SYDNEY: Finding hard to get out of bed? Melodic alarms can help you. A new study shows that melodic alarms could improve alertness levels, with harsh alarm tones linked to increased levels of morning grogginess or sleep inertia.
The study, published in PLoS One journal, involved 50 participants, using a specially designed online survey that enables them to remotely contribute to the study from the comfort of their own home.
Each person logged what type of sound they used to wake up, and then rated their grogginess and alertness levels against standardised sleep inertia criteria.
“Morning grogginess was a serious problem in our 24-hour world. 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,” said the study’s lead author Stuart McFarlane, doctoral researcher at RMIT University.
The finding could have important implications for anyone who needs to perform at their peak soon after waking, such as shift workers and emergency first responders.
“Although more research is needed to better understand the precise combination of melody and rhythm that might work best, considering that most people use alarms to wake up, the sound you choose may have important ramifications,” McFarlane said.
The research could help contribute to the design of more efficient interventions for people to use on their own devices to wake up properly. Even NASA astronauts report that sleep inertia affects their performance, said a researcher.