View Full Version : Sleep Stages - Brain Waves

9th July 2012, 03:02 PM
What I want to achieve is to better get to know the different brain wave patterns
in relation to various sleep stages in order to increase my understanding on how
lucid dreaming works.

As the Monroe Focus Levels are defined by specific brain wave patterns, the exact
patterns are kept at TMI. But still there is some info, but not to the extent which
makes me really that much smarter.

If anyone knows of any good book on this subject of brain waves or Focus Levels &
Brain waves, please put a post in this thread.

Wikipedia doesn't explain how sleep stages and brain waves connect, at least not in
a fully clear way. So I'll just put out here what I've found and hope that anyone can
correct my errors. So probably containing errors and most likely incomplete:

The following brain wave patterns (also called brain wave rhythms) exists:

* Alpha waves
- - - Mu Waves (a sort of alpha waves, sometimes called μ rhythm)
* Beta Waves
* Gamma Waves (existence debatable?)
* Delta Waves
* Theta waves
* K complex
* Sleep Spindles

These brain wave patterns are both characterized by amplitude and frequency. They
can further be sub-divided into variations of the same kind. If anyone knows better
what these sub-divisions are, please let us know.

The following sleep stages exists:

Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Stage 4 (merged with stage 3 in the USA but not in Europe)
REM (sometimes called Stage 5)

And then there are some normal physical phenomena:

eye movements
sleep paralysis
sleep movement (a normal person moves around in the bed 25 times/night)
others (sleep talk, etc)

Now my problem, what brain wave pattern goes with what sleep stage? I am
under the impression that it's something like this:

Stage 1 = alpha waves mixed with theta waves. Alpha waves in the beginning going
into theta waves. People who are being waked up in Stage 1, think that they never
really fell asleep.

[Sleep paralysis sets in at start of Stage 2?]

Stage 2 = theta waves mixed with K complex and sleep spindles, the person now has
sleep paralysis.

Stage 3 = (European version) theta waves and 20-50 % delta waves

Stage 4 = (European version) theta waves and 50-100 % delta waves

REM = mostly beta waves and some alpha waves but of what percentages? And any
theta waves?


How exact is this division of Brain-Waves/Sleep-Stages and what books will best describe
this? Are there any good books out there which show the actual brain wave patterns so a
layman can understand them, in the _exact_ relation to sleep stages?

Also, when we move around in sleep or sleep talk, how can that be possible and how does
such movements bypass the sleep paralysis? Any book here would be good as well.

The more LDs I get, the more these sleep stages and brain waves patterns puzzles me.

So if you know anything, specially if you have any detailed, well worked medical source
or book recommendation, please post your info in this thread.

I'm under the impression that when someone reaches F 27 they mostly have delta waves,
but RTZ OBEs doesn't correlate easily to any specific brain wave pattern.

10th July 2012, 03:37 AM
I can't refer you to any books per se (which is not how I usually operate!), but I can tell you that during protracted meditation, you can feel your brain "down throttle," for lack of a better term, from one state to another. It feels almost like falling, or if the floor just gave from under you and can be jarring at first. With practice, you can take yourself almost all the way down, down, down to mind awake, body asleep...but in my experience it's more like Awareness awake, mind half awake, body asleep.

Not sure if that helps, but experience is the best teacher. So if you want to know more about relaxation meditation with the focus of keeping awareness anchored and lucid, let me know.


10th July 2012, 12:42 PM
OBEs don't correspond with any particular brainwave pattern-- there's every pattern imaginable, including "wide awake" beta waves. This is why the whole "OBEs are just LDs" argument that's so popular on LD forums has no basis in fact.

Fred Aardema discusses OBEs that are really "out there" (mental plane? beyond F27?) and how certain bodily functions seem to slow or even shut down. Perhaps this is why Monroe's physical body was in distress during his later explorations.

11th July 2012, 11:50 AM
dreaming90, yes I think I've read that and usually the reference is to C Tart. But also,
there doesn't seem to be other references or later studies which indicates anything
about brain wave patterns of OBE persons. I think the study is done on at most
3 persons (Monroe, one young girl (woman?) Miss Z and Ingo Swann), which is
a very poor sample.

