The Viral Hack That Says A Morning Phone Scrolling Habit Could Help You Wake Up Earlier

If you're the type of person who is prone to hitting the snooze button when your alarm goes off, you've likely been late to a few commitments in the past — school, work, or even the gym may be just a few examples. While it feels good to catch a few extra minutes of sleep in the moment, backlash often hits when you need to spend the rest of your morning in a rush. Now, one TikTok creator believes she has the solution for over-sleepers who want to refine their routine.

TikTok user @danischenone received more than one million likes for a video she posted about how she became an early riser. In the video, she explains that although it may feel natural for us to reach for our phones in the morning, many experts advise against this habit. "Instead of giving power to yourself on how you want to start your day, you are giving that control over to your phone," psychiatrist Dr. Adeola Adelayo explained to Banner Health. "You start your day checking to see how many likes you've gotten on a photo or responding to a text from the night before from an irritated friend. This is bound to cause unnecessary stress and anxiety in your life."

That being said, @danischenone claims that leaning into this habit for a solid hour might help you establish a new early riser routine. Surprisingly, TikTok commenters seem to agree.

Could morning phone scrolling really help you wake up early?

In the video TikTok creator @danischenone posted, she states that there is one simple goal behind reaching for your phone as soon as your alarm goes off — to get yourself in the habit of waking up early. "You want to build the habit of just waking up," she said in the viral clip. She also lays out the ways in which the human brain is child-like in nature, claiming that by using positive reinforcement (scrolling on your phone in bed), you can begin to establish the new habit. Some of the commenters who viewed the video noted that after trying the tactic, they began waking up earlier with fewer issues, just like @danischenone. Others even said they believe their phone helps them stay awake after their alarm goes off.

That being said, it's worth noting that many TikTok videos — even those that go viral — should be viewed with skepticism. For instance, experts have good reason to believe that our phones are doing more harm than good when it comes to sleep. If you're the type who wakes up and immediately begins scrolling, for example, your brain begins to produce beta waves — these are associated with high alertness and may be why you think your phone is helping you wake up. However, you're forcing your brain to skip a few steps, which may lead to less focus during your day.

The arguments for and against morning phone scrolling

When you wake up, your brain eases its production of delta waves, which are needed for deep sleep. Assuming you don't reach for your phone, your brain then starts to make theta waves, which lead you to feel relaxed. As it begins to produce alpha waves, you become more awake, but you aren't quite in a position to process information until the beta waves kick in. If you immediately start using your phone, however, you force your brain to skip theta and alpha wave production. In turn, it begins to produce beta waves right away, setting yourself up for a lack of focus throughout the day.

This is one of many reasons why experts recommend steering clear of your phone as soon as you wake up, but the general consensus is mixed. Many people use their phones first thing in the morning to catch up on missed messages from friends, family, and coworkers, which can ultimately lead to stress. However, several people also use them to catch up on the news of the day. Even if they do so via social media, research has suggested that news media exposure can actually reduce stress during times of low optimism. Pros and cons aside, what you choose to do with your phone at the end (or beginning) of the day is ultimately your decision.