Throughout the day, our mood, state of mind, energy, and focus will shift and change according to what we are doing. This shift in attention is reflected in our brainwaves.
Brainwaves are synchronized electrical pulses that are created by neurons firing electrical signals to communicate with each other. Our brainwaves change according to what we are doing, thinking, and feeling, the faster the neurons emit the electrical impulses the faster the frequency, alternatively the slower the neurons emit the electrical impulses the slower the frequency. When slower brain waves are dominant (alpha waves), we can feel sluggish, calm, dreamy, on the other hand when higher frequency brain waves are dominant (beta waves), we can feel very alert, stressed, wired.
A delta wave is a type of high amplitude brain wave found in humans. Delta waves have a frequency from one to four hertz and are measured using an electroencephalogram (EEG). These brain waves are thought to emerge from the thalamus and are generally associated with slow-wave sleep (during the third stage of sleep.) This period of time during which delta waves occur is often known as deep sleep.
Many people struggle with sleep and it’s not surprising given our lifestyles. Looking at a computer or a TV screen after dark can stimulate the brain into thinking it’s daylight which can cause us to sleep difficulties.
When we were hunters and gatherers, living our lives by the natural cycles of nature, we would wake at sunrise and sleep after dark allowing our bodies to fully restore themselves overnight. When we sleep well our muscles repair and we release hormones that regulate growth and appetite. When we force ourselves to stay up late or wake up very early our bodies fall out of their natural circadian rhythm and therefore we may either struggle to get to sleep or struggle to wake up in the morning.