This paper proposes AREA-MAC, a medium access control (MAC) protocol for wireless sensor networks (WSNs). AREA-MAC reduces latency and energy consumption of nodes by using low power listening (LPL) with short preamble messages. Other protocols like B-MAC use long preamble messages that cause higher latency, energy consumption, and control overhead on nodes. AREA-MAC provides a reasonable trade-off between vital parameters, such as system fairness, throughput, scalability, and adaptability to traffic conditions. Additionally, to minimize network latency and maximize its lifetime, two application-based optimization problems are formulated. The gain of AREA-MAC in terms of delay and energy efficiency and an OMNeT++ based simulation framework are also discussed.