Brainwave Entrainment Side Effects – What are they?

Brainwave Entrainment Side Effects – What are they?

An honest guide to Brainwave Entrainment Side Effects

With all of the benefits associated with using brainwave entrainment products, it leaves one to also wonder if there are any side effects, and if so, what are they?

This article has been designed to help clarify the effects that can come from listening to brainwave entrainment Mp3s and give you a heads up to what you can expect when you begin using this type of technology.  It is very important to know that many of the so-called “side effects” of brainwave entrainment are directly linked with their promised positive benefits.  Below I have outlined a few of the most common side effects, as well as given some explanation as to why they happen.

Feeling Spacey or “High

Brainwave Entrainment Side EffectsThere are times, when one is in the process of listening to brainwave entrainment on a regular basis, that they will feel a spacey sensation, sometimes similar to feeling “high”, while they are going about their regular business and not actually listening to the audios.  This is often times a pleasurable experience, but can be slightly alarming if one is not expecting this, and is in the middle of something that requires their focus (like working, driving, etc).  This most commonly happens when someone is still relatively new to this type of product, or has just begun a new level, or switched to an audio that takes them into a deeper brainwave state.

The largest contributor to this occurrence is that while listening to brainwave entrainment audios, your brain is being stimulated to produce a lot of beneficial endorphins and neuro-chemicals.  A few of the more commonly known are: serotonin, melatonin, HGH, dopeamine, etc.  Usually the amount of these chemicals being produced per session is much higher than one’s brain is used to, and can have an effect that proliferates into daily life.  The most important thing to keep in mind when this occurs is that it is not dangerous, and is actually a sign that positive effects are happening in your brain.  Usually these episodes do not last much longer than an hour or so.

It is also worth noting that when one is listening to brainwave entrainment mp3s (and especially when they are
first starting to listen to them) their brain is going through a powerful transformation that is bound to have an effect on their consciousness.  The right and left hemispheres are communicating with each other more than they have ever been able to in the past, as new neural pathways are forming to enable this communication to continue (even while one is not listening to the tracks).  Also, you as the listener are likely spending more extended amounts of time sitting consciously through deeper alpha, theta, and delta states than you ever have before in your life, which is building a significant link between your conscious and subconscious mind, and expanding your self-awareness.  You are literally on the fast track to evolution, and it is telling to note that many of these “spacey” experiences that are reported by brainwave entrainment users worldwide are often times strikingly similar to esoteric experiences related to spiritual advancement in eastern texts. debilitate one from participating in whatever activity they are required to do.

The best thing to do when this occurs is to just go with it.  Give your brain some time to readjust and rewire those new neural pathways.  This is a very unique experience and most importantly, it may be one of the only times in your life that you will enjoy something like this. 

Besides, you can’t really complain about getting high from nothing but natural chemicals in your brain.  

It’s free and it’s safe!  If this symptom becomes too intense to enjoy, then simply take a day or two off from your brainwave entrainment listening routine.

Emotional Upheaval:

Another common side-effect reported by brainwave entrainment listeners is emotional upheaval.  Now there has been a debate going on about this effect by some of the various companies, as to whether or not this should occur.  There are quite a few newer brainwave entrainment makers out there that will tote that their product does not cause emotional upheaval, and will use this as a reason to use their product over the competitors.  For more details on this check out my article “Holosync Vs. The Competion“.

As this is a very subjective experience, I will speak from my own personal experiences as a user of these types of product for over 7 years.  One of the first brainwave entrainment products I used was The Holosync Solution by Centerpointe Research.  I used Holosync for over 3 years before branching out to try some of the other products.  No doubt that the Holosync Solution caused emotional upheaval for me, but there was a very specific reason for this, and I was being given a wealth of constant support material to explain why this happened, and what could be done to minimize discomfort, and maximize the benefits of the product.

brainwave entrainment and subconscious mindThough this is a vast subject, and books could be written about it, I will summarize this process in a nutshell for you so you can finish this article and get on to making an educated decision.  One of the largest things that listening to brainwave entrainment, and dropping down into those deeper brainwave states on a regular basis will do is form a deeper connection between your conscious and subconscious mind.  Basically, you will grow a more conscious awareness of your subconscious mind, which is simply another name for self-awareness.  The facilitation of increased self-awareness is one of the most beneficial things that these types of product will do, and this is where you begin to reap the benefits that were previously reserved for 10-year experienced meditators.

