The sleepy days of summer have slipped away, and we’re all making the return to fall activities, fuller schedules, and the dreaded alarm clock. We all know those people who pop out of bed with a sunny smile and an enthusiastic “Good morning!” They seem ready to hit the ground running from the moment they open their eyes. This playlist is not for them.
Most people experience some level of sleep inertia upon waking. Sleep inertia is the state of transition between sleep and wakefulness, during which we feel groggy and experience decreased cognitive and motor abilities.
For most people, this lasts between 15 and 60 minutes, although for some it endures for hours. Sleep disruptions and the resulting inertia is often all-too-familiar for those experiencing chronic conditions such as chronic pain.
Guiding Ourselves Toward Wakefulness
In yoga therapy, we begin to address our problems by meeting ourselves where we are and then gradually taking ourselves where we want to go. Let’s say we are sleepy but want to feel more awake. A movement practice may begin lying down with slow, gentle movements, and then progress toward faster, more intense movements and upright postures.
We have applied this same principle to music, creating a playlist that starts slow and quiet, syncing with your drowsy post-sleep state. Incrementally, the songs increase in tempo and volume, warming up your brain for full alertness.
One study on sleep inertia and music suggests that if you enjoy the music, its effect on alertness is even greater, so try out this playlist and then let us know what songs YOU would include!