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Last fall, Spotify partnered with doctoral student David M. Greenberg to curate a playlist meant to make transitioning from sleep to wakefulness easier. Greenberg, who is in his fourth year of studying the psychology of music at the University of Cambridge, said in a press release, “Science shows that music affects us in all types of ways, including emotionally, physiologically, and in the brain.”

His research includes “how music is linked to resilience and well-being.” Through substantial study and testing, he's discovered that listening to music that starts off slow and quiet and builds to faster, more upbeat songs is best for working your way out of sleep inertia (i.e., our usual zombie-like state) that typically lasts for fifteen to thirty minutes after you wake up. He found that songs with positive lyrics, that emphasize beats two and four of each measure, with 100 to 130 beats per minute result in the listener feeling more empowered and comfortable as they wake up. Unsurprisingly, songs that explicitly mention waking up or rising were also useful in helping the brain emerge to consciousness.

Greenberg named his playlist “Wake Up USA.” It includes faves like “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay and “Can’t Sleep Love” by Pentatonix.

Lest you give in to hitting snooze a third time (we already know that’s what at least a third of you are doing), need we remind you that fragmented sleep is just plain unproductive and can keep you tired all day? Because lattes may not be charming enough to get some of us out of our warm beds, we’ve crafted the perfect playlist—based on Greenberg’s guidelines and including some of his original picks—to help make it easier to rise and shine.

Morning, Sunshine

created by Verily Magazine on Spotify

9 songs, 31 minutes

 Photo Credit: Erin Woody