But here’s the thing: you know that you’ve got some issues lurking down there in your subconscious.  Less-than-helpful thought patterns, emotional habits, coping mechanisms, self-sabotage, and unwanted memories are just a few.  These are the things that have led you here in the first place, are they not?  This is what you are wanting to release, and indeed, MUST release in order to reach your highest potential and become more of what you want to become in life.  So what is the best way to release this subconscious junk?  By becoming aware of it.  You can’t do anything with it until you know how it works, when it rears its ugly head, and how exactly it manages to limit you as a human being in your life.  You may be surprised to find that once you become fully aware of it, you won’t have to do anything but just watch it, and then watch yourself transcend it.

And this is exactly what a good brainwave entrainment program will do! First, you begin listening to the audios, regularly visiting the deeper brainwave states.  Second, your self-awareness begins to grow as a bridge is formed between your conscious and subconscious.  Third, you become aware of the subconscious limitations that have been dwelling inside of you, and limiting you as a human being (this is where the Emotional Upheaval is experienced), and THEN this upheaval is released, simply through your awareness of it, and you have taken one step further in your mental, spiritual, emotional evolution.

I would caution anyone, who is seriously interested in evolving to be wary of a brainwave entrainment program that uses a lack of emotional upheaval as a selling point. 

You must accept that this is unavoidable, and must be done to transcend those limitations.  You still have to do the work.  The reason this upheaval happens, and can reach intense points, is that with brainwave entrainment, you are meditating at a very accelarated rate, and are thus evolving very quickly.  Again, if this becomes too much for you to handle, simply take a break from your listening for a few days, and return to it when you are feeling more balanced again.  Keep in mind that a good brainwave entrainment company will be providing you with support (Holosync even has a 24/7 call center with people to talk to) to help facilitate this process and make it easier for you.  Once you get used to this process it can even be fun (in an intense way of course) to watch yourself shedding this limiting subconscious material.

Physical Fatigue:

Again, this one happens most commonly when one is new to the product, or beginning a new level of the product they are using.  This is mostly caused by the fact that the brain is being stimulated to produce melatonin – a neurochemical that helps you sleep.  Aside from this, your brain is also being given more of a specific type of stimulus than it usually gets, and is in the process of growing many new neural pathways, rewiring itself, and adjusting itself to handle this added input.  Just like physical exercise, this mental exercise can make you sleepy.

Not to mention going into Alpha, Theta, and Delta can make you sleepy anyways, as these are usually the brainwave states you progress through as you are falling asleep at night.


There can be quite a few other brainwave entrainment side effects, and many of them can be quite subtle or unique, as this is a very subjective process you are going through.  It is most important to follow the guidelines outlined by the product you are using, and to take advantage of any support offered to you.  As a general rule, if any symptoms become too intense to be enjoyable, take a break from your brainwave entrainment Mp3s and come back to them when you are feeling balanced again.  Make sure to never listen to these types of audios while you are driving, operating heavy machinery, or doing anything else that requires focus to keep you safe.

It is also important to spell out here that there has never been a reported case of serious injury or trauma from using brainwave entrainment products, which have been around for over 30 years now.  As a precautionary measure, it is common to recommend that brainwave entrainment is not used by pregnant women, people diagnosed with epilepsy, or people using pacemakers, though there are no reported cases of negative effects or trauma associated with these people using brainwave entrainment.


