The Teenage Brain

A book that teaches you to sleep more (and how not to multitask).

the teenage brain

I’m reading The Teenage Brain, which is all about stimulating our brains. Or, it’s about how teens stimulate theirs (they’re genetically and neurologically predisposed to be the experts).

Anyhow, two key things leapt out at me. Sleep more. A while back my sister, a GP, said the one health and lifestyle change we should make is to go to bed sooner. There isn’t really a category of people who function better on way less sleep. If we claim to, we’re the neurological equivalent of anti-vaxxers. Sleep isn’t down time or turning off. It is an essential active stage in what our brain needs to do. Sleep isn’t the stimulant, but it’s how all the sensations and stimulants and thoughts need to be processed.

And another shocker: the “multitasking” brain doesn’t scientifically exist. Sure, some people are better than others at switching back and forth. But it’s at a cost, and no one is better at what they do when multitasking. Making multitasking an essential job skill, is like insisting that drunk driving be a skill for Linkedin. We all have to do it — multitasking, not driving drunk — but someday someone’s going to look at the science and change that. And they’ll show results.

This week’s Frandoms are by Sean Gallagher, a freelance copywriter in Toronto.