What Are Theta Brainwaves?

January 13, 2016

Theta waves are the second slowest frequency of brainwaves, cycling at a rate of 4 to 7 time per second (4 Hz – 7 Hz). Theta waves are associated with the early stages of sleep and the process of dreaming, and are the border between the conscious and subconscious worlds.

For many years, researchers had difficulty studying this brain state because subjects couldn’t maintain it for any period of time without falling asleep!

Theta waves are associated with states of enhanced levels of creativity, spontaneity, day-dreaming, and relaxation.

When Theta waves predominate in the brain, the state of consciousness is commonly referred to as the dream or “twilight” state. Sustained levels of Theta waves have been shown to improve memory functioning (particularly long-term memory), and increased access to previously forgotten information, free association, sudden insight and creativity. While in the Theta state, the mind is capable of deep and profound learning, healing, and growth.

On the other end of the spectrum, too much Theta activity in the brain can cause depression, distraction, and difficulty focusing. Researchers have found that Theta waves predominate too frequently in people with ADHD and learning disabilities, resulting in a sluggish brain and diminished performance in cognitive tasks. Research has also shown that people with attention deficit problems have difficulty shifting out of the Theta state and into Alpha or Beta levels for events that require focus.

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