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  • Winnipeg Tribune

The Morning Disconnect: Why delaying device use is crucial for your mental health

Why delaying device use is crucial for your mental health
SHould you grab your device as soon as you wake up?

Winnipeg, April 1, 2024 - In today's world it seems smartphones and tablets serve as extensions of ourselves, the temptation to reach for them first thing in the morning is almost irresistible for many. However, experts are now emphasizing the importance of resisting this urge, highlighting the profound impact it can have on our mental health.

Research has shown that the immediate immersion into the digital world upon waking can lead to heightened stress levels, anxiety, and decreased productivity throughout the day. Dr. Sarah Lopez, a psychologist specializing in digital well-being, explains, "When we grab our devices as soon as we wake up, we're bombarded with notifications, emails, and social media updates. This bombardment can trigger a stress response in the brain, setting a negative tone for the day ahead."

Moreover, the habit of immediately checking devices can disrupt our morning routines, depriving us of precious moments of solitude and reflection that are crucial for setting a positive mindset for the day. "Our mornings should ideally be a time for self-care, mindfulness, and planning," says Dr. Lopez. "By diving straight into our devices, we rob ourselves of the opportunity to start the day on a calm and centered note."

Furthermore, excessive screen time in the morning can disrupt our natural circadian rhythms, which regulate our sleep-wake cycles. The blue light emitted by screens suppresses the production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for inducing sleep, making it harder to fall asleep at night and leading to sleep disturbances. This, in turn, can contribute to mood disorders such as depression and exacerbate existing anxiety issues.

To safeguard mental well-being, experts recommend implementing a "digital sunrise" routine, which involves refraining from using electronic devices for at least the first 30 minutes to an hour after waking. Instead, individuals are encouraged to engage in activities such as meditation, journaling, or enjoying a leisurely breakfast without the distraction of screens.

"It's about reclaiming control over our mornings and setting boundaries with technology," emphasizes Dr. Lopez. "By delaying device use, we give ourselves the gift of a gentler, more intentional start to the day, which can have profound benefits for our mental health and overall well-being."

In a world where digital connectivity is ubiquitous, prioritizing moments of disconnect can be a revolutionary act of self-care. By resisting the impulse to immediately turn on our devices upon waking, we not only protect our mental health but also reclaim ownership over our mornings, setting the tone for a more balanced and fulfilling day ahead.


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