Oh sorry, didn’t see you there, I was just
doing my pre-DNews routine. Hey guys, Julia here for DNews.
A recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that most parents understand that sleep
is important for their kid’s growing brains. Yet 90% of kids aren’t getting enough sleep.
In order to get kids to sleep better, the researchers encourage parents to adopt bedtime
routines. Reading before bed rather than letting them play with a tablet device for example. Alright, yeah so going to bed and getting
up at the same time every day is good for us. But this made me ask why? Why are we so
obsessed with habits? I mean, how many listicles are on the internet
about “habits of highly successful people”? it’s like we see magic in routines. Writers
often stick very strictly to their routines, they feel it opens them to be a conduit for
creativity. Routines aren’t just for writers, how many
of us make the same cup of coffee in the same mug and sit in the same chair. How many of
you go through your morning routine in a fog? how many us drive to and from work without
too much thought? Well thank your infralimbic cortex and the basal ganglia for that. These
two parts of the brain work together to form our most cherished routines. The infralimbic cortex, which is located in
the prefrontal cortex, is the decider. the basal ganglia and the brainstem work together
to execute your actions. the basal ganglia are responsible for positive reinforcement.
While learning a new habit, this part of the brain is influxed with dopamine, which reinforces
the behavior. These actions are then stored in the striatum and its circuits. Over time, as your perform these habits, your
brain goes on autopilot mode. This nifty autopilot feature isn’t because you need more caffeine
but it keeps the brain from feeling overwhelmed. During the routine, the prefrontal cortex
isn’t as active, leaving you able to think about other things. Imagine if you have had
to consciously decide where to put your feet or which side of the sink you should stand
on. These small decisions would take up so much brain space. Life would be very difficult.
Writer Alva Noe suggests that habits are what make daily life possible. That habits allow
us the freedom to pursue other thoughts or actions while getting stuff done. He even
suggests we design robots or AI with habits. Habits, routines and rituals all play through
this positive feedback track. Rituals are just routines granted meaningful significance.
There’s comfort in routine. Indeed they apply some modicum of control over our lives.
When faced with anxiety we turn to the things we can control. Faced with a big game? Wear
your lucky jersey. Faced with the illness of a loved one? Go to the store, buy some
soup and crackers, turn on a favorite movie. To ward off nightmares as a kid I would kiss
my dream catcher every night before I went to bed. A recent study shows that rituals
boost confidence and temper the effects of feelings of grief or even less intense emotions
like disappointment. Whether a large religious ritual or a small
bedtime routine, humans are creatures of habit. And it’s not all magic and superstition.
Some of it’s science. And switching gears for a second, our sister
show TestTube is getting super close to 250,000 subscribers! Go check out this video the amazing
Chastity hosted on whether or not vaccinations should be mandatory. Check it out, subscribe,
and we’ll see you next time on Dnews Alright dudes, throwing it back you, what
are some your habits or routines?