April 28, 2009

Playing ‘brain music’ lessens stress

U.S. researchers suggest playing a brain soundtrack may calm emergency workers and reduce their stress.

Robert Burns of the Department of Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate said that every brain has a soundtrack and when it is recorded and played back -- to an emergency responder, or a firefighter -- it may sharpen their reflexes during a crisis and calm their nerves afterward.

Strain comes with an emergency response job, so we are interested in finding ways to help these workers remain at the top of their game when working and get quality rest when they go off a shift, Burns said in a statement.

Our goal is to find new ways to help first-responders perform at the highest level possible, without increasing tasks, training or stress levels.

After brain waves are set to music, each person is given a specific listening schedule -- personalized to work environment and needs.

The brain waves' compositions are designed to promote one of two mental states -- relaxation that reduces stress and improves sleep or alertness that improves concentration and decision-making.