Over the years research has shown that the patterns of activity in the brain change according to what we are doing. The slowest are when we are in a deep sleep and the fastest when we are most aroused. The frequencies have been organized into groups and given names. For example, the waves in the average state when we are active, taking in stimuli and thinking are called beta brain waves. Alpha brain waves are in the next slowest group and are characterized by a state of passive awareness. Having your brain in this state can bring a number of benefits.
Just before you fall asleep and just after you wake your brain will be having lots of alpha waves. This state has been called being passively aware. You will be taking in stimuli and thinking but in a slower way than normal. You can put your brain into this state deliberately by controlling your breathing, meditating or listening to certain kinds of music.
It seems that there are several tasks which are performed better in the alpha state; learning and memory, creativity and skills. Creative people show higher levels of alpha waves and have bursts of them when solving problems. This suggests that they play an important role in novel thinking. Many people get new insights just after waking when their brains are becoming more aroused but not yet fully aware. These things suggest that we can be more creative if we induce alpha waves.
it seems that learning can be improved in the alpha state. Thinking seems to be clearer so that decision making, rational thinking and memory are all less clouded than with the more common beta waves. These days many learning programs are encouraging people to be relaxed or listen to music while studying in order to aid the memory.
Muscle relaxation is a concept used by many top athletes and musicians. Once a skill is learned a level of relaxation is possible while performing and this is thought to help the performance. Scientists have shown that at these times these people also have bursts of alpha waves so it may be that the brain is helping the muscles.
For people who have trouble sleeping well learning how to induce the alpha state can mean having a good nights sleep. It is like setting your brain off on the path to deep sleep.
Many people suffer from stress and the problems related to it. One of the reasons people are stressed is because they do not relax enough. Learning how to induce the alpha state can help stressed people by calming their minds and giving a feeling of well being.
There are a number of significant benefits to inducing alpha waves for people who want to create, learn and sleep well.