Do Neurons Make You Smarter?
The easiest way to think of a brain neuron is as an information messenger. They are the most fundamental cells in the human brain. They are the very core of our nervous system. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the function of brain neurons and how faster neurons can make you smarter.
While it's impossible to give an exact number, scientists estimate the human brain consists of between 85-120 million neurons. We know that brain neurons are responsible for the overall functionality of our brains, but what exactly do they do?
What Are Brain Neurons
Our nervous system is responsible for detecting what is happening in and around us and then deciding how we should react. And it all starts with brain neurons.
Brain neurons respond to sensory information and then use chemical and electrical signals to send information around the human body. They send motor commands to our organs and muscles and the way they interact with each other essentially defines who we are as individuals.
Each neuron is connected to around 1,000 other neurons, which makes for an incredibly complex communication system within the human body. For this network to develop the human fetal brain develops at a staggering 250,000 nerve cells per minute during pregnancy.
Faster Neurons, A Faster Brain
Here's where things get interesting. Have you ever wondered what is responsible for some individuals having a higher IQ than others? Well, it turns out that the speed at which your neurons can send messages to each other determines how smart you are.
It was previously believed that the larger brain you had, the more neurons you had, and so the smarter you were. However, more recent studies suggest that there is more to it. It's not the number of neurons, but how efficiently the neurons are connected.
Intelligent brains have a leaner network of neurons. This means that messages are sent more directly from one neuron to the next. In essence, it's not the number of neurons doing the work, but the ease at which each neuron can carry out its task.
More intelligent people have less neural activity when they're pushing their thinking skills. This is simply because their brain neurons carry messages around faster than most other people.
How to Get Faster Neurons
So, the million-dollar question is 'can you somehow make neurons faster and therefore make yourself more intelligent?' Well, the answer is yes!
Faster working brains often run in the family, but that doesn't mean there aren't things you can be doing to speed up your brain neurons. Let's take a look at how to improve brainpower.
Learn New Skills
The brain is the thinking muscle. Technically, it isn't a muscle! But, that doesn't mean it doesn't respond to brain exercises. The more you use your brain, the efficiently it works.
One of the best ways to do this is to learn new skills. Learning a new skill doesn't only stimulate brain neurons, but also forms new neural pathways. This means that the electrical impulses that send messages from one neuron to the next can travel faster along them.
This is why some experts claim that learning skills can help to fight off neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia.
Take Brain Supplements
Certain supplements can help to improve the efficiency of your neurotransmitters. Several supplements have nootropic qualities such as:
- Fish Oil
- Ginkgo Biloba
These are believed to help improve blood flow to the brain and help protect the brain against degenerative diseases.
Fish oil contains DHA, which helps promote healthy brain development and can even give you a brain boost. The Omega 3 fatty acids that are found in DHA have been shown to support intelligence, boost memory and elevate mood.
Exercise is much more about looking good. Exercise can indirectly boost your thinking skills. We've all suffered 'brain fog' from time to time. Well, this is often associated with poor mood and bad sleep.
Exercise is a great way to boost endorphins and improve your sleep. The same endorphins that help to boost your mood are responsible for thinking clearly. Any form of exercise is a great way to clear away any brain fog and get your brain ready for learning new skills.
Practice Doing What You're Good at Faster
The faster you make your brain do something, the quicker your brain neurons have to send messages to each other. The more you get used to carrying out certain tasks quickly, the more efficient your neural network becomes.
If you play the piano you can try to play a piece of music at a faster tempo. Or try completing sudoku puzzles within a certain time. Even how fast you force yourself to make a decision can help train your brain to work faster.
Take Up a Musical Instrument
One of the wonderful things about playing a musical instrument is how it makes the brain communicate. Playing a musical instrument demands that the right and left hemispheres communicate with each other efficiently.
Both hands have to work in synchronicity. If you're a drummer, then you're feet too! Not only that, but at the same time, your brain has to identify different sounds. In short, learning a musical instrument is one of the best ways to put your brain neurons to the test.
Get Better Sleep
Sleep plays a massive part in how neurons communicate with one another. Sleep allows your busy neurons to take a break and repair themselves.
You'll notice that it's harder to concentrate and carry out thinking tasks after a bad night's sleep. This is because the neurons can't communicate with each other as effectively as normal. There is no magic number for the amount of sleep you need, but most researchers recommend 7-9 hours of good quality sleep each night.
The Benefits of a Faster Brain
Having faster firing brain neurons will make you smarter, but there are several other benefits. The brain boost you get with faster neurons also leads to better moods and improves your body's resilience against stress.
If you've been wondering how to improve your brain power, then now you know. Follow these tips and you'll start to notice your thinking becoming clearer and quicker.
Give yourself a brain boost today with our DHA liquid or any of our other nootropic supplements to help get your brain up to speed.
Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of SupplementRelief.com in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune disorders, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.
Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.
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