Add yours
  1. 1

    Are there any recorded cases of anyone having a seizure from these or is this just a precautionary warning? I have been interested in trying these for a while now, but now I’m finding things that say they could be unsafe. There are many different types of seizures and many people have different triggers. I don’t know of that many besides my own, except that I know some have ones that are triggered by flashing lights, etc. and they should stay away from light-based ones (which I wasn’t going to try just to be safe even though I don’t have that kind). Are there certain individuals who have seizures triggered by music or sound? Because I’m curious how the pulsating beats are any different from listening to music, etc. that they would be problematic.

    I have never had any problems with going to concerts, dancing in a club or elsewhere (to pulsating dance beats or latin music which is heavily laced with drumbeats and other such rhythms), or being in close proximity to drums, when singing (in one band, the drummer was pretty much directly behind my head and we practiced in a very small space, so I was quite close to the sound) in or listening to friends’ and family’s bands.

    Are the people who might have seizures from listening to this, people

    who would likely have problems with the above? I’ve known other people with seizure issues that are different from mine, but I’ve never even heard of seizures caused by sounds before, so I need more info on this if anybody knows anything more about it.

    I have seen it recommended to ask your doctor. Most neurologists are not holistic, and don’t believe in this sort of thing in the first place, so they are not likely to have any opinions on whether it is “safe” or “unsafe”, you’d probably just get a nod and a smile or laughed at like you’re crazy (and many neurologists also work in psychology/psychiatry, so you have to be careful what you say in front of them! lol.)

    My seizures are controlled by medication and I haven’t had one since about January 2006 or so if that makes a difference to any of this. I mention that because I know a lot of peoples’ are not controlled by medicine. Mine have primarily been triggered by stress and/or insomnia and apparently the brainwave entrainment is supposed to be good for these things and therefore, I thought they might be beneficial for me.

    However, I also saw a warning about being on any sort of medication and I do take anti-seizure meds and sleeping pills (for the aforementioned insomnia. But if I could use these and get some sleep naturally, I could quit taking those! 🙁 )

    I would appreciate any information anyone could give me on this. And it would be great if anyone who can answer even some of these queries could post them here as I am sure I am not the only one with these concerns.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

  2. 2

    I had a head injury (bleeding on the right frontal lobe of my brain) and was told that I may develop epilepsy. Years after my head injury I had been listening to binaural beats meditations and after a week or so I started having very disturbing jolts to my body. I stopped do binaural beats meditations and shortly after I had an episode where I fell unconscious for a few minutes. The doctor checked me out and found I had an irregular heart beat, it was the first time I’d ever been told that. When I went for an EEG though all the results came back normal. Everything has been ok since but I’ve never listened to binaural beats again. Would be interesting to know if anyone else has experienced similar responses.

    • 3

      This is spot on in terms of my own experience. I listened to these on youtube for the first time a week ago and when I was out with my mates having a drink I suddenly lost consciousness, fell face down on the ground (thankfully I only bruised the ridge of my nose) and then according to witnesses, I stopped breathing and my heart stopped beating for 3-5 seconds. I was brought back to consciousness by my friends hitting me on the chest. Going to ER immediately I also discovered I had arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) for the first time. EEG and CT scans came back normal. I am beginning to suspect that the loss of consciousness is likely to be triggered by the binaural beats.

      Having done regular meditation the effects of listening to these binaural beats are far more pronounced and accelerates processes that one has not acquired the skills to control/master. This is the problem of using a shortcut. For reference, I have a PhD in buddhist philosophy. I hope this may be of help to some of you out there.

  3. 5
    Nicholas Pierotti

    I had been listening to a wide variety of Jeffrey Thompson’s brainwave material over the last month or so (Alpha, Theta, Delta, and Gamma mostly). I downloaded the material as flac files from the internet.

    In the last week I started developing high anxiety, foggy thinking and high panic with stiffness in my neck muscles and a sense of disassociation. It really has been bad with the anxiety and spaciness…

    I have stopped listening to this material. Can you pinpoint which waves might have caused these symptoms. And is there a remedy to make these symptoms go away more quickly. How long should I expect to experience thee symptoms before they go away and I return to normal.

