10 Things You Didn't Know That Your Brain Does

by 4Sleep on Jul 28, 2015 8:53:00 AM

Here’s a few of the things that your brain does, some of which you know and take for granted, but some of which you may not have known.

  1. Makes decisions.

  2. Creates and consolidates memories.

  3. Makes creative connections.

  4. Clears out toxins.

  5. Learns and remembers how to perform physical tasks.

  6. Keeps you asleep for about ⅓ of your life.

  7. Depending on your age, regulates how much sleep you need for that stage of life.

  8. Preserves and enhances certain aspects of a memory.

  9. Chooses which memories have the greatest emotional value to enhanced, and simultaneously, chooses those memories of lesser value to be downgraded.

  10. Selectively preserves only that information which it deems worthy of remembering.

  11. Maintains a certain level of neural activity.

...and then you wake up!

That’s right, your brain does all that while you’re sleeping! I know, right? If you thought all of these “tasks” sounded familiar, you were right, but you may not have known that your very big smart brain is doing all this stuff while you’re doing what we call “resting”.

So here’s a quick test, and maybe the above information will give you a hint at the answer. Which of the following two images represents your brain’s activity while you’re asleep?

brain-activity-while-asleep-vs-awake

Yeah, it’s the crazier looking one on the bottom. Who knew? And who knew these other 17 sleep statistics?

  1. We spend almost half our sleep time in stage 2 sleep, about ⅕ in REM sleep, and the rest in the other stages. Babies, however, spend 50% of their sleep time in REM.

  2. When you reach the spring chicken age of 80, you’ll have slept for more than 233,600 hours! That's like you slept for almost 27 years. Rip Van Winkle, anyone?

  3. Most people dream 4-5 times each night, so when you’re 80, you’ll have had 131,400 dreams. How many of those can you remember?

  4. The average sleep cycle lasts 90-110 minutes.

  5. When someone wakes you up after you’ve been asleep for more than a few minutes, you usually can’t recall the time just before you fell asleep. That’s why we sometimes forget phone calls or conversations in the middle of the night or in that sweet sleepy moment right before we give in to the slumber. Same thing goes for when your alarm goes off in the morning and you slap the snooze button and go right back to sleep. Why didn’t my alarm go off?!?

  6. Babies need 16 hours of sleep a day and teens need 9 hours.

  7. We grown ups, well, not so much. We only need 7 - 8 hours a night. Obviously, we’ve proven that we can function on far less.

  8. Sleeping makes the content of a memory more, um, memorable, and also reestablishes the order of events in the right sequence so we can remember correctly.

Finally, a good solid sleep helps our brain work through the day and solve problems. So sleep on it. Maybe you’ll figure all this out.

photo credit

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