I’m not a morning person but I tested 3 fancy alarm clocks – and one had me flying out of bed in a panic

I’m not a morning person but I tested 3 fancy alarm clocks – and one had me flying out of bed in a panic

IT’s BARELY 6am on and I’m in a deep, deep slumber.

When suddenly, my dreams are pierced by a frantic beeping sound, coming from the direction of my bedside table.

SuppliedI’m not a morning person so I decided to test three fancy alarm clocks to help me wake up[/caption]

I reach out, trying to identify it’s source, but my hand meets thin air.

Yet the blaring, beeping sound continues – and it seems to be moving.

With a loud thump, the object rolls off my bedside table and starts whizzing around my room.

Barely awake, I stumble around the room after it in a state of high anxiety.

You may ask – how did it come to this? 

I’m not a morning person on the best of days. 

But having to wake up at 6am in the depths of winter is frankly an impossible task for me. 

I’d resorted to setting multiple alarms at smaller and smaller intervals to get me out of bed during the cold winter mornings. 

Often the persistent tinkling sound would merge into my dreams and I leave the alarm ringing for minutes on end. 

Once the sound does rouse me, I hit the snooze button – again and again.

So not only would I finally wake up grumpy and dazed, a mad frantic scramble ensues after I’ve wrenched myself out of bed to get to work in time. 

So it occurred to me: maybe upgrading my iPhone alarm to something more effective would be the end of my morning woes. 

I decided to put three alarms to the test, each with some unusual features.

Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light

SuppliedThe Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light woke me up gently with sunlight and birdsong[/caption]

The first alarm clock I chose to try out was the Phillips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light.

I have to admit, I was excited to give it a go.

With the mornings getting darker as the season changed to winter, I realised that I’d often relied on the chink of natural light coming through my curtains to wake up.

But as my phone alarm rang out at 6:15am on workday mornings throughout November and December, I found I was often falling back asleep after silencing my alarm, my eyes closing as I scrolled through the day’s news to wake my brain up.

I went to sleep earlier to make sure I was getting eight hours, set more alarms at shorter intervals, but it didn’t seem to make much difference.

The Phillips alarm was surprisingly easy to set up and I have to say it made a nice adornment on my nightstand.

Once you set it to the right time, you then have the option to choose different wake-up and wind-down settings.

I set my morning alarm to 6:25am, choosing to give myself an extra few minutes of sleep and hoping the simulated sunrise would be effective in rousing me.

But I set a backup phone alarm for 6:30, just in case.

Next, I selected forest birdsong as my wake-up sound of choice – out of options like ‘Nepal Bowls‘, ‘Ocean Waves’ and ‘Summer Lake’ – and set the sunrise to its brightest level.

It took the birdsong a minute or two to break through my sleep the first morning I tried it, but I did enjoy the sensation of not being startled awake by the blaring of my iPhone.

I didn’t really get a sense of the sunrise that first time, though I found the bright light helped me blink the sleep out of my eyes a little faster and I was awake and sitting up a lot earlier than usual.

As I continued testing the alarm over the next few days, sometimes I’d wake up a little before the 6:25am mark and the see normally white orb glowing a warm orangey red.

I found it comforting to have my face and walls gradually bathed in brighter light.

But I continued setting my backup alarm, as I still found my eyes closing back down on days where I’d gone to sleep later than I’d like.

I also switched my wake-up sound over to ‘Nepal Gongs’, more of an instrumental sound that resembled gongs, finding them more soothing than the high-pitched birdsong.

Overall, I found waking up less abrupt and my mornings felt a little less stressful as a result.

Now, it must be acknowledged that the Phillips alarm comes with quite a hefty price tag – £199.

But if sunrise alarms sound like your cup of tea, you can give some more affordable options a go.

The Lumie Sunrise Alarm Wake up to Daylight Table Lamp retails for £42.49 at John Lewis.

My score: 9/10

Geemarc Wake and Shake Star alarm clock

SuppliedThe Geemarc Wake and Shake Star alarm clock rattled me awake[/caption]

After the gentleness of the Phillips of the Phillips sunrise alarm, it’s safe to say I was slightly dreading giving my remaining options a go.

Next on my list was the Geemarc Wake and Shake Star alarm clock.

Just from the name, I already knew my mornings were going to have a more abrupt start.

