Tired in the morning: these wake-up signals encourage morning tiredness

Tired in the morning: these wake-up signals encourage morning tiredness

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Melodic alarm clock against morning tiredness and sluggishness

Do sounds or music that wake us up in the morning affect how fresh and rested we feel? In a recent study, it was found that melodic wake-up signals actually reduce morning laziness and fatigue.

The current study by RMIT University found that melodic wake-up signals can reduce morning tiredness, while hard alarm tones are even associated with an increased degree of sluggishness. The results of the study were published in the English language journal "PLoS One".

Does the alarm beep sound affect our morning tiredness?

The type of sound we hear when we wake up affects our morning tiredness and sluggishness. This surprising result could have important effects for all people who have to perform at their best shortly after waking up.

Effects of morning tiredness

Morning sleepiness is a problem that affects many people around the world. If you are tired and sleepy in the morning, this can affect your work performance for up to four hours. For example, such morning tiredness has already been linked to serious accidents, the researchers report.

Use melodic beeps for alarms

One would assume that a loudly beeping alarm clock improves alertness and reduces morning sleepiness. However, the data from the current study show that melodic tones could be the key element in reducing morning tiredness and sluggishness.

The tone makes the difference

More research is needed to find the best working combination of melody and rhythm. But since most people use an alarm clock in the morning, the tone you choose can have important effects. This is especially true for people who work in dangerous situations shortly after waking up, such as firefighters or pilots.

How was the data collected?

The study included 50 participants who used a specially developed online survey. This allowed them to take part in the study from the comfort of their own home. Each person recorded what kind of sound they woke up with. Then the participants assessed their level of sluggishness and fatigue using standardized criteria for sluggishness.

Even astronauts' performance suffers from fatigue

The results of the research work can help develop new wake-up signals that people could use to start the day more efficiently. The impact of the study should not be underestimated, as even NASA astronauts report that sluggishness affects their performance on the International Space Station.

Does the alarm beeping interfere with our brain activity when we wake up?

Hard beeps, like the typical haunted beep of an alarm clock, seem to disrupt or confuse our brain activity when we wake up, while certain harmonic melodies can help us more effectively when we wake up.

There is application potential in many areas

If we further improve our understanding of the relationship between noise and wakefulness, there could be application potential in many areas, particularly with the recent advances in sleep technology and artificial intelligence, the researchers explain. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Stuart J. McFarlane, Jair E. Garcia, Darrin S. Verhagen, Adrian G. Dyer: Alarm tones, music and their elements: Analysis of reported waking sounds to counteract sleep inertia in PLoS One (published: 28.01.2020), PLoS One

Video: Why You Wake Up Tired (September 2022).


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