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Melodic Alarm Tone Can Boost Energy and Reduce Morning Grogginess

Not all of us are morning people, and waking up early could be difficult for many. But there is one trick that can actually help you feel less groggy in the morning, according to an Australian study.

The study showed that melodic alarms can boost your level of alertness in the morning, compared to waking up to the standard harsh beeping alarms that make you feel more groggy.

Better ditch that blaring alarm siren to a more melodic tone

Morning grogginess, technically called “sleep inertia”, is the heaviness that you feel when waking up as your body transitions from the sleep state to waking up. Sleep inertia lasts around 15-30 minutes but can extend up to four hours. 

According to a research by Stuart McFarlane of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, the combination of the rise and fall of tone in a song’s melody fosters arousal, leading to the increase of a person’s alertness level.

Moreover, research co-author Adrian Dyer stated that the harsh beeps of a startling alarm confuse our brain activity when we wake up.

The study suggested that these two songs could be helpful in fighting sleep inertia: Close to Me by The Cure, and Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys. Factors concerning a person’s music preference also have a huge impact on the effectiveness of an alarm song.

A melodic song can help fight sleep inertia

The research gathered 50 participants, ages 18 to 60, to answer a survey about their sleeping habits and the alarm sounds that they used to wake up in the morning. They were also asked to rate the level of grogginess and alertness.

It was concluded that those who used a melodic song to wake up had lower levels of sleep inertia, while the participants who went with the standard beeping sound had higher levels of daytime grogginess.

Being aware of what alarm tone suits a person best in terms of quickly getting rid of sleep inertia is indeed important, especially for people who work around the clock, such as on-call doctors, firefighters, and even NASA astronauts. 

People who have melodic songs as alarm tones wake up less groggy compared to those who set harsh sounds

Aside from knowing your best alarm tone, there are also a few more habits that may help reduce morning grogginess. Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s  Division of Sleep and Circadian Rhythm Disorders, Dr. Stuart F. Quan, shared some tips.

Dr. Quan said that in order to wake up well, you need to make sure that you exercise good sleeping habits. Limiting your intake of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol, exercising and being more active during the day, and having a regular sleeping schedule are some helpful suggestions. Before bedtime, it is also a must that you avoid large meals and using your cell phone right before bed.

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