Different Habits Create Genius Albert Einstein

Many habits such as taking a one-second nap, taking a daily walk, eating spaghetti can play an important role in helping Albert Einstein think.

Sleep is good for the brain and Einstein followed this advice better than anyone, according to the BBC. He sleeps at least 10 hours a day, nearly one and a half times the average American today (6.8 hours). Writer John Steinbeck once said , “It is a common experience that the problem that was difficult the night before is solved the next morning after a good night’s sleep.”

Many of the greatest achievements in human history, including the periodic table, the structure of DNA and Einstein’s special theory of relativity, are said to have occurred when researchers were in a state of unconsciousness. Einstein came up with the idea of special relativity while dreaming about cows being electrocuted.

In 2004, scientists at the University of Lubeck, Germany, tested the effects of sleep with a simple experiment. First, they instructed volunteers to play a number game. Most volunteers gradually master the game through practice, but the fastest way to get better is to figure out the hidden rules. When the students were tested again after eight hours, the sleepers were twice as likely to figure out the rules of the game as those who were awake.

When we fall asleep, the brain goes into a series of cycles. Every 90-120 minutes, the brain goes through states of lightheadedness, deep sleep, and a stage associated with dreams called Rapid Eye Movement (REM) . REM is thought to play a leading role in learning and memory. But scientists still don’t understand much. “Non-REM sleep is still a mystery, we spend about 60 percent of the night in this type of sleep,” said Stuart Fogel, a neuroscientist at the University of Ottawa.

Different Habits Create Genius Albert Einstein
Einstein slept at least 10 hours a day. (Photo: BBC).

Non-REM sleep is characterized by episodes of rapid brain activity known as spindle events because of the columnar zigzag pattern of brain waves during EEG measurements. A normal night’s sleep would consist of thousands of these columns, each lasting no more than a few seconds. “This is really the gateway to the sleep stages. The more you sleep, the more columns you’ll have,” says Fogel.

The sleeping columns begin with a rapid outpouring of electrical energy from structures deep in the brain. The main culprit is the thalamus, an oval-shaped region that serves as the brain’s key “conversion center,” sending sensory signals in the right direction. When we sleep, it acts as an inner earplug, blocking external information to maintain sleep. During the sleep column, the surge of energy moves to the surface of the brain, then back again, forming a complete loop.

People with more sleeping columns tend to have higher fluid intelligence . Soft intelligence is the ability to solve new problems, use logical thinking in new situations, and recognize patterns. These are the things Einstein was very good at. “Those things don’t seem to be related to other types of intelligence such as the ability to remember facts and numbers, but to the skill of reasoning,” Fogel said. This may help explain Einstein’s disdain for formal education and his advice to “never memorize anything you can look up”.

Although the more you sleep, the more columns you sleep, sleeping more is not necessarily beneficial. However, a recent study found that nighttime sleep in women and napping in men can improve reasoning and problem-solving skills. Intelligence enhancement is often associated with the appearance of sleeping columns.

Scientists aren’t sure why the sleeping column is useful, but Fogel thinks it may have something to do with regions that are activated. “We found that the main regions that produce the sleep column are the thalamus and the cerebral cortex, which support problem solving and the application of logical thinking in new situations,” Fogel said.

Einstein also took frequent naps. According to tradition, to ensure that he did not oversleep, Einstein leaned back in an armchair, holding a spoon in his hand and placing a metal plate directly below. He let himself doze for a second, and when the spoon slipped from his hand, the sound of the spoon falling on a metal plate would wake him up.

The habit of going for a daily walk was very important to Einstein. When he worked at Princeton University, New Jersey, he used to go 2.5 kilometers there and walk back. He followed other diligent walking scientists like Darwin, who walked for 45 minutes three times a day.

Not only is this habit good for your health, there’s plenty of evidence that walking can boost memory, creativity, and problem-solving abilities.

Going for a walk distracts the brain from more mental work, forcing the brain to focus on each step so as not to fall. This is the phenomenon of “transient hypofrontality” (transient hypofrontality) , especially the frontal lobes involved in more advanced processes such as memory, assessment, and language.

By reducing activity, the brain adopts an entirely different pattern of thinking, leading to perceptions you wouldn’t be able to imagine sitting at your desk.

Nowadays, many of the health risks of smoking are well known, so it is not a habit that should be maintained. But Einstein was a heavy pipe smoker. He often walked around the schoolyard with cigarette smoke coming from his pipe. He is famously fond of smoking and believes that the habit “contributes to a calm and objective judgment in all things”. He even picked up a cigarette butt from the street and put it in his pipe.