The wake and shake Geemarc alarm comes with the promise of an extra loud ringer that reaches up to 90 decibels – the volume level or a grass mower or hairdryer.

It also boasts a super bright ring of flashing lights, and a vibrating pad to “shake you out of bed”, pledging to “wake the deepest sleepers”.

Though I was apprehensive, I knew I had to give this alarm a go.

I had a bit of trouble setting this one up, probably because I’m so used to touch screens.

There’s a series of buttons across the top which you press repeatedly to set the time, your alarm and desired wake-up settings.

You also have the option to attach a black disk to your alarm, to provide the ‘shake’ element.

I was never entirely sure if I’d successfully set the alarm and was glad I’d set a backup one on my phone when it failed to go off the first and second time I tried it (my fault, not the alarm’s).

It was third time the charm, as I was awoken at 6:25am by a loud repetitive, blaring, which to me sounded like the countdown to a bomb going off in an action movie.

My eardrums were further assaulted by the loud buzzing sound coming from the shaker pad, which gave the objects on my bedside table a good rattle.

I was so overcome by panic at this overstimulating combination of sounds that I blindly pulled at any cable I could see in the gloom of my room, yanking my lamp, phone charger and finally the alarm out of the plug socket.

To my dismay, the alarm continued blaring loudly.

I then remembered that the instructions had asked insert a button battery into the device so it continued working in the event of a power outage.

In utter desperation, I fumbled with the battery case at the back and gave a sigh relief when the alarm emitted a last weak beep.

I was certainly awake – and shaken.

As an alarm, I can without a doubt say it was effective, once I’d figured out how to use it. I can’t imagine a heavy sleeper snoozing through that.

If you have nerves of steel and fancy every fight or flight impulse in your body being activated, then I guess this is the alarm for you.

This one comes at a slightly more reasonable price of £44.99.

As for me, I’ll be pulling this one out for emergencies only.

My score: 5/10

Clocky Alarm Clock on Wheels

SuppliedThe Clocky Alarm Clock on Wheels physically got me out of bed – by getting me to chase after it[/caption]

The Clocky Runaway Alarm Clock claims to be the solution for heavy sleepers who “abuse the snooze” – something I’m definitely guilty of.

“He jumps, he runs, he hides to get you up on time,” Clocky’s website says.

I figured this one would get me out of bed because the only way to turn it off is to physically run after it.

The Clocky alarm was pretty easy to set up, it just needs some batteries and you’re good to go.

I felt a little nervous going to bed that night, falling into a shallow sleep the way you do before getting up early to travel.

Still, was startled awake at 6:25am by the alarm’s frantic beeping, stumbling after it in utter panic as it rolled off my bedside table and whizzed across my room.

I was expecting to get more exercise than I’m used to first thing – but I truly wasn’t expecting the sound to be so awful.

Emitting a series of staticky beeps and whistles, it sounds like a malfunctioning robot.

And it doesn’t wheel about it a straight line either – it swerves, backwards and forwards and makes it pretty hard for you to catch if you feel as dazed as me when you wake up.

But I was determined it wouldn’t evade me.

I finally caught up with the creature under my desk chair and pressed the snooze button in triumph, collapsing on my bedroom floor.

Was I awake? Most definitely.

My heart was also up and I was breathing heavily – unclear if it was from physical exhaustion or panic.

I felt jangly and nervy for the rest of the morning, but at least I can say that I made it work on time.

My verdict on this one? Brutal but effective.

This one’ll cost you £14.08 on OnBuy or £43.92 on Amazon.

My score: 7/10

Top tips to wake up feeling energised each day

YOU don’t have to resort to fancy alarm clocks to wake up earlier in the morning.

In most cases, making simple shifts to your bedtime habits and routine throughout the day can help you feel peppier when you’re waking up.

The Sleep Foundation recommends:

Setting an earlier bedtime to make sure you’re getting enough snooze nightly – the NHS recommends between seven and nine hours per night
Limit caffeine consumption up to six hours before you got to sleep – and though it can make you sleepy, booze in the evening can also disrupt your sleep
Eat a healthy breakfast to improve alertness
Eat your meals earlier, preferably not after 7pm
Get some bright light exposure in the morning – step outside to drink your coffee or take a quick walk
Exercise regularly
Dim lights and put away devices as you wind down before bed

   

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