Currently, I’m working on a new book idea which involves a heroine with a type of memory loss called fugue, which can affect a specific time period in a person’s life, but not all past memories.
This has prompted me to do research on the human brain and begin thinking about brain health. Research can be endlessly seductive, enticing a writer away from the actual work of writing an honest-to-goodness book. However, I’ve been having some issues with focus and concentration for a while, and I’m betting many other people have, too, so I’m going to share a little bit of what I’ve learned.
Even though the brain regulates the nervous system, it lacks nerves, so it feels no pain.
It consumes 20% of the body’s energy.
It’s the fattest organ in the body at 60% fat, but 75% of its total mass is water. (I’m not even going to try to figure out how that works. Let’s just go with it.)
The brain produces approximately 23-25 watts of electrical power.
It gets 20% of all the body’s blood and oxygen.
As we age, it is harder to remember new things because the brain is unable to filter and remove old memories. This prevents it from taking in new memories.
Lack of water to the brain can cause numerous symptoms including problems with focus, memory, brain fatigue and brain fog, as well as headaches, sleep issues, anger, depression, and many more.
Things that affect our brains negatively are excessive sugar intake (sugar feeds inflammation which some scientists believe leads to dementia), skipping breakfast, multi-tasking, conversing rarely, lack of sleep, and overeating (because blood rushes to our digestive system and slows brain function).
Hm, so what I’ve learned from all of this is that we need to be well-hydrated, well-fed, and well-rested. Not exactly a newsflash, but it’s important to remember because if we writers don’t take care of our brains, we’ll quickly be out of a job.
Oh, and the photo above has nothing to do with brains, but my backyard in a rain shower is prettier than the average brain.