Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:02 AM
Sometimes I fall asleep after a bout of meditating with binaural beats. I cannot comment on the efficacy of aural induction of alpha-wave (stage 1-2 sleep) or delta-wave (stage 3-4) activity, but I am sure if you meditate before sleeping (or do anything relaxing, for that matter), it will help you fall asleep (it has for me). There are a lot of things you can do to improve your sleep, but if you're asking if binaural beats can solve your problem, I would personally think it is highly unlikely (although I cannot say I have evidence to back it up). I dont think there are any such products for use during sleep, but I may be mistaken.
Meditation has been shown to synchronize electrical activity in the brain, which is characteristic of slow-wave sleep. I imagine that might be helpful for transitioning into a sleeping state. But it sounds like you are having problems with sleep that warrant more than an audio-tape. There are a lot of things you can do to adjust the quality of your sleep; the obvious things are lifestyle changes, such as exercise, eating times, supplements like melatonin (which I am sure you are already aware of), etc.
I am personally big on ergonomics (hence the username). I have experimented with a few different sleeping surfaces - mattresses, hammocks, hard wooden floors, etc. and would say that what you are sleeping on makes a huge difference. I need to spend more time looking at anthropological data on sleep, but apparently anthropologists need to spend more time evaluating sleeping patterns. Nonetheless, I would advise against pillows, and thick cushy mattresses. you need support, not comfort in your sleep (although I am not suggesting you cannot have the former with the latter, just a matter or priorities). I use a neti pot before bed and I find that it really helps clear out my sinuses, making for easier breathing and a more restful sleep. Protection from blue-light emitting screens and whatnot close to bed time is advisable. I could go on and on, but it is getting awfully close to my bed time and I should log off my computer now. Hopefully others can help out more.