All the Best Writers Use This Easy Trick

When confronted with a complex issue, the best writers often translate it by way of an analogy or metaphor. A few examples from a recent article in Time, on the subject of sleep, by Alice Park:

What Your Brain Does While You’re Awake

The difference between the waking and sleeping brain is dramatic. When the brain is awake, it resembles a busy airport, swelling with the cumulative activity of individual messages traveling from one neuron to another. The activity inflates the size of brain cells until they take up 86% of the brain’s volume.

What Your Brain Does While You Sleep

When the lights go out, our brains start working—but in an altogether different way than when we’re awake. At night, a legion of neurons springs into action, and like any well-trained platoon, the cells work in perfect synchrony, pulsing with electrical signals that wash over the brain with a soothing, hypnotic flow. Meanwhile, data processors sort through the reams of information that flooded the brain all day at a pace too overwhelming to handle in real time. The brain also runs checks on itself to ensure that the exquisite balance of hormones, enzymes and proteins isn’t too far off-kilter. And all the while, cleaners follow in close pursuit to sweep out the toxic detritus that the brain doesn’t need and which can cause all kinds of problems if it builds up.

What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep

Brain cells that don’t get their needed break every night are like overworked employees on consecutive double shifts—eventually, they collapse.

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