It is 6:30 am The alarm goes off as usual, shaking you with the same old robotic beep or mechanical buzz. You wake up disoriented and groggy. According to new research, you’re waking up the wrong way.
What’s wrong with the traditional way of getting out of bed? Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology researchers studied how the type of alarm sound used to wake the study participants affected their alertness, sleep inertia and mood.
Their discoveries? People waking up from bed with a traditional wake-up sound (whether it was actually a traditional physical wake-up call or just the familiar sound played through a smartphone speaker) had much higher levels of sleep inertia and productivity and reduced performance compared to people who woke up to a more melodious alarm.
The researchers were surprised to find that the type of audible alarm that participants woke up to had a significant impact on their morning routine, as well as their alertness and productivity over the next four hours.
Participants who woke up to quieter sounds – like a melody, a song or nature sounds – had significantly lower levels of sleep inertia and started their day more alert and productive.
Fortunately, unlike many research-based tips, this one does not require radical behavior or diet changes. All you have to do to enjoy it immediately is to choose a new alarm tone on your smartphone or to tell your Smarthome assistant to wake you up with a favorite song instead of a cacophony of beeps.