The low-dopamine morning ritual is a trend that is receiving a lot of attention on TikTok. Those spreading the word about this trend make bold claims about how it will enhance everyone's morning routine. People who are coping with disorders like attention deficit disorder and seasonal affective disorder may be particularly interested in this trend. However, is it actually a helpful routine? In this piece, we will examine this pattern in more detail and evaluate the claims it makes.
The low-dopamine morning routine is receiving a lot of attention due to its promise of giving you a serene start to the day and calming the usual morning frenzy.
This low-dopamine morning routine gives you the ability to harness dopamine's pleasurable effect for a calm and productive start to your day.
There are some great benefits to this trend, and they include improved focus, sustained energy levels throughout the whole day, and massively reduced stress.
When we examine the downsides, it is important that we acknowledge that people are unique and individual experiences may not all be the same, which means that this routine may not be suitable for everybody's unique lifestyles.
The buzz around TikTok's morning trend
The hashtag #lowdopaminemorning has gained more than 5.6 million views on social media as TikTok users laud this truly innovative strategy. Instead of reaching for your phone first thing in the morning, you engage in activities that are both easy and effective, including doing straightforward chores and eating a high-protein breakfast.
One of the viral videos with 2.6 million views discusses the benefits of "low-dopamine activities" and promotes activities like making the bed and tech-free mornings. These minor tasks are said to be transformational, and people are encouraged to fight the ever-pressing need to continuously check their phones and just put them away for at least an hour. The trend has clearly captured the attention of TikTok and is undoubtedly impacting morning habits.
What is dopamine?
In our brains, dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter and is extremely vital to our motivation and attitude. Dopamine is often referred to as the "feel-good hormone" due to its role in experiencing pleasure. The release of dopamine motivates us to engage in behaviors that will produce pleasurable rewards and enable us to .
Along with its involvement in pleasure, dopamine also influences a variety of cognitive processes, such as learning, memory, and attention. Any slight imbalance in our dopamine levels can have a significant impact on our mental health and is linked to conditions like Parkinson's disease, addiction, and depression.
What is a low-dopamine morning routine?
A low-dopamine morning routine involves doing activities that do not result in a significant rush of dopamine. Simple chores like making your bed or cleaning the kitchen are included in this list. It also entails avoiding bright screens, such as smartphones, tablets, or computers. As part of the routine, you participate in other activities after waking up instead of checking your phone immediately. Although this strategy might sound a little strange, researchers believe that by starting your day slowly and lowering your dopamine levels, you can actually have a more productive day.
Advantages of avoiding your phone when you wake up
A low-dopamine morning can have some effects that are beneficial to long-term health. According to a University of Florida study, 81% of Americans routinely check their emails, texts, or social media, which frequently results in high levels of stress. Notably, those who frequently check these feel the most tension, followed by those who check them only after work hours. Staying completely off of your phone for around an hour after waking up is a key component of this habit, which lowers the likelihood of stress.
Five benefits of the low-dopamine morning routine
There are many positive aspects to the low-dopamine morning routine, including:
The morning routine for low dopamine has a strong emphasis on reducing stimuli when we awake. This strategy aids in maintaining our dopamine sensitivity, which can, in turn, boost concentration and sustain attention throughout the day, according to experts. On the other hand, consistently looking for a dopamine rush in the morning might make us more dependent on it, just like an addict needs more of a substance to get the same effect. This frequently leads to counterproductive internet behaviors like endless scrolling.
Balanced energy levels
The low-dopamine morning routine may be the answer for you if you often seek food and extra coffee in the afternoon. By encouraging regular energy levels and stopping the cycle of stimulation and tiredness, which can also result in overeating, this regimen is thought to minimize energy collapses later in the day.
According to several prominent authorities in this domain, engaging in serene activities throughout the morning, such as checking off a task on your to-do list, establishes a favorable and pleasant ambiance for the day, therefore mitigating anxiety. This particular approach facilitates the start of one's day in a productive manner and engenders a state of overall well-being, leading to heightened productivity throughout the remainder of the day.
The decrease in morning stimulation contributes to the regulation of the body's circadian rhythm by mitigating exposure to the light emitted by electronic devices. This light has the potential to interfere with the synthesis of melatonin, an essential hormone involved in the sleep-wake cycle.
Optimal blood sugar regulation
It is hypothesized that increased levels of dopamine may lead to a reduction in insulin production, which leads to an elevation in blood glucose levels. Moreover, elevated cortisol levels, often linked to a hectic morning routine, might also result in an increase in blood glucose levels. Adopting a more leisurely morning routine, along with consuming a meal rich in high-quality protein and fats, may mitigate the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes by effectively treating the chemical imbalances associated with this condition on a daily basis.
Create your own low-dopamine morning routine
Here are ten strategies that may assist individuals in developing a personalized morning routine aimed at regulating low dopamine levels.
- Wake up at the same time. Waking up at the same time every day, including weekends, aids in the regulation of the body's circadian rhythm
- Put the devices away. Refrain from using electronic devices for at least one hour after you wake up. This helps to mitigate the rapid release of dopamine and serve as a deterrent for signals that may induce stress.
- Find a low-stress hobby. Partake in low-stress, soothing hobbies such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or mild stretching. Engaging in these activities may cultivate a tranquil state of mind at the start of the day.
- Do small chores. Make the bed, unload the dishwasher, or arrange your workspace to gain a sense achievement throughout the first hours of the day.
- Delay caffeine intake. This practice aids in mitigating an instantaneous surge of dopamine and promotes more stable energy levels.
- Consume a healthy breakfast. A breakfast that is high in protein and healthy fats may help stabilize blood glucose levels and provide a steady supply of energy throughout the morning.
- Pursue your passions. Allocate a portion of your morning to the pursuit of personal objectives, such as writing, reading, or knitting.
- Get natural light. The exposure to sunlight has a crucial role in the regulation of circadian rhythms and the enhancement of sleep quality.
- Avoid multitasking. Focus on a single activity at any one moment. This practice has the potential to mitigate stress levels and enhance cognitive focus.
- Stay consistent. Maintaining consistency is crucial in developing any routine. Consistently adhere to your morning practice that promotes low dopamine levels in order to attain its enduring advantages.
Potential downsides to the routine
Although the low-dopamine morning routine offers some advantages, it is important to take into account potential drawbacks and individual variances in its efficacy.
Effectiveness may vary among individuals. Certain individuals may have difficulties in refraining from using electronic displays or postponing their use of caffeine in the early hours of the day, mostly as a result of personal inclinations or occupational obligations.
Lack of scientific evidence. Most evidence in support of the routine is anecdotal. More research is needed to determine its effectiveness.
Lack of rewards may backfire. Some people may feel less inclined to get up and begin their daily activities as a consequence of deferring the dopamine "reward" in the early hours of the day. This phenomenon might result in a perception of reduced energy and decreased responsiveness.
While the low-dopamine morning routine has potential advantages, individual experiences may exhibit considerable variability. Evaluate the compatibility of this practice with your lifestyle, interests, and requirements. If there are any special issues or conditions, it may be beneficial to seek guidance from a healthcare practitioner or therapist.
- National Institutes of Health. Dopamine affects how brain decides whether a goal is worth the effort.
- American Psychological Association. Dopamine and desire.
- American Psychological Association. APA’s Survey Finds Constantly Checking Electronic Devices Linked to Significant Stress for Most Americans.