Wednesday, December 26, 2007

7 Alarm Clocks For a Gentler Wake-Up Call

alarm clock with chime, triangular shape, wood

Want to wake up to a pleasant alarm clock - and have it look somewhat stylish, too? Here are some options to consider.

1. Zen alarm clock (shown above)

This is the one I've used for years, and I've recently bought a second one for my guest bedroom. Waking up to a chime is nice - or as nice as any alarm clock is going to be. There's a choice of woods and clock faces.

Bose clock radio

2. Bose wave radio

This is the other alarm clock I own - a quite wonderful clock radio. Mine is an older version, and the only problem is my cat sometimes steps on the buttons on the top, jolting me awake at 3 a.m. (This newer version seems to not have those top buttons.) Not inexpensive, but I think I'll probably own it forever. Other versions include a CD player, and there's a connect kit for your iPod.

iPos alarm clocks in 3 colors

3. iPod alarm clock

There are certainly more iPod alarm clocks, but I like the looks of this one.

odd-shaped alarm clock with lights along the side

4. Progression alarm clock

I don't know how well this actually works, but the idea is nice. Quoting the web site: "This clock uses a gradual increase in ambient light, stimulating aromas, and peaceful sounds from nature to awaken sleepers." It does look strange, though. [via popgadget]

alarm clock, blue

5. Moonbean Clock

This clock also wakes you up to light - no aromatherapy, though. (It also has an alarm bell.) It's a nice simple look, available in four colors. [via popgadget]

alarm clock with cat face on the clock face

6. Talking animal alarm clocks

This cat one goes meow-meow-meow, of course. In case you're not a cat person, there are eight other options.

alarm clock, wood casing

7. Voco - clocks that talk

"Excuse me, sir. I'm so sorry to disturb you, but it appears to be morning. Very inconvenient, I agree. I believe it is the rotation of the earth that is to blame." Wake up to one of 150 different messages. (There's a good morning, madam clock available, too.)


Claire Josefine said...

And then there's the actuall talking animals... Sam cat goes meow meow meow whether I ask him to or not! (I prefer Jules' tactic, which is to come snuggle by my side and purr at the same time every morning.)

Actually, I intentionally do not own an alarm clock. When creating my "what does my ideal life look like" map, waking up naturally was high on the list.

My sweetie has the Zen clock. He is ADD, and it works better for him than traditional bells and whistles. (The butler version would probably be sworn at, at best, if he met it first thing in the morning.) What he really needs, though, and I suspect that this is true for many ADDers, is a second alarm clock set for an hour later. Although the light technique might work, too...

As always, I enjoy your blog and am convinced that you are the Queen of Online Research!


Claire Josefine

Jeri Dansky said...

Claire, I much prefer to wake without an alarm clock, too - but sometimes my schedule just doesn't allow for that. Waking naturally wasn't as high on my "ideal life" list as it was on yours, it seems, or I wouldn't schedule like that.

And as much as I enjoy waking to the urgings of my cats, I don't like it as well when they decide I should wake up at 5:30 when I had hoped to sleep until 8:00. (Fortunately, and to their annoyance, I can just roll over and go back to sleep.)

Jeri Dansky said...

I thought I'd share this reader comment which came by e-mail:

I have had the progressive clock (#4) for a couple of years and I love it. It progressively lights up the room and uses other gentle sounds, like birds chirping, etc. to wake you up, then at the actual time, an alarm rings, just in case you slept through everything else. I usually wake up before the alarm sounds. It's much less "shocking" than any other alarm I've ever used.

Alyson and Ford said...

I think I would like #4 too, progressive. I have a buzzer alarm but rarely get to the buzzer as the live animal, I mean fur-baby wakes us every morning.

LID 01/27/06

Jeri Dansky said...

Here's one more comment from Danette Lewis, the person I quoted earlier who has the progressive clock: "I don't use the aroma therapy part of the clock. It's just too much trouble to fill up on a regular basis and the smell wasn't strong enough to wake me anyway."

(name used with permission)

Jeri Dansky said...

Oops, make that Dannette Lewis, with two n's.

Cynthia Friedlob said...

Oh, the temptation!

I am a huge P.G. Wodehouse fan and to be awakened by the voice of Jeeves would be fabulous! (Are you familiar with the "Jeeves & Wooster" Brit TV series adapted by Clive Exton from the extremely amusing Wodehouse books? Stephen Fry, the Voco clock voice, played Jeeves. But I know you are sans television.)

The Voco clock goes on my short list of unnecessary things I will allow myself to purchase whenever I can come up with an appropriate excuse to purchase them. In this case, perhaps my current alarm clock may have an unfortunate "accident" . . . .

Jeri Dansky said...

Cynthia, I've read some Wodehouse but have never seen the show. But I see the show is out on DVD, so I can rent it sometime and play it on my Mac.

If you get the clock, please let me know if it's as wonderful as it seems!

Anonymous said...

I got my son a battery operated chime alarm clock from Avon. We live in a victorian that has one outlet per room, so plug ins are kept to a minimum. He loves it!
Jerry, the talking alarm clock was hilarious! I laughed out loud when I checked out the website. Hubby's birthday gift is fpund!!

Jeri Dansky said...

Anonymous, I'm so glad there's yet another person who fell for the talking alarm clock. When your hubby's birthday rolls around, please let me know if the clock is as good in person as it seems on the web.

David said...

I had to post this..... After looking at the Peaceful Progression Wake-Up Clock described here, I happened to notice a clock that