What happens to the brains of stressed people?

ABC Science show aired an interesting broadcast Aug 1 2020 where Lila Landowski Postdoctoral fellow, Neuroscience & Brain Plasticity College of Health and Medicine University of Tasmania discussed what happens to the brains of fatigued people.

A broadcast of the interview-: Protect your hippocampus with exercise, diet, socialising and sex ABC Science Show Aug 1 2020

Stress Poor Sleep Memory Performance

If you have ever noticed the correlation between stress poor sleep and memory performance issues this is a great episode to explain how the brain is affected by that combination.

"When we're sleeping all of the short term memories which are being stored by the hippocampus. Get whittled off into other parts of the brain, and turned into long term memories."

source: Protect your hippocampus with exercise, diet, socialising and sex ABC Science Show Aug 1 2020

When we are stressed cortisol is released into the brain. We often do not think clearly when stressed and this transcript may explain this-:

"What happens to the hippocampus when we stress.
Our body makes a whole range of hormones when we're stressed. And one of those hormones is cortisol.
We know that cortisol can affect neurons in the hippocampus directly.
So those neurons, can actually shrink and die. Another thing that cortisol affects is the connections between neurons in the hippocampus, so they become weaker, which means that we have more difficulty organizing ideas organizing memories, keeping track of what we're doing from minute to minute."

source: Protect your hippocampus with exercise, diet, socialising and sex ABC Science Show Aug 1 2020

How to help the hippocampus

"Exercise has an incredible powerful ability to stimulate the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus."

source: Protect your hippocampus with exercise, diet, socialising and sex ABC Science Show Aug 1 2020

It turns out that the type of exercise generally recommended ie. 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise (build up a sweat) 3 times a week is very good at regenerating neurons in the hippocampus.

You are stressed and not sleeping well

Yoga has some natural techniques for improving your sleep patterns. Refer How to Sleep Better

Break the pattern, or don't stress about being stressed. Recognise when you are falling into that pattern and try to break it.

If something is really causing you stress - can you simply drop it? If it is a work situation, or relationship situation you may need professional counselling.

"Connecting with a qualified, caring and empathic therapist can begin the process of developing insight, self-awareness and personal empowerment."

source: Innercalm Counselling

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