What are Brainwaves?

How do Brainwaves Affect our State?

What are Brainwaves? There is nothing more fascinating than the human brain; I am always amazed at just how incredible this bio-computer really is.

Did you know that 78% of your brain is water, 12% fat and 8% protein, the cerebral cortex is about 85% of your brain?

There are about 100 billion neurons in the human brain (same amount of stars in our galaxy) and approximately 100ml of blood flow through the brain every minute, there are 160km of blood vessels in your brain.

It can stay alive for up to 4–6 minutes without oxygen; the slowest speed that information travels between neurons is 416km per hour. The energy used by the brain is enough to light a 25 watt light bulb and more electrical impulses are generated in one day by a single human brain than by all the telephones in the world.

That’s some powerful and thought provoking facts, but have you ever stopped and wondered how the human brain really works?

In your brain you have billions of neurons these are tiny nerve cells, and in order for your brain to function these neurons have to talk with one another; they do this by means of electricity, and when these millions of neurons are communicating with each other, they generate enough electrical energy to be detected by a special device called an EEG (Electroencephalogram). All of this electrical activity in the brain is known as a brainwave pattern, these patterns rise and fall creating wave like patterns.

Brainwaves Alpha-Beta

Our brainwave patterns have different names; these names are dependent upon the frequency output and are measured in pulses per second.

Looking at the Beta pattern above we see that this frequency on the Hertz scale ranges from 14 pulses to 30 pulses per second (Hz). This frequency is normally emitted when we are awake and consciously alert; this is our dominant waking frequency. (Concentration, cognition, alert)

When we are in a physical and mental state of relaxation and are still aware of the world around us, we emit another brainwave frequency called Alpha. This frequency is normally 8 pulses to 14 pulses per second (Hz) (Creativity, relaxation and deep chill)

Brainwave Theta-Delta Mind in Motion

Theta is normally at around 4-8Hz and is normally emitted while in a daydreaming state or when we feel very sleepy, it is associated with creative abilities. (Meditation, intuition and memory)

The lowest amount of brainwave activity is normally called Delta; this frequency is between 0.1 and 4Hz. This happens when we enter deep sleep and triggers healing and growth hormones. This represents the lowest amount activity possible. (Deep sleep)


So Brainwaves are electrical frequencies that are emitted during different mental states. They can be divided into four main groups.

  • Beta waves emitted when we are awake or in a heightened emotional state, we are alert and cognitive.
  • Alpha waves are normally present when we are in a moderately relaxed state. We learn best in this state. We are creative, relaxed and in a chilled out state.
  • Theta waves are present during meditation and light sleep.
  • Delta waves are emitted when we are in deep sleep or unconscious.

Mark Csabai

Mark Csabai is an NLP Life Coach in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He works with clients in and around the Free State to help them achieve more, manage stress, build self-worth, increase confidence, overcome fears and help maintain a better life-balance.