Dawn choruses: are these the best five songs to wake up to?
As if life isn’t enough of a slog, every morning millions of us are yanked out of sleep by the shrill beep of an alarm, only to hit snooze groggily and relive the torture nine minutes later. If you have ever found yourself thinking that there must be a better way to live than this, you might be right. Over at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, scientists have been busy studying the best way to drag yourself into the light of a new day – and it turns out that music is the way to go. Waking up to a gently melodic, upbeat song gets the synapses firing or, as they put it, helps you to “transition to a waking state in a more effective way”.
So what songs should you switch your alarm to? There are a couple of obvious contenders, but don’t be fooled: the Boo Radleys’ song Wake Up Boo! has the words “wake up” in it, but that is no reason to subject yourself to it first thing in the morning; and while the first 20 plays of Sonny and Cher’s I Got You Babe may be OK, like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, you will eventually hate waking up to this song so much you will want to kidnap a groundhog and drive it off a cliff. Instead, say goodbye to grogginess and hello to a whole new you with these failsafe alarm alternatives.
Good Vibrations, the Beach Boys
It is actually quite difficult to imagine having a bad day after being woken up by the ’Boys blessing you with excitations.
Orinoco Flow, Enya
Let those tentative harmonies and pizzicato strings gently usher you into consciousness in time for you to leap out of bed, grab a hairbrush and give those “sail aways” your all.
Bad Guy, Billie Eilish
The roundness of the bass is very insistent but not unpleasant, like being woken up by a cat headbutting you for strokes. Dare you to not stay awake for the “duh”, at the very least.
This study has also solved the mystery of why Dakota was such a hit on breakfast radio in 2005. Whatever magic the Stereophonics spun with that driving rhythm and Kelly Jones’s gruff Welsh tones, they should grind it up and sell it in Starbucks.
Can’t Do Without You, Caribou
Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up thinking there is someone out there who can’t do without you, even as you stretch out into the vast emptiness of your bed and drag yourself to face another day alone. Anyway! The way this song builds will ratchet you from lying to standing in a swift 3m 56s – guaranteed.