    Is there a quick fix?

    I listened to the following:
    Alpha Relaxation System
    Alpha Relaxation System 2.0
    Awakened Mind System
    Awakened Mind System 2.0
    Brainwave Suite (Alpha-Theta)
    Brainwave Suite (Delta)
    Gamma Meditation System
    Gamma Meditation System 2.0
    Healing Mind System
    Healing Mind System 2.0

    Nicholas Pierotti

    • 6

      I’m having issues myself from a couple of months. It’s been two weeks since I stopped. How long did it take for you to get to normal again?

    • 10
      Ashton Brainwavelove

      Hi Meg,

      There is nothing about BWE that would interfere with a pacemaker. However I am not a doctor or licensed health care practitioner, so if you have concerns I would double check with your Doctor.


  4. 11

    Yes I did listen to some of this free videos of sounds,guided meditation etc.and I experience first were ok but later I estart with,Muscle spasm’s… loose of sleep and can’t control my sleeping.. can’t esleep nothing for allmost 3 days. allso my thoughts were un estop able need to see a acupuncturist,cost me more money.this estuf is dangerous ,and I’m now better but to sensitive to what ever noise,or emotional situation….and it’s no information neither the kind of sound the use some they do ,but neither who they are ,a doctor or therapist ..we need to be very carefully with this,people who are messing up with the public minds with subliminals sound waves,hypnosis ,and guided meditation all they use hidden sound waves,not yust sounds,should be in control by the governments agencies,or by the medical association….this free estuff can cost your mental health and phisical health,people can be into a serious situation they need to be investigated,and in control.estarting with you tube for allow them with out a medical association permit.

    • 12
      Ashton Brainwavelove

      Hi Hector,

      I am very sorry to hear you’ve had this experience. This is a good reminder that it is important to properly vet the company/person that you are purchasing or using this type of technology from. This IS powerful stuff, and I would not recommend trusting a free youtube audio without knowing about who created it, what their intentions are, or what their level of involvement/experience is with brainwave entrainment.

      I would not agree that this should be a government or medical regulated technology. There is something very dangerous about government being able to stake claim on the use of sound itself (essentially what this technology is utilizing). It is similar to people’s feelings about government regulation of things like seeds, and natural supplements.

      I believe it is essentially up to us to make informed decisions about how we use technology like this and to face the consequences. This being said I have always taken the seriousness of this into account in making my own audios, and personally tested each and every one of them over a several month period before releasing them for this reason. I do not imagine that every person on the internet releasing brainwave entrainment is putting in the same amount of care into it. There are some great creators of this technology, and likely many “duds” out there.

      Do feel free to contact me if there is anything I can do to help you, but I would also advise that you get in touch with a health care specialist if you are having these types of issues as they could be indicative of another issue as well.

      Warm regards,


  5. 13

    Is it safe for people with depression, PTSD, and anxiety to use this? What of chronic physical pain such as fibromyalgia? If so, what kind if waves should I focus on to feel better? I’ve struggled with depression my whole life, and after having my son I’ve had terrible postpartum depression that there just seems to be no remedy for and I’m at a loss of what to do to help myself.

    • 14
      Ashton Brainwavelove

      Hi Savana!

      Great to hear from you and sorry to hear that you’ve had terrible postpartum depression. I can understand that feeling of being at a loss of what to do to help oneself. In answer to your question, brainwave entrainment is generally safe and actually quite beneficial for people with depression, PTSD, and anxiety. Of course I do have to recommend that if anyone is experiencing these symptoms or is attempting to treat a clinical symptom or illness that they consult their licensed health care practitioner for guidance.

      All that being said, yes! I would encourage you to give it a try. If for any reason you find yourself experiencing discomfort you can always take a break or a step back.

      Warm regards,


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