How to wake up with that fresh feeling

by Romana Greene
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A new study appears to suggest the type of alarm you use could impact how you feel when you wake up. The study suggests that a standard alarm tone could leave you feeling groggy while a more melodic song may wake you up better. Read on to hear our top tips on waking up fresh.

The study was entitled “Alarm tones, music, and their elements: Analysis of reported waking sounds to counteract sleep inertia”. The study involved a survey and asked people to identify what they used as their alarm, how they felt about it and how they felt when they woke up. The findings appeared to suggest that those who chose songs that had a melody found it easier to be alert when they woke. Those who chose standard alarm tones were more likely to feel groggy.

Before you go throwing your alarm clock away, we recommend some caution. We have looked into the study in some detail and have to say that it has some issues. The study only surveyed 50 people. This means that the sample size is not representative and therefore not statistically significant. In addition, the study was conducted with an online survey only. This means that there was no actual analysis of performance after waking after each sound. There were also no controls used to there could have been numerous other factors that impacted both why a person chose their alarm and how they slept at night. 

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The study is still insightful as it shows that this is an area worth looking into. While the results themselves are not worth much it is perhaps an area that should be investigated further. Sleep inertia or the grogginess that we feel after waking is an issue for a large percentage of the population. This inertia can last anywhere between 30 seconds and four hours and while it is a mild annoyance for most it could impact the performance of important staff like doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, fire service and more. If there is anything that could be done to help fight sleep inertia for these important members of our society then it should be investigated properly.

Until that time there is still solid advice available on how best to avoid sleep inertia and it has nothing to do with the sound of your alarm. The first and most important requirement to wake up refreshed is to get enough sleep. A huge amount of studies have now shown that nearly all people require between seven and nine hours of sleep. Any less and it has a huge impact on performance the next day. Anymore and that groggy feeling is highly likely to occur.

Our bodies respond best to a regular schedule. Anyone who has woken up one minute before an alarm will know this very well. If you can sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time then your body will start to adjust to these times and know how to be fully refreshed for the next day. 

Many people become increasingly dependent on alcohol as a sleeping aid. While a couple of drinks before bed may help you get to sleep they are terrible for the quality of sleep you get. You may not realize it but you will get a very fragmented sleep and wake up quite tired. It is best to avoid alcohol if you want a good night’s sleep.

Exercise is the best medicine for many things and it is also key to feeling fresh when you wake. Regular activity can help to improve the quality of your sleep and regulate patterns. Drinking water throughout the day ensures your body is not dehydrated when you sleep and this will also help your body to do what it needs to while asleep. Follow these simple steps and you can ensure your best chance at a great night’s sleep. For now, we suggest you use whatever alarm you feel wakes you up best.

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