Snooze is the first button we want to hit, waking up fatigued every morning when the alarm goes off on our phones.
Sadly, it does not stop there. We then progress to further starting our day by absorbing all kinds of information immediately available to us on our phones, including social media, emails and other apps that are now a part of our daily routine.
The brain is hungry to capture the information missed while sleeping.
If this sounds like you, it may be that you too belong to the 80% of the worlds’ population who spend the first 15 mins immediately after waking just checking their phone.
Most readers are probably thinking by now - "Ya.. Ya..I know it is not a good habit, so what?"
Well, the problem, plain and simply, is that, not only is it a bad habit, especially if you have someone sharing your bed with you - It is really bad for your brain.
Those first 15 mins of phone usage in the morning have a negative effect on cognition, mood, brain cell stimulation and hence, the rest of the day's productivity level and state of mind.
Checking social media in the morning can precipitate feelings of anxiety, stress, worthlessness, body shaming, and add to people's inattentiveness and impulsivity levels, as is well researched and documented.
According to data from the Pew Research Centre, the most common ways Americans use their smartphones are for text messaging (97%), voice or video calls (92%), internet access (89%), email (88%) and social networking (75%). This is enough interaction to generate multiple feelings of despair for people, in knowing how their day is going to play out or by catching up on news missed while sleeping.
Imagine your brain in the morning is like a battery, powered to 100% after a full night’s charge. Think of it like a mental energy tank filled to the top with emotional strength and resilience. This emotional battery helps you get through your day, It enables you to be calm, make good decisions, pace yourself and deal with stress.
Did you know that just the first 15 mins of phone usage in the morning can drain your emotional battery faster than most activities later in the day? By excluding your phone from your morning wake-up routine, you can have better cognitive performance, higher energy levels, improved attention and greater stress tolerance.
If you do not use your phone just for the first 15 mins and engage in activities like exercising or convincing your dog to go for a walk, your Mental Energy Level - MEL, may stay charged enough to see you through the day.
Our goal is to help you understand how early and often indiscriminate cell phone usage can affect your mental and emotional well being throughout the rest of the day.
If you really do struggle with this habit and want to shake it off - try adopting a 30 minute digital free time upon waking - Disconnect to reconnect.
Try using an old fashioned alarm clock and switch your phone off, leave it in a decent distance away from your bed. In addition, when you wake up, do something enjoyable. These are just a few things that will have a positive impact on your MEL for the rest of the day, making sure it is a good one for you!