How alarm sounds impact your energy levels
How do you wake up in the morning? An alarm right?
Do you start the day with a standard alarm tone on your phone or alarm clock? Or do you prefer to wake up with the sounds of nature? Or do you wake to a cracking tune from Triple J’s hottest 100?
A recent study published by PLOS (Public Library Of Science) found that you might be enhancing or sabotaging your ability to “wake up” and shake off morning grogginess.
The grogginess you feel in the morning when you first wake up is called “sleep inertia”. It sometimes can take a couple minutes or sometimes even hours to wear off. During this time, you’re not functioning particularly well, as you’re transitioning between sleeping and waking.
Your reflexes and decision-making ability are much worse when you’re suffering from sleep inertia. And considering it sometimes lasts for hours, this poses a serious issue for people in occupations like truck drivers, hospital workers, pilots and a lot more.
The faster sleep inertia wears off, the better!! And if changing your wakeup tune is one of the keys to doing this – it’s definitely worth a try!
The winner was “melodic and rhythmic sounds”! The study states that sounds which are considered melodic show a significant relationship to reduced sleep inertia. While in contrast, neutral alarm sounds (BEEP BEEP BEEP) revealed an increase of perceived sleep inertia. On a second analysis the study found that for melodic tunes, the more rhythmic they are – the better!
One hypothesis presented by the research team for the effectiveness of musical tones could be related to birdsong at dawn, which is considered an “ecological waking sound.”
So it is worthwhile changing your alarm tone to a song that really wants to get you out of bed and dancing! It’ll mean you feel a lot savvier, a lot faster and you can start to feel better soon!
A Savvy tip: In order to avoid starting to dislike some of your favourite songs, make sure you change up the songs you wake up to frequently! I have an array of old songs on my iPhone and I find myself dancing out of bed to the best of the 90’s and 00’s.
Read more about the study here.