Morning Brains the Best, the Brightest

June 10, 2015

picasso1Thick-gray, first-light this early Wednesday on California’s north coast — only the virtue of cool shoreline breezes keeps the lid on the heat. If one was to venture just a few miles inland, the temperatures could quickly go triple-digit.

An old brain requires a cool of the coast — and my old brain also feels better and sharper in mornings, too, than in the afternoon, and new research proves it.
Via Discover magazine

The brain shrinks over the course of the day, ending up smaller in the evening — before returning to its full size the next morning…The authors show that people’s brains are bigger when they’re scanned in the morning, compared to afternoon or evening scans of the same people.

(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Harlequin Head,’ found here).

Always knew the skull felt tighter, but always felt like it was the hard-core, Turkish coffee that peaked the brain. More-likely a variety of shit and sleep plays a part:

Kunio Nakamura and colleagues of the Montreal Neurological Institute examined 3,269 scans from multiple sclerosis trials and 6,114 from the ADNI Alzheimer’s disease project.

Nakamura et al. defined brain size in terms of the brain parenchymal fraction (BPF), which is the proportion of the intracranial volume that’s filled with brain tissue.
Essentially, the BPF is the degree to which your skull is full of brain.
The BPF fell by 0.18 percent over the course of the day in the multiple sclerosis studies, and by 0.44 percent in the Alzheimer’s dataset.
Not a huge amount, but to put this in context, it’s roughly the same degree of shrinkage that someone with Alzheimer’s would experience over the course of a year.

And why does it do this? Maybe brain hydration: ‘A possible mechanism may be that lying down during the night is associated with a redistribution of body fluids that had accumulated in the lower extremities during the day… It is also possible that the effect of time-of-day is associated with hydration status.’

My problem in brain size is insomnia — sleep deprivation deprives me of full-brain-size recovery.
Hence, my excuse for an intense-idiocy, and for the many naps…

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