Michel Le Van Quyen, a neuroscientist, has investigated the effects of silence. He analyses the different types of silence and their consequences on our body: “There is an external silence, which is the absence of noise, and an internal silence: those moments in which we manage to reduce the background noise of our thoughts, both are essential for our health.”
The brain is a major energy consumer. In activity, it consumes a quarter of the glucose in our body. The consequence is that it produces waste that must then be disposed of. And to do it well, the brain uses these periods of inactivity. It’s called: brainwashing.
That’s why we need calm and sleep. Because while we sleep, the brain cleans itself. The problem is that our nights are getting shorter. We live in an increasingly digital world. Screens, notifications, unwanted solicitations, exhaust our brains.
Some researchers from Dresden, in Germany, have discovered that silence has an important impact on our brain. They discovered that the brain of mice in silence leads to new-born neurons, in the hippocampus, an area related to memory, emotions and learning process.
On the other hand, another group from Italy discovered that just two minutes in absolute silence is more beneficial than listening to relaxing music. Let me repeat it again: Two minutes of silence a day is enough to slow the heartbeat.
Being immersed in silence is a unique opportunity to savor the present moment and above all, to relax. This change of pace requires us to refocus on more essential things and to listen to each other.
It seems that silence reduces stress, improves sleep, improves concentration and creativity while allowing your ear to rest and regenerate. Maybe this is the reason why so many free divers are so brilliant people. What do you think?
Michel Le Van Quyen, Brain and Silence
Kriste et al. (2015), Is silence golden? Effects of auditory stimuli and their absence on adult hippocampal neurogenesis, Brain Structure and Function, V 220-2, pp 1221–1228
Black D. et al., Mindfulness Meditation and Improvement in Sleep Quality and Daytime Impairment Among Older Adults With Sleep Disturbances, JAMA Internal Medicine, 175(4):494-501