Nervous System Fun Facts: 9 Nerve-Wracking Things You Do Not Know

halloween candy inside a skull

Do you ever wonder how your body works? Have you ever thought about how wonderfully God has made your body? Isn’t it interesting to know how you could move your hands and legs whenever you want? Thanks to your nervous system organs, you can do whatever you want with your body. 

There are so many things you could learn about your nervous system function. However, if you want to know even a little about the complex system, I am sharing 9 nerve-wracking fun facts about the nervous system. 

What is the nervous system made up of? 

One of the essential systems in the body, the nervous system, is made up of billions of neurons. Nerve cells work across your body by sending signals to and from the brain. You feel pain when touching sharp objects and shiver when the temperature drops. You can move your body during exercise and taste the food you eat. All the sensations you feel are possible because of the nervous system. 

Apart from the nerve cells, your nervous system is also made up of your brain and spinal cord. So when you have a headache, it may be because your brain is working overtime! Or it could be that your body signals that you might be dehydrated

Now that you know what your brain is made of, let me show you interesting facts about the nervous system. 

9 Fun facts about your nervous system

1. Male and female brains only differ a little

Male and female species differ vastly in terms of traits and physical attributes. In general, women are more emotional than men. However, research shows there is very minimal difference in their brain structures. 

2. Your brain works even when you sleep. 

When you sleep, your body goes to rest to get ready for the next day. On the contrary, your brain works overtime. Even if brain waves slow down during the early parts of non-REM sleep, studies showed that there are quick bursts of brain activity during stages 2 and 3. 

3. Neurons decrease causing your brain to shrink by 1 to 2 grams each year in your 30s to 40s. 

As you age, the outer layer of your cerebral cortex becomes thinner. It explains why motor function and memory loss are more common. While we cannot stop our brains from shrinking, it would still be helpful to take care of our brain health. As the cliche goes, “Prevention is better than cure,” so we should try our best to prevent cognitive decline. And one way to do so is by through the next fun fact. 

4. Learning new things makes your brain grow. 

You can teach old dogs new tricks. Yep, you read that right. Contrary to what we usually hear, people young and old can learn new things. Best of all, learning helps your neurons connect more, so their strength increases. So go ahead and learn no matter how old you are. Study that language that you have been meaning to learn. Practise that sport that you enjoy. You’ll soon notice that you are aging gracefully. 

5. Your brain uses more energy than your other organs. 

About 20% of your body’s energy is being used up by your brain. And two-thirds of that energy is being used to help neurons work to send signals to your body. The rest is used for maintaining your other cells’ health. 

6. Signals travel as fast as 268 mph in the spinal cord. 

While the skin receptors only travel at a speed of 1 mph, the alpha motor neurons pass the spinal cord 268 times faster. Thanks to the help of myelin sheath, a speed-boosting insulating layer, you can remove your hand instantly if you accidentally touch a very hot pot! 

7. Mirror neurons are responsible for making us imitate others. 

You yawn and then suddenly the person in front of you started yawning too. Wait a minute. Is he copying you? Blame the mirror neurons because they are the reason that your peer is mimicking what they see, and that’s you! Without these neurons, you would likely be blind to other people. Mirror neurons help us socialize with the people around us by letting us simulate other people’s emotions. 

8. The largest and longest nerve found in the body is called the sciatic nerve. 

Have you ever heard of sciatica? It is a condition wherein a part of the sciatic nerve is pinched causing pain or numbness in the leg. More often, you would hear a pregnant woman complaining of this altered sensation due to the weight of the baby. Starting from the base of the spine up until the back of the leg, the sciatic nerve supplies the thigh, leg, and foot. 

9. Chronic stress can weaken your brain. 

A study found that chronic stress could cause cognitive, emotional, and behavioural dysfunctions. Other than that, it also showed that chronic stress could cause diseases such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and mental illnesses. 

Whew! That is a lot to take in. But you have to admit, it is nice to learn more about our brains, is it not? Anyway, learning helps make your brain grow. So congratulations for reaching this far because you did your brain a great job by getting to know more about it. Make sure to stay tuned for my next post by subscribing below. Have a great day ahead, and be sure to take care of your nervous system well! 

One thought on “Nervous System Fun Facts: 9 Nerve-Wracking Things You Do Not Know

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