as audio-visual brainwave entrainment, or AVE, this method involves the simultaneous flashing of light and audible, rhythmic tones using specialized equipment such as the Mind Machine. Also known as the Dream Machine or psycho-Walkman, this lightweight headset lets you experience a wide selection of audio and visual entrainment tracks while having complete mobility.

To fall asleep we need to go from our normal waking state, to a relaxed theta, and then finally all the way to delta. Binaural beats are a scientifically proven way to speed up this process, so you get to the delta state quicker and as a result fall asleep faster. For more about the science of binaural beats, have a read of the article Fall Asleep Fast With Binaural Beats.
As we start to fall asleep, we naturally pass through the relaxed, drowsy alpha state, dropping into the sleep states of theta and delta. Dreaming occurs in the theta state, but most of the time when we’re asleep in the theta state, we are unconscious, and unable to consciously control the dreams we experience. When we begin to wake up, our dominant brainwaves pass into the lower alpha wavelengths, but usually as this happens, we wake up out of our dreams. The key to lucid dreaming is to approach the alpha wavelength, but, before you fully wake up, move back down into the dreaming theta state. This way, your subconscious begins to wake up enough for you to take control of your surroundings, but you’re still asleep enough that those surroundings are a wonderfully malleable dream instead of reality.

Our brains follow cues from outside stimuli, and brainwaves mimic the pulse rates of the sounds we expose it to. So, by creating tracks that pulse sound waves at a desired frequency, we can effectively coax our brain into that state. In layman's terms; by listening to some strange sounding brainwave frequency audios, we can literally slip our brain into a state of feeling calm, alert, focused, energized... and the list goes on. Pretty cool, right!?
You don't have to buy one, though. It's not too hard to make your own binaural beat, and free software is widely available to do just that. The one that I used to make that little sample is an open-source program called Gnaural, available on the Sourceforge website. It's pretty easy to use, though it takes some practice before you can generate some of the really cool, more professional sounding beats. A binaural beat consists of two simple tones, and most people add that background pink noise. Nothing special.
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