By Ian Randall For Mailonline
Published: 13:40 GMT, 3 February 2020 | Updated: 13:40 GMT, 3 February 2020
If your morning routine is less 'up with the lark' and more 'shambolic zombie', you may benefit from switching to a less harsh wake-up call.
Researchers from Australia found that gentle, melodic alarms can leave you more alert in the morning while harsh beeping and klaxons make you more groggy.
The findings could have important implications for those who need to be at peak performance soon after waking — such as emergency first responders.
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If your morning routine is less 'up with the lark' and more 'shambolic zombie', you may benefit from switching to a less harsh wake-up call, researchers have found (stock image)
Morning grogginess — also known as 'sleep inertia' — is a serious problem in our busy 24-hour world, said doctoral researcher Stuart McFarlane of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
'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,' he added.
In their study, Mr McFarlane and colleagues recruited 50 participants to completed an online survey about their chosen alarm call and their morning sleep inertia.
Each individual reported what type of sound they used to wake them up and also rated their waking alertness and grogginess levels against standardised criteria.
'You would assume that a startling "beep beep beep" alarm would improve alertness, but our data revealed that melodic alarms may be the key element. This was unexpected,' Mr McFarlane said.
'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