For many of us, the first instinct when we wake up is to reach for our phone. We mechanically scroll through social networks and respond to messages left unanswered the day before. However, this habit should be avoided in the morning if you want to preserve the health of your brain.
According to a Nord VPN study, around half of French people have the habit of connecting to their smartphone before even getting out of bed. This is particularly the case for younger generations. Three-quarters of Zs and two-thirds of Millennials check their phone first thing in the morning. But what are they doing on their phones so early in the morning? They browse social networks, respond to messages from friends or find out about the news. However, the question arises of the impact of this habit on our health.
On TikTok, American neuroscientist Emily McDonald, followed by a large community of 400,000 subscribers, regularly provides advice for taking care of our brain on a daily basis. And this means banning bad habits, like checking your smartphone in the morning. In a video viewed more than 15 million times, entitled “3 ways to protect your brain” the young woman explains: “Every time you wake up in the morning, your brain waves shift from theta to alpha. This means that our subconscious is in a more programmable state. The content you consume at this time will have a greater impact on your state of mind. This disrupts our dopamine for the rest of the day so we keep checking our phones“. Dopamine is a pleasure hormone that is activated in our brain when we do stimulating actions.
@emonthebrain Do not do these things if you care abt your brain 🧠 #mentalhealth #brain #wellness #health #mentalhealthawareness #lifetips ♬ original sound – emily | neuroscientist 🧠
Checking social media first thing in the morning can hamper our attention span throughout the day. That’s why Emily McDonald advises turning off our notifications in another video: “Notifications are designed to trigger stimulus response behavior in your brain so that when the notification lights up your screen, you click on it. So you go on social media without thinking“. To do this, the neuroscientist invites us to limit “scrolling”, the act of scrolling through information on your phone. Intensive scrolling can cause psychological distress, leading to a reduction in life satisfaction and well-being. be mental.
@emonthebrain 3 ways to make social media better for your brain 🧠 #greenscreen #socialmedia #brain #wellness #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #selfcare #health ♬ original sound – emily | neuroscientist 🧠
Indeed, screens have become omnipresent in our daily lives, and their intensive use would indirectly have consequences on our cognitive abilities. According to a Samsung study from 2020, our attention span has fallen from 12 to 8 seconds since the year 2000, at least when we listen to music. Additionally, “doomscrolling” (the action of continuously scrolling through sad or depressing information) was associated with anxiety and depression in a study conducted by Texas Tech University.
To remedy this annoying habit, it is recommended to avoid using the telephone as soon as you wake up. For example, Emily McDonald advises turning off notifications at night to avoid temptation. Instead, she recommends focusing on yourself with positive affirmations and light exercise.