Updated: Mar 22

Reading the news has become both a moral obligation and a compulsion in the last week, with many of us struggling, as a result, to strike the balance between informed…and overwhelmed.

The doomscrolling begins, all too often, from the moment we wake up, until our head hits the pillow at night. Given the circumstances, however, we’re prepared to let the matter of screen time slide on this occasion. After all, the sheer gravitas of what is unfolding, is within all of our remit to try and understand and get a handle on, as much as is humanly possible.

That said, there is ONE thing we can do, to help strike a balance between the need for insight and understanding, and self-sabotage by scrolling.

That one thing, according to experts, is to avoid our phones for the first hour after waking, if nothing else. Immersing our just-woken-up brain in the deep end of news, emails and notifications, can have far-reaching implications for our concentration and productivity for the rest of the day!

The reason for this is that when you first wake up, the brain switches from delta waves, to theta, to alpha and then beta waves, but by immediately looking at our phones, the theta and alpha stages are bypassed, and we’re neurologically straight into being wide awake and alert.

According to Dr. Nikole Benders-Hadi, ‘the information overload that hits before you're fully awake interferes with your ability to prioritize tasks‘ later in the day.

Of course, when it comes to the events unfolding in the world, there’s no burying our head in the sand (nor would we want to) but the irony of not exercising SOME boundaries to consumption, is that it undermines the very commodity that we‘re relying on, to help us take it all on board, and respond accordingly.

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