Are you one of those people who starts each day by reaching for your phone, before you’re fully awake or have even gone to the bathroom? If so you’re in good company, according to a survey from IDC Research, 80% of smartphone users check their phones with 15 minutes of waking up.
The impulse to see if you’ve missed a text or an Instagram notification seems innocent enough, but science says it’s having a detrimental effect on our productivity and health. And even worse, it’s affecting the physical structure of our brains. Wellbeing expert Chelsea Pottenger led another study that finds the act of checking our phones jolts our brains into a wave of high stress, causing paranoia, fear, anger, and irritability, and all of those can weaken our immune systems.
Pottenger explains that when we first wake up, we change from delta brainwave to theta brainwave, where the brain is more flexible and that’s important for being more emotionally intelligent and good problem solvers. But when we wake up and start scrolling, we skip the vital theta brainwave and go into a beta brainwave of high stress. And that’s impacting the physical structure of our brains and our ability to perform, as well as our physical health and wellbeing.
So instead of starting your day with all the scrolling first thing, try to hold off and let your brain do its thing first. Ease into the screen time and emails, you have all day for that stuff!