BrainTap is a fascinating brain wave entrainment device that many of you have been asking about since we interviewed Dr. Patrick Porter, the founder of BrainTap and neuroscience expert, on The SuperAge podcast. The appliance works using a combination of brain wave entrainments. There are binaural beats, which is when there are slightly different tones in each ear, which the brain receives as a third tone. In this case, they are hitting the very low frequencies of alpha, theta, and delta brain waves. There are pulses of light that enter the retina and ear meridians which amplify the desired brain waves. Then there are a multitude of goal-oriented guided meditations, such as for getting more deep sleep, finding focus during the day, or for alternative breathing methods.
I first heard of similar technology from Dr. Rudy Tanzi, Mass General, Harvard Medical, who explained to me why it was so effective, but that he had been unable to make consumer devices. Then I came across BrainTap, which our friend Dr. Michael Breus, The Sleep Doctor, had told me he uses several times a week.
To call me skeptical would be an understatement. Here is a set of headphones with a series of LEDs in a visor that would allegedly train my lazy brain, making it easier for me to access the deeper theta and delta realms of brain wave activity. Really?
Being a gamer, and keeping Dr. Tanzi and Dr. Breus’ words in mind, I gave it a try. This is one of those technologies where it is best to just suspend disbelief and go with it. After using it between 2 and 3 times a day for the last 3 months I am a convert. I’ll use a sleep program before bed, a short wakeup program in the morning, and if I feel I need a nap during the day, instead of snoozing I will do a quick 20-minute theta training.
“My decisions are quicker and clearer, and my ability to find creative solutions seems to have increased”
There is definitely something different in the way I think and perceive since I started using BrainTap. My decisions are quicker and clearer, and my ability to find creative solutions seems to have increased. But these are highly subjective. The one solid metric I have is that I have been using a sleep tracker for some time, and have detailed data on my sleep contributors of light, REM, and deep sleep. My deep sleep which, as I understand it, is when delta brain waves are active, has roughly doubled since I started using the BrainTap.
This is just me so, in scientific language, having an N=1 is not significant, and my deep sleep increase could be due to some other factor, but I have no idea what that could be, as I am not doing anything new to specifically increase my deep sleep. As a point of information, deep sleep is when the body repairs itself. So having a good amount of deep sleep seems like an excellent goal to have.
The BrainTap website leaves something to be desired in its communication of what the device actually does. Dr. Porter explained it well in my conversation with him. We are habituated to being in Beta and Gamma, our active brain states. With age, it has become harder for us to access our deeper Alpha and Delta brain wave states, the states where we are our most intuitive, creative and where we are healing our bodies. BrainTap works on the brain in a similar way that going to the gym works on the body. It expands our ability to access these brain wave states. It seems to train the brain in a similar way that long-time meditation trains the brain, allowing us to access these deeper brain wave states.
Check out BrainTap here.