Whether it’s birds chirping or your phone’s insistent beeping, being woken up by loud noise is usually one of our least favorite things to endure. But what if there was a way to make the transition between sleep and consciousness a little smoother?
The secret might just be in the kind of alarm you choose.
According to a new study from The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University in Australia, exercising selectivity in your alarm tone can impact how alert you feel for the rest of the morning.
The researchers compared study participants’ self-reports and standardized measures of a phase referred to as “sleep inertia,” or the transitional period between a body’s sleep and wake periods. Typically, this is associated with grogginess and a wish to hit the snooze button on your alarm.
The longer this grogginess persists, the more intense your morning confusedness and clumsiness. However, participants who reported using alarms more “melodic” in nature said they felt more alert in the mornings. In contrast, people whose alarms consisted of more traditional, abrupt sounds like intermittent beeping reported feeling their morning lag more intensely.
Researchers emphasized that, while this study area may seem atypical, many careers and lines of work require “immediate responsiveness” and may be compromised by individuals’ ability to be alert. Examples of this could include anyone from emergency room personnel to first responders and other similar positions.
Regardless of your job, try switching your morning alarm to something a little more easy-listening and see if it helps you get up on the right side of the bed.