Feb 19, 2018
Sensorium is the total brain capacity for focusing, processing, and interpreting. It is not a static state—it can fluctuate throughout the day.
It can be influenced by sleep, food, stress, exercise, drugs, medications, and long term, through epigenetic phenomenon.
If there is damage to the structure of the brain, it can permanently lowered.
It is a slope, which we all move up and down on, based on our baseline, but then also influenced by many factors.
In your 20s and 30s you are very far on the left side of the line. If you get stressed, sleep deprived, starving, maybe have a small infection, you may still be able to think, but just less clearly. If you did those same things to an elderly person, they would be sent into a full delirium, hallucinating, throwing things, yelling, seeing spiders on the wall, and looking psychotic. In this way it is common for an elderly person with dementia, they can be more confused in the evening then in the morning, they call this “sundowning”.
We all have a baseline level of brain function, and this can be optimized by several factors like good sleep, good amounts of exercise, good mental functions (like reading), meaningful relationships, good spiritual practice, and meaningful work.
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