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5 amazing things you didn’t know your brain could do

By | CW Headley |

One of the most impressive artifacts of an evolved human brain, is its ability to adapt to complex scenarios in real-time. The squishy organ only accounts for 2% of our total body weight (3 pounds). Yet it contains more than 80 million cells and is responsible for roughly 20% of our daily energy and oxygen expenditure. 

Most experts would agree that there is still a lot to know about the many functions of the brain, but the little we do know rarely fails to astonish.

Sleep: A neurological rest stop

“The brain plasticity theory says sleep is required for brain function. Specifically, it allows your neurons, or nerve cells, to reorganize,” Healthline reports. 

“When you sleep, your brain’s glymphatic (waste clearance) system clears out waste from the central nervous system. It removes toxic byproducts from your brain, which build up throughout the day. This allows your brain to work well when you wake up. Research suggests that sleep contributes to memory function by converting short-term memories into long-term memories, as well as by erasing, or forgetting, unneeded information that might otherwise clutter the nervous system.

Researchers began uncovering the correlative relationship between sleep and brain function relatively recently. What they found is that without sleep, our ability to process new information, retain memory and solve problems suffer dramatically.

A researcher from the University of Chicago by the name of Allan Rechtschaffen conducted a study on rat models in order to determine how long an organism can survive with sleep deprivation. Every single one of the rats featured in the report died by day 32 of analysis. 

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