Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 07 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Rose Venerini
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Daily exposure to silence is essential for your memory

WOMAN,SUNSET,LAKE,SOLITUDE

Shutterstock

Calah Alexander - published on 07/31/17

Something as simple as two hours of silence per day could have effects of profound healing.

Since I became a mom, I seem to have lost my ability to remember anything. I used to have a great memory — I could recall the details of conversations and lectures in exact detail, even down to where everyone was sitting and what they were wearing. Now, I can barely remember the questions my kids ask me long enough to answer them.




Read more:
How to build more silence into your busy daily life

I’ve occasionally wondered about this for .5 seconds — before being distracted by someone dropping a Lego in the toilet, again — and have come up with a number of theories, from sleep deprivation to my brain protecting itself from filling up too fast and short-circuiting. But there might actually be a scientific explanation for mommy Memento syndrome: too much noise.

The Science of Us reports that numerous studies, which set about to examine the neuroscience of sound, have accidentally discovered that silence, not sound, is essential to our neurological health.

One mouse study led by Imke Kirste, a biologist at Duke University, found that “even though all the sounds had short-term neurological effects, not one of them had a lasting impact,” Gross writes. “Yet to her great surprise, Kirste found that two hours of silence per day prompted cell development in the hippocampus, the brain region related to the formation of memory involving the senses.”

This is great news for patients with dementia and depression, which are both associated reduced cell growth in the hippocampus. That something as simple as two hours of silence per day could have profound healing and restorative benefits is amazing. It’s also pretty easy to believe, given that after 12 years of motherhood I’m fairly certain my hippocampus has abdicated.


Lonely Woman

Read more:
Don’t be afraid to be alone! It’s a natural state of being

Unfortunately for me, I have many years to go before I can count on daily exposure to sweet, blessed silence, so this discovery is kind of a bummer for moms of littles — but hey, at least now we know that our memory loss is legit. And the next time someone wants to know where their shoes are, we can say, “I won’t be able to remember where your shoes are unless you are absolutely silent for two hours.”

That’ll work, right?

Tags:
Psychology
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
2
I.Media for Aleteia
These 30 shrines will lead the Rosary Relay for end of the pandem...
3
MOTHER MARY
Cerith Gardiner
7 Ways to strengthen your relationship with the Virgin Mary
4
SAINT Januarius
J-P Mauro
Watch the blood of St. Januarius liquefy in May 2021
5
FIRST LOOK
Sarah Robsdottir
Dad’s priceless reaction to newborn goes viral
6
MODLITWA
Francisco Veneto
Former Jehovah’s Witness to be ordained Catholic priest in ...
7
SAINT JOSEPH
Philip Kosloski
How to pray the Chaplet of St. Joseph
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.