“People are grumpy in the morning!” says fruit juice sellers

February 19th, 2012

Tuesday’s Huffington Post reported:

If you find yourself waking up on the wrong side of the bed more often than not and the alarm clock snooze button is your friend, you’re not alone – a third of Brits wake up grumpy.

Frankly, in the middle of a bleak, dark and cold February, I’m shocked it’s only a third of us who wake feeling pretty down. But, as ever with these stories, the stats trotted out are second fiddle to the company name the story is designed to promote, so it’s little surprise to see in the next paragraph:

A survey by YouGov and PomeGreat discovered more than a third of adults in the UK dread getting out of bed and blame their early morning mood swings on work stress.

Well, at least they’re not burying it way down the page. Not mentioned is the PR firm who devised the story, but Pomegreat’s Contacts page suggests this is the work of Twelve Thirty Eight.

Still, let’s have a quick look at the stats, for funsies:

Of the 2,032 people questioned, one in four wished they didn’t have to go to work, with women dreading the day ahead the most.

Of course, why simply promote a product when you can write in a ‘men vs women’ angle to whip up the commenters below the fold. So, women are worst hit when it comes to dreading their day? Sort of…

Despite previous studies telling us that early morning risers are ‘slimmer, happier and healthier’, over 29% of women feel miserable at the start of the working week, compared to 26% of men.

So, in actuality, there’s just 3% in it. I’d be interested to see how this passes a statistical significance test – but I imagine such a test hasn’t been anywhere near this story. Instead, I’d wager that a load of people were asked some pretty generic questions, and the sample set was then datamined to get the results we’re reading here… simply to get this fruit juice a few column inches. Speaking of datamining, the article continues:

And it’s (unsurprisingly) Monday mornings that cause the most misery, and it’s the Welsh that feel the most blue, as 34% of them struggle to scramble from under the duvet, compared to 30% of Londoners, 28% Northerners and 27% of people living in Southern England.

And now we’ve had the data, let’s hear from the spokesperson/expert trotted out in the press release:

Work has become so stressful, more and more of us are producing the cortisol hormone in reaction to stress. This causes us to become irritable, anxious, aggressive and as a result, more unhappy in general,” Dr. Dorian Dugmore, a cardiovascular expert from the study, said in a statement.

A cardiovascular expert, you say? Well, I’m sure he’s the best person to speak to about sleep, waking, diets and nutrition – after all, he specialises in none of those fields, and is a heart specialist… 

What’s more, there’s nothing to back-up his claim that work is more stressful than it used to be, or that ‘more and more of us’ are feeling the effects of stress. But he’s a heart expert, so he must just know that kind of stuff.

“There are plenty of things that we can do to lift our spirits in the morning. A good shower and a balanced breakfast, including a glass of juice, have been clinically proven to improve our mood.”

And bingo – we have a juice connection. Have a glass of juice in the morning, and you’re clinically proven to feel in a better mood, apparently. And what kind of juice might you want to drink? Well it just so happens that Dr Dorian Dougmore is the spokesperson for Pomegreat juice:

It’s enough to make you grumpy, no matter what time of day it is.