Which song should you wake up to in the morning? If you struggle to wake up each day, picking the right song could be a game-changer. Join us in exploring whether sounds and songs can give us that much needed morning boost.

How can I wake myself up in the morning?

If you aren’t as fortunate as some in being able to naturally wake up early, you may be in search of something to peel you out of bed each day. Sounds that wake us up in the morning can have an impact on our mood. Therefore, it is important to select an alarm sound which works best for you. We asked Dr James Giordano, Professor in the Department of Neurology at Georgetown University Medical Centre, Washington DC, is it good to wake up to an alarm and what is the best one to use? Here he shares his thoughts and best practises:

Be gentle

It’s better to wake up with a calming sound than an aggressive tune. Dr James Giordano says, ‘the ideal alarm or wake-up cues are those that elicit a gentle, relatively gradual shift from deeper to lighter sleep, to then allow a more natural, less stressful awakening’. So, make sure to choose a song with a peaceful beginning!

Don’t stress yourself out

If you think that shocking yourself awake is an effective way to start the day, think again! Giordano advises, ‘It’s best to avoid the often-jarring effect of a sudden loud alarm, which can cause activation of the sympathetic nervous system’. This is the body’s fight or flight mechanism that controls how we deal with stressful situations. By activating this response signal, Giordano says, it ‘would force you to begin the day under conditions of physiological stress.’

Make your wake-up gradual

The best way to wake up is to replicate waking up naturally as best as you can. With that in mind, Giordano has some advice on the perfect wake-up setting:

‘Progressively intensifying sounds that advance from very soft to louder, or even graded exposure to light tend to work best to induce the gradual changes in brain activity that mimic natural awakening.’

What alarm sounds are best to wake up to?

So what sounds are gentle, stress-free and can help you wake up gradually? Here are some of our suggestions:

  • Sounds of a rainforest
  • Ocean waves
  • Birds singing
  • The flowing sounds of a stream or river
  • Soft instruments such as violins, harps, pianos and flutes
  • Smooth Jazz
  • Forest ambience
  • Raindrops
  • The sound of crickets
  • Your favourite song

What are the best songs to wake up to?

Whether you are wanting to follow Dr James Giordano’s advice or not, the infographic below explores how to get a great musical start to your day! Follow the flowchart to find out which song you should wake up to in the morning.

Disclaimer: picking a song that you previously liked as your alarm may reduce your opinion of that song.

What Song Should You Wake Up To In The Morning infographic

You may notice that one of the pathways in the infographic leads to the wonderful Everything Changes that we made for our Replace Every 8 campaign. You can hear it as part of our advert below and if you love it as much as we do then you can buy it on iTunes.

Still having a hard time waking up?

You may just be a super heavy sleeper who needs a solution like an alarm clock with a bit of a difference. But if you have tried a variety of sounds and songs to wake you up each morning and nothing seems to work, maybe it’s time to change your night-time routine. Finding the source of your sleeping issue can have long-term positive effects on both your mind and body. Check out our how-to guide for making a good sleep a strong habit.

How do music and sounds affect your morning routine? If you have found a perfect sound to wake up to or a certain song that has you bouncing out of bed each morning, we’d love to hear it! Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

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