27 October 2020

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3 Things You Probably Didn’t Know Your Brain Needs

Apart from sleep and exercise, here are 3 things to keep your brain going full-speed.

Apart from sleep and exercise, here are 3 things to keep your brain going full-speed.

The brain is such an important organ as it controls almost everything in the body. It is very important to keep it running at 100% to feel 100%.

7-8 hours of sleep and at least 30 minutes of exercise a day are vital for maintaining a healthy brain and body. Sleep reduces stress levels and exercise allows ample oxygen level in the blood circulating around the body.

This article explores 3 more things that the brain needs, which you probably didn’t know.

A clutter-free workspace

Science proves that a cluttered space results to a decrease in productivity.

Researchers at Princeton University Neuroscience Institute published the results of their study they had conducted in the January issue of The Journal of Neuroscience. Their report can be found here.

“Multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete for neural representation by mutually suppressing their evoked activity throughout visual cortex, providing a neural correlate for the limited processing capacity of the visual system.”

From their report “Interactions of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Mechanisms in Human Visual Cortex”

In summary, the study proves that clutter reduces your ability to focus and process information. The researchers used MRI scanners and other physiological measurement tools to compare the brain responses to organised and disorganised stimuli.

Conclusions were distinct as the research showed that a clutter-free workspace resulted in an increase in productivity and a decrease in irritability. The reason for this conclusion is simple.

Clutter causes distractions. With more distractions, there is a stimulus overload which results in stress, and an increase in stress causes irritability.

In conclusion, it is best to have a clutter-free workspace. Keep only a few things on your desk to reduce the number of stimuli and distractions. Furthermore, keep a clean and dust-free environment. Doing this will result in a more clear and focussed brain, also, it helps reduce stress too.

Exposure to sunlight

Exposure to sunlight can alter mood, behaviour and cognition, as a study, which can be found here, proves.

“We demonstrate that UV exposure triggers elevation of blood UCA, which in turn crosses the BBB and enters neurons to participate in the biosynthesis of GLU. The increase in neuronal GLU synthesis may result in more GLU packaging into synaptic vesicles and more GLU release from nerve terminals, thus strengthening glutamatergic neural circuits”

From their report “Moderate UV Exposure Enhances Learning and Memory by Promoting a Novel Glutamate Biosynthetic Pathway in the Brain”

Higher exposure to sunlight can not only promote the synthesis of vitamin D but also greatly increases the presence of a chemical substance called UCA in the blood.

As the chemical, UCA passes through the BBB (blood-brain barrier) and enters the brain, UCA transforms into GLU (glutamic acid). The chemical GLU is used as a neurotransmitter as it strengthens neural circuits in the brain.

To simplify, it is like a fuel for the brain and allows the brain to function at a high level. Furthermore, it stimulated mental alertness and also improves memory.

Sunlight can be harmful when exposed to too much. So, make good use of the sun but remember that too much can be bad for you.

Increased water intake

Water accounts for around 75% of the brain’s mass. Therefore, it isn’t a surprise when experiments prove that an increase in water intake results in an increase in brain activity.

Researchers tested 34 people where one group ate a plain breakfast and the other group drank water after breakfast. Subjects performed 14 percent quicker after they took a drink.

There have been many experiments that prove the relation between increased water intake and brain activity. In summary, here is a list of effects drinking more water has.

  • Boosts concentration
  • Improves problem-solving skills
  • Improves reaction times
  • Raises mood and reduces stress
  • Prevents headaches and migraines

Conclusion

To conclude, science has backed up these three points explored in this article. It is safe to say that you will feel the difference if you declutter your desk, get more exposure to sunlight and increase your water intake. However, exposure to sunlight should be controlled safely, as too much of it can be bad for health. So it is important to stay safe and to be able to read your body’s signs.

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