• 85% of individuals use an alarm clock to wake up for work
  • A harsh beep sounds to set as alarm tones could be the reason behind your early morning grogginess
  • Setting melody alarm tones can make you wake up fresh in the morning

Sleep researchers said 85% of individuals use an alarm clock to wake up for work. A new study reported that the sounds you wake up to could affect how clumsy or groggy you are in the morning.

The researchers at the RMIT university suggested that melodic alarms could not only improve alertness but also reduce morning grogginess. The findings of the study could have vital implications for individuals who need to perform at their peak soon after waking up including emergency first responders and shift workers.

"If you don't wake properly, your work performance can be degraded for periods up to four hours, and that has been linked to major accidents. You would assume that a startling 'beep beep beep' alarm would improve alertness, but our data revealed that melodic alarms may be the key element. This was unexpected,” Science Daily quoted the study’s lead author Stuart McFarlane.

Although further research is required to get better clarity about the precise combination of melody and rhythm that might be ideal, considering the fact that most individuals use alarms to wake up, the alarm tone you choose might have important ramifications, opined the researchers.

For people working in dangerous situations shortly after waking up, including pilots, firefighters, and ambulance drivers, this is particularly important.

The study included 50 participants who were asked to take a specially-designed online survey. Each of them logged the alarm tone that woke them up and then rated their grogginess as well as alertness levels against standardized sleep inertia criteria. Even astronauts have reported that their performances get affected by sleep inertia.

The findings of the study suggested that harsh ‘beep beep beep’ sounds might confuse our brain or disrupt our brain activities when waking up. A melodic tone like the Beach Boys ‘Good Vibrations’ or The Cure’s ‘Close to Me’ might help us transition to a waking state in a more effective way. But, the results did not find any significant link between sleep inertia and the reported waking sound type, nor the participants’ feeling towards the alarm tone.

Understanding the connections between sounds and waking states has its potential for several applications, including the recent advancements in sleep technology and artificial intelligence.

Melodic alarms could reduce morning grogginess mohamed_hassan, Pixabay