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Alarm Tones, Voice Warnings, and Musical Treatments: A Systematic Review of Auditory Countermeasures for Sleep Inertia in Abrupt and Casual Awakenings

1
Bio-Inspired Digital Sensing Lab (BIDS), School of Media and Communication, Digital Ethnography Research Centre (DERC), RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC 3001, Australia
2
School of Design, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC 3001, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Clocks & Sleep 2020, 2(4), 416-433; https://doi.org/10.3390/clockssleep2040031
Received: 25 August 2020 / Revised: 12 October 2020 / Accepted: 16 October 2020 / Published: 20 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Clocks & Sleep in Human Basic Research)
Sleep inertia is a measurable decline in cognition some people experience upon and following awakening. However, a systematic review of the current up to date evidence of audio as a countermeasure has yet to be reported. Thus, to amend this gap in knowledge, the authors conducted this systematic review beginning with searches in three primary databases for studies published between the inception date of each journal and the year 2020. Search terms contained “Sleep Inertia” paired with: “Sound”; “Noise”; “Music”; “Alarm”; “Alarm Tone”; “Alarm Sound”; “Alarm Noise”; “Alarm Music”; “Alarm Clock”; “Fire Alarm”, and “Smoke Alarm”. From 341 study results, twelve were identified for inclusion against a priori conditions. A structured narrative synthesis approach generated three key auditory stimulus themes-(i) Noise, (ii) Emergency tone sequences; Voice Alarms and Hybrids, and (iii) Music. Across themes, participants have been assessed in two situational categories: emergency, and non-emergency awakenings. The results indicate that for children awakening in emergency conditions, a low pitch alarm or voice warnings appear to be more effective in counteracting the effects of sleep inertia than alarms with higher frequencies. For adults abruptly awakened, there is insufficient evidence to support firm conclusions regarding alarm types and voice signals. Positive results have been found in non-emergency awakenings for musical treatments in adults who preferred popular music, and alarms with melodic qualities. The results observed reflect the potential for sound, voice, and musical treatments to counteract sleep inertia post-awakening, and emphasize the requirements for further research in this domain. View Full-Text
Keywords: sleep inertia; sleep; auditory countermeasures; human performance; emergency awakenings; non-emergency awakenings; alarm tones; voice signals; music sleep inertia; sleep; auditory countermeasures; human performance; emergency awakenings; non-emergency awakenings; alarm tones; voice signals; music
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MDPI and ACS Style

McFarlane, S.J.; Garcia, J.E.; Verhagen, D.S.; Dyer, A.G. Alarm Tones, Voice Warnings, and Musical Treatments: A Systematic Review of Auditory Countermeasures for Sleep Inertia in Abrupt and Casual Awakenings. Clocks & Sleep 2020, 2, 416-433. https://doi.org/10.3390/clockssleep2040031

AMA Style

McFarlane SJ, Garcia JE, Verhagen DS, Dyer AG. Alarm Tones, Voice Warnings, and Musical Treatments: A Systematic Review of Auditory Countermeasures for Sleep Inertia in Abrupt and Casual Awakenings. Clocks & Sleep. 2020; 2(4):416-433. https://doi.org/10.3390/clockssleep2040031

Chicago/Turabian Style

McFarlane, Stuart J., Jair E. Garcia, Darrin S. Verhagen, and Adrian G. Dyer. 2020. "Alarm Tones, Voice Warnings, and Musical Treatments: A Systematic Review of Auditory Countermeasures for Sleep Inertia in Abrupt and Casual Awakenings" Clocks & Sleep 2, no. 4: 416-433. https://doi.org/10.3390/clockssleep2040031

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