Thursday, December 2, 2010

Me and my morning buzz - alarm clock wake-up strategies

Do you have a wake up strategy? Should you?

Have you ever taken the time to think about your alarm clock and how you start your day?

Me neither. But today I thought maybe I should.

I only think about my alarm clock when I need it to wake me up when I don't want to.

Your alarm clock may be any number of things, mechanical (cellphone, alarm clock), biological (bodily needs or desires), or environmental annoyances (a real-life rooster, a crow outside your window, a barking dog, or your favourite neighbor redoing his roof at 6:45 a.m.).

My alarm clock is a traditional, effective, and inexpensive $20 piece of plastic.

This is what usually wakes me out of blissful slumber each morning.

I've never thought about making friends with it either. I never will.

It does it's job. It was a gift. It is a simple clock radio alarm model - radio and alarm. No games or gadgets. It has lasted forever and still looks like new.

Every morning when the alarm goes off, I say exactly the same thing out-loud: "I hate you!"

This has been going on for years.

Guess what it's called . . . The Sony DREAM MACHINE!

I've been wondering if I should continue to wake up with something I hate each morning.
Should I make a change? Should I change my wake up strategy?

Most people have a love-hate relationship with their alarm clock. You hate the sound of the alarm. It has to be alarming, or you wouldn't wake up. You need it to keep you on time.

I have a typical wake up strategy

My wake up strategy is to set my alarm clock to go off to radio news thirty minutes before I have to get up. I want to know if there is something interesting or major going on or if I can just hit the "leave me alone for now" snooze button.

The alarm, is set for the deadline - the worst case scenario - the last second I can get out of bed and barely make it to where I've got to be. This gives me the choice to get up before the hateful sound of the alarm or gives me thirty minutes of wake time to think about how comfortable my bed really is and torture myself by wishing I had more time to enjoy it.

Alarm Clock Research

Today I researched alarm clocks on the Web using a number of keywords: alarm clock monsters, and alarm clock hate clubs. Facebook has one! There were over 9,000 fans on the Facebook I hate my Alarm Clock page when I last checked in. Facebook has a page for anything you can think of. Apparently alarm clock hate is a big topic and trying to make waking up happy and fun is a big business!

Alarm Clock Monsters (Waku Free) is an iPhone/iPod app that lets you download your favourite iTunes music or set it to funny sound effects. Cute little monsters will be dancing to your tunes when your alarm goes off. You can customize it to your preferences. It might make you laugh and shake a leg when you get up to shut it off. A good toy if you're an app-a-holic and your cellphone technology is your best friend.

UberReview lists the Top Ten Most Annoying Alarm Clocks. My alarm clock is pretty tame compared to some of these gimmicky and ballistic models. I had no idea!

How about an alarm clock that explodes puzzle pieces. You have to find the pieces and put them back in the machine to get it to shut off. Another model hangs over your head, sounds off and retracts out of your reach. Imagine sleeping with that hanging over your head! This must break some major Feng Shui rules! Or the alarm clock that comes with a flashing strobe and vibrating pad. Can't you just go to Vegas for that kind of stuff? How about the model that you have to shoot with a laser to turn it off. Fun until you misplace the laser remote!

I thought my wake up strategy was probably pretty much the same as most people. But, looking at some of new alarm clock models and apps for cellphones out there, it looks like I need to consider all the options I've got now for waking up.

It can be turned into a game, it can become a challenge of skill, or it can be made more Zen.

I need a new wake up strategy and an alarm clock I don't hate

My new wake up strategy will include:
  • thinking about how I want to wake up
  • changing my perspective about getting up
  • talking to others about their wake up strategies
  • experimenting with different methods of waking up to see what works best for me and whoever hangs out with me (we have to be considerate)
There are many choices when it comes to alarm clocks:
  • Find something Zen
  • Get a gimmicky toy that will test your skills and agility
  • Go for a cellphone app you like
  • Stick with the everyday traditional alarm clock radio you've had for years
  • Get a puppy that needs less sleep than you and likes to lick your face early in the morning
  • Put up with an annoying cat who needs to be fed on schedule!
I'm thinking of starting with Zen. A Zen alarm clock. Something that wakes me up gradually and gently, instead of suddenly.

What's your wake up strategy?