I have seen the same report being copied at different places at the net, sometimes
at TMI. One version is here and I guess you are referring to the section under the
title What is the physiology of OBEs (http://www.nderf.org/NDERF/Articles/obe_dream_faqs_nde.htm#What_is_the_physiology_of_O BEs_)

My objections is twofold:

A. Not many others studies of physiology are made public. Anyone else than Tart?
B. Tart's study is very aged. Surely there has to be better equipment today?!?

One study from someone more than 40-50 years ago is not enough by any measures.
Ten years later (or even more) S LaBerge pointed out that the EEG equipment of his
time wasn't exactly reliable. People could wake up while the EEG still recorded a sleep
state of the person.

So I would like to start from a very scientific/medical perspective first, and find out exactly
what brain wave patterns look like during normal sleep. So how are the sleep pattern
related to the exact brain wave patterns?

11th July 2012, 03:31 PM
Scott Rogo documents some work done on this in his book 'Leaving the Body'. I believe they did MRI scans on people that were reportedly OBE vs. dreaming, and found that different parts of the brain lit up. Please don't make me look it up. :|

11th July 2012, 04:53 PM
Pauli, the excerpt from Fred's book reads as follows:

Explorations in Consciousness, pg 26:

So are the OBE and lucid dreaming entirely identical experiences? Is the person always dreaming during an OBE? Quite frankly, as convincing as the proposition might be, especially given the phenomenological similarities, the empirical evidence simply does not support it.

Firstly, it is well known that the OBE occurs in a wide variety of circumstances completely unrelated to sleep, such as physical trauma, extreme sports, stress, and drug use. It seems difficult to claim that all these experiences involve dreaming. Secondly, even if the OBE occurs under circumstances related to sleep, the available psycophysiological data goes against the idea that the person is dreaming during an OBE.

In an overview, Susan Blackmore discusses several cases of adepts who subjected themselves to psychophysiological measurements while in the out-of-body state. In all of these cases, the OBE did not occur during REM sleep, as measured with an electroencephalograph (EEG)-- an objective indicator of dreaming. The EEG revealed a variety of complex patterns, but nothing that could be easily classified as dreaming. In fact, in some instances, the EEG even showed an alert and awake mind. Scott Rogo conlcudes: "..while LaBerge is correct in pointing the many similarities between OBEs and lucid dreaming, objective EEG criteria suggest that these resemblances are purely superficial or artifactual."

11th July 2012, 11:01 PM
dreaming90, I know that. I even started a thread on the subject that
OBEs are _not_ LDs on another forum site. The thread eventually got
locked and things didn't turn out that good for me at that site.

But there is some kind of connection between OBEs and sleep, so
I'm interested in the subject of sleep. The farther Focuses like F 27
can be reached in delta sleep. LDs are done in F 15. H-S induction
is using a mixture of theta waves and others.

11th July 2012, 11:21 PM
This sounds interesting, I wonder if there is a correlation between the type of experience that is closer to verifiable and brainstates. IIRC in Fred's book he shows that the closest an OBE is to the physical the more verifications you can obtain experimentally, making me wonder if there is a correlation to 'where' (from a Bohmian IMax perspective) you 'go' and the part of the brain that does the processing..... anyway, I'm digressing here.
Anyway, interesting topic, I hope you get more relevant info, Pauli.

16th September 2012, 10:31 PM
I found an old Gateway Radio program from TMI, aired in 1997, done by Mark Certo in the spring of 1990,
then later re-edited; Monroe mentions sleep stages in the interview (around 19:00 - 19:35). Monroe
also mentions LDs in a radio interview on 1994-07-17 at C2C with Art Bell (around 59:40 - 1:00:20):

F 10 is deep Stage 1 sleep
F 12 is Stage 2 sleep and for some people, even Stage 3 sleep
F 15 is REM (?) with LD - "LDing is the equivalent of F 15, the lucid dreamer can evaporate the dream and is in F 15"
F 21 is Stage 4 sleep

That was a surprise to some extent as I had expected it to differ from sleep, but maybe
that was a simplification of Monroe?

Also the C2C interview has an interesting section (around 25:10 - 26:20) where Monroe
talks about two states; dreaming sleep & stage 4/delta sleep.

17th September 2012, 05:32 AM
hmm, interesting. Does he mean sleep stages as in different brainwaves? For example, sleep stage 4 = delta brainwaves?

17th September 2012, 08:19 AM
I am not sure, but I think so, because Monroe talks about delta waves and OBE a little later.