A Certain Alarm Sound Makes You More 'Groggy' When You Wake Up, Study Finds

According to new research, a gentle alarm sound may be exactly what you need to ease you into your day.

A study out of Melbourne's RMIT University has found that 'melodic' alarms improve levels of alertness, as opposed to harsh alarm tones that are thought to increase levels of 'morning grogginess'.

Morning grogginess, or sleep inertia, is a psychological state of impaired cognitive sensory motor performance. Essentially, the term describes that weird, foggy feeling you experience as you wake up.

We all know how much motivation it takes to drag yourself out of bed when that little voice inside your head is asking 'please, just 10 more minutes'. But opting for a gentle alarm may help to silence that voice altogether.

Rise and shine. Image: Getty

Rather than a jarring 'beep beep beep' sound that, sure, slaps you out of your dream state. The study's participants noted an easier and more effective transition into a waking state when they awoke to soothing songs like The Beach Boy's "Good Vibrations" or The Cure's "Close To Me."

It's important to note that the study involved a relatively small sample size, with 50 participants logging their alarm sounds and rating their levels of alertness through an online survey.

Sleep issues are of huge concern to many Australians, with a larger 2019 study identifying that 60 percent of adults experience symptoms of insomnia three or more times a week.

And this lack of sleep suggests it may be time we did away with alarm sounds altogether.



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Co-author of the Sleep Health Foundation's study, Dr Amy Reynolds, recommended that a key way to tell if you are getting enough sleep is to test if you have the ability to wake up on time without an alarm clock.

"If you're needing an alarm clock every time to wake up, then you're probably not getting the sleep that you need," Dr Reynolds told The Project.

There might be a morning person within you, after all.

To ease yourself into a more alert, less clumsy morning, jump into your alarm settings and give your favourite folk song a whirl.

Or better yet, ditch the device completely.

Featured Image: Getty