It is pretty easy to start out at a sprightly pace, but as the miles add up, unless you are some superfit ninja, the pace slows down quite a bit.
You do finish. You have to, despite the aches and pains. But the final mile is the longest. Not just mentally, time wise as well.
The reason………… your leg muscles get TIRED. And they let you know by going SLOW.
Did you know your brain does the same thing ?
The long haul
The longer your brain is required to perform ………… the slower it becomes. It can still dot the i’s and cross the t’s – it just takes a whole lot longer to do it.
So this week’s Neurotechnology Tip advises you to bounce out of bed and do it. The earlier in the day the better. As the day ticks by, you will wind up doing less and less, even if you don’t mean to.
Counting awake hours
This time awake effect holds true no matter what time of the day, your day begins.
It is not cued by clocks or feelings – it is driven by biology.
This is what researchers Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) discovered when they stuck 12 healthy people, in a time machine for 3 weeks.
Stuck in Hotel California
The time machine took the participants into a world which ran on a 28 hour clock. The day-night cycle was created artificially, by turning the lights on and off.
The team was eager to assess the effects of sleep deprivation so, they CONTROLLED sleeping and waking. Quite literally CONTROLLED, if someone nodded off inappropriately, they were woken up by the minder in the room. OUCH !
The participants were required to complete specific tasks, designed to assess their cognitive powers at specified times. The tasks required both visual prowess and memorization.
The rest of the time, they could more or less do what they liked, they could NOT LEAVE.
Welcome to “HOTEL CALIFORNIA”.
Accurate but slow
Amazingly, for the most part, the participants were able to complete the computer tasks.
So tired brains were able to untangle the puzzle.
It just took tired brains, a heck of a lot longer to do so.
Which is good news and bad news.
If you are trying to put something together late at night – YOU CAN DO IT. It will just take you a few hours longer to do.
The midnight run
The researchers found the hours awake effect, held true no matter when the start time was. 6 am, 6 pm or 3.15 am.
But the wee hours of the morning from 12 am – 6 am, the midnight run, were SPECIAL.
During this time, all brains were especially SLUGGISH.
Remember the participants did not have a clue that it was THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. But their brain’s somehow knew.
Jump out of bed and work
Not sure how you start your day – I like to ease into it…. SLOWLY. Wind myself up, so to speak. But, this research suggests I’m doing it “wrong” and inadvertently hampering my productivity.
It seems early birds really do catch the most worms, but the productivity has nothing to do with the early start time. It has to do with their behaviour – they FLEW out of the nest and started looking for worms, pronto.
The worm hunting corresponded with the time period of maximum brain functioning.
Start working early
So if you’re looking to bump up your brain’s performance, stop obsessing about getting up early………… maximize your productivity by STARTING, when you get up.
And if your brain has been running for 16 plus hours – keeping going, is not going to be especially productive. You can do it. But doing it, is not going to be all that useful.
|Open eyes by converting your office to a red light district||Tired cells don’t hear insulin knocking||How to handle being caught yawning during class|
To wire up your brain a little each week ………………..
Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below..