What are Delta Waves?
Do you know there’s something happening in our brain every night and about which we are least aware? Did you know that the same thing happens only when we are in a state of dreamless deep sleep or a state which can be termed as unconscious and childlike? Did you know that the same thing happens in plenty during our first 3 infant years? Or do you know which is the last signal from our brain before we die?
Maybe some of you know but for the majority, it’s called “Delta Waves” — the most mysterious and least understood of all the waves happening inside our brain!
Delta Waves are the most mysterious of all waves happening inside a human brain. These waves only occur when we are in a state of deep and dreamless sleep and hence least understood. There is a school of thought which explains delta waves as a pathway to the collective consciousness — which means that the entire collective mind-space connects to become a unified pool of intelligence.
Delta waves have also been thought to be associated with the highest form of intelligence and even Buddhist Monks and Zen Masters are unable to recall their experience as this is almost an unconscious state of our mind. Delta wave activity has also been said to aid in the formation of declarative and explicit memory formation.
Did you know? — “Women have been shown to have more delta wave activity, and this is true across most mammal species. This discrepancy does not become apparent until early adulthood (in the 30s or 40s, in humans), with men showing greater age-related reductions in delta wave activity than women.” — source Wikipedia.
In almost all cases, we experience Delta Waves in an apparently unconscious state, when the mind is at a loss of physical awareness. However, the assimilation and analysis of information inside our brain is associated with this stage of sleep. Nevertheless, some people who practice a type of deep meditation called Yoga Nidra (Sleep yoga — more on this later) can remain conscious while in delta-sleep.
In the ancient book of Advaita Vedanta, deep dreamless sleep coexists with wakefulness and dreaming in pure consciousness (turiya — ancient Indian term), considered the background of the higher state of consciousness. If one can stay aware or conscious while in deepest dreamless sleep, a deep meditative state (known as “jagrat sushupti”) is said to be achievable.
Infants, starting from the mother’s womb have shown to spend a great deal of time in slow-wave sleep, and thus have more delta wave activity till the age of 5 years. During our adult phase, delta waves are only experienced in deep sleep, and such we remain unaware of it for most of our conscious existence. The delta wave activity declines as we grow older and maybe totally absent by the age of about 75.
Did you know? — “Delta Waves are the last waves from our Brain before we die and even bursts of such wave was recorded from a person by Canadian Scientists”
Disruptions of Delta waves are associated with quite a few diseases from Diabetes, Alcoholism to Sleep Disorder, Sleep Deprivation, Insomnia, Parkinson’s, Schizophrenia and more.
We experience Delta waves in stage 3 sleep, and by stage 4 nearly all spectral activity is dominated by delta waves. These two stages of sleep have recently been combined and are now collectively referred to as stage N3 or slow-wave sleep.
In short most of the study shows that Delta waves are beneficial in many ways and associated with our intelligence, memory, and producing human growth hormone, serotonin, DHEA, and lots of other “good” chemicals in the body.
Diet and Delta waves also have a relation — a diet low in carbohydrates, such as a ketogenic diet, has been shown to increase the amount of delta activity and slow wave sleep in healthy individuals which is a great beneficial side of such a diet.
Nowadays our lifestyle doesn’t allow us the luxury of a full eight hours of sleep, but even a few hours of Delta waves will trick your brain into thinking it’s had all the deep and restorative sleep it needs. Relaxing Sleep Music mixed with Delta waves is a good choice when you want to rejuvenate and reprogram your mind, much like defragmentation and reorganizing of data in a computer for better functioning.
Delta waves is the final domain when it comes to understanding awareness, consciousness, and the deep secrets of the universe which are connected to our mind. To some extent this domain remains mysterious and unexplained. There many interpretations and many schools of thought. It is best to flow along like a boat on a river that floats with the current and discover hidden gems along the way. There may be a destination but in most cases, the journey is the destination.
There is music which can make you experience Delta Waves in either a conscious or semi- conscious state provided you have a trained mind and have mastered the art of meditation.
The pathway leads from total relaxation with a conscious mind that is shut off from all existential and modern noises. This stage helps you experience alpha and theta waves as they release happiness (Chemicals as the scientists say). And after you have complete control over your mind instead of the other way round you can try and step into this mysterious domain of Delta waves. Once again this requires a lot of practice and patience.
For the initial stages to calm down and approach a blissful state you can try out some relaxation music here which also aids in a deep sleep.
For those who had been practicing for quite some time (I mean a few years) and others who want to enjoy plain and simple deep sleep, you can try this guided hypnosis sleep meditation.
Please feel free to share your experience.
Brainwave speed is measured in Hertz (Hz or cycles per second) and they are divided into bands delineating slow, moderate, and fast waves. The most common brainwaves are of five types –Delta (0.5–3 Hz), Theta (3–8 Hz), Alpha (8–12 Hz), Beta (12–38 Hz), and Gamma (38–42 Hz).
Delta waves, like all the other brain waves, can only be detected by electroencephalography (EEG). Delta waves were originally defined as having a frequency between 1–4 Hz, although more recent classifications put the boundaries between 0.5 and 2 Hz. They are the slowest and highest amplitude classically described brainwaves, although recent studies have described slower (<0.1 Hz) oscillations.
Scientific study shows that Delta waves can arise either in the thalamus or in the cortex of the Human Brain. Delta waves stimulate the release of several hormones, including growth hormone releasing hormone GHRH and prolactin (PRL). GHRH is released from the hypothalamus, which in turn stimulates the release of growth hormone (GH) from the pituitary. The secretion of (PRL), which is closely related to (GH), is also regulated by the pituitary. The release of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), is decreased in response to delta-wave signaling.
Read about the Theta State