Your Alarm Clocks Affect Your Day

Your Alarm Clocks Affect Your Day

Keira Gottschling, Staff Writer

Every new day begins with a panic on behalf of alarm clocks. Tranquility is traded for stress at the hands of these obnoxious sounds. Still, a positive awakening is achievable; pleasant alarms are the solution. 

Have you ever set an aggressive alarm in hopes of waking up faster? Despite the logic of this method, research has proven it to be unhealthy. Irritability and grogginess is all too common upon waking; alarm clocks may be to blame. Given that loud sounds are stressful in any situation, imagine their enhanced effects on a freshly conscious person. Melodic sounds, however, counteract the repercussions of harsh alarms. An improved mood starts with calmer awakening.

A study at RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) tested varying alarm clocks and their effect on morning grogginess, also referred to as “sleep inertia”. 50 participants recorded their feelings upon waking up to a specific sound type. “Imagine a scenario where an athlete will perform better when they warm up.” says Stuart McFarlane, a doctoral researcher at RMIT, “Melody may ‘warm our brains up’ more efficiently for the day’s activity, rather than being shocked into action.” After testing different levels of melodicity in alarms, a majority of participants reported sleep inertia being “Not at all” present. 

Productivity is especially needed on days of school or work, yet alarm clocks disturb this too. “If you don’t wake up properly, your work performance can be degraded for periods up to 4 hours,” McFarlane informs, “and that has been linked to major accidents.” Alertness is a key factor in productivity, startling the brain awake is unhelpful here. Pleasant sounds provide a smooth transition out of sleep, while simultaneously increasing attentiveness. 

Though a small element, alarm clock sounds hold a surprising impact. Switching out annoying alarms with a favorite song or tune can greatly improve early mornings. Say goodbye to dreadful wake up calls, and start the day off right!