Different Habits Create Genius Albert Einstein
Physicist is a heavy smoker. (Photo: SPL).

According to Einstein’s justification, smoking is not linked to lung cancer and other diseases. It was not until 1962, seven years after his death, that the link between tobacco and diseases was made public.

Smoking inhibits brain cell formation, thins the cerebral cortex (the wrinkled outer shell responsible for consciousness) and deprives the brain of oxygen.

An analysis of 20,000 teenagers in the US, which tracked volunteers’ health and habits for 15 years, found that regardless of age, race or education level, the smarter kids smoke. more and more often than most people. Scientists aren’t sure why, though this isn’t the case everywhere. In the UK, smokers often have low IQs.

Einstein once joked that his favorite things about Italy were “pasta and the mathematician Levi-Civita”. Although carbohydrates are not healthy, Einstein made the right choice. The brain consumes 20% of the body’s energy even though it only accounts for 2% of the body weight. Einstein may need even less energy because his brain weighs only 1,230 g compared to the average of about 1,400 g. Like the rest of the body, the brain favors simple sugars like glucose, which can be converted to carbohydrates. Neurons need a near-constant supply of energy and only accept another source of energy when there is really no other choice.

Although the brain loves sugar, the brain has no way of storing energy, so when blood sugar drops, it quickly runs out of energy . “The body can partially release glycogen stores (storage forms of glucose and carbohydrates (CHO)) in animals and humans by secreting stress hormones such as cortisol, but this process has many side effects.” “, said Leigh Gibson, lecturer in psychophysiology at the University of Roehampton.

Side effects include feeling difficult to concentrate and vague when skipping meals. One study found that people on a low-carbohydrate diet had slower reactions and reduced spatial memory even in the short term. After a few weeks, the brain will adapt to getting energy from other sources like protein.

Sugar can fuel the brain, but eating too much pasta is not a good idea. “Typically, there’s evidence that about 25g of carbohydrates is helpful, but twice as much, or about 37 noodles, can affect thinking ability,” Gibson said.

Different Habits Create Genius Albert Einstein
He has a habit of not wearing socks. (Photo: BBC).

No list of Einstein’s strange habits does not mention his anger at socks. “When I was young, I discovered that my big toe always left a hole in my sock. So I stopped wearing socks,” Einstein wrote in a letter to his cousin and later wife, Elsa. At the end of his life, when he couldn’t find his sandals, he put on Elsa’s flip-flops.

The sloppy exterior didn’t do Einstein any favors. There haven’t been any studies that have directly looked at the effects of not wearing socks, but switching to casual instead of more formal clothes has been associated with poor results on tests of abstract thinking.

Another habit that Albert Einstein developed in his childhood is building houses with cards. Once, he built a building up to 14 stories high.

If you’ve ever tried building a house with cards, you know that the process requires a lot of patience and concentration. Of course, that’s not to say that you should start building houses with cards to become a genius, but this habit has an important trait that you should consider.

Different Habits Create Genius Albert Einstein
The process of building a house with cards requires a lot of patience and concentration.

When our brains are busy with something mechanical, it opens up the possibility of abstract thinking. The more focused the work, the greater the positive effect. Not everything that’s going on in your brain will yield an immediately noticeable result. Keeping your mind busy is never a waste. Things like building houses with cards fit this purpose perfectly.

Although the young Einstein was most interested in the game of building a house with cards, his mother was not so excited. She decided to come up with another more useful game for her son. And so she chose the violin.

Different Habits Create Genius Albert Einstein
Einstein knew how to play the violin.

At first, Einstein didn’t accept it, but at the age of 13, he first heard Mozart and fell in love with it immediately. Then he played the violin. From this habit we derive a number of things. Despite the initial reaction, Einstein had a curious nature enough to help him change his opinion about playing the violin.

There’s no better way to rest the brain than by changing up a familiar activity.

Our brains are delighted when we switch from work to activities that absorb abstract information, images, and sounds. But don’t forget, nothing can replace a good night’s sleep. And apparently Albert Einstein knew that for sure.

Einstein always thought that his humble job at the Government Patent office in Bern was all he wanted, even if the salary for this job was quite low and the nature of the work was extremely boring. .

In fact, this boredom is exactly what Einstein enjoyed about his work. When we do monotonous and boring things that don’t require any specialized skills or knowledge, our brains quickly adapt to it. Therefore, we will soon get into the daily routine without thinking much. This allows our mind to freely “surf” from one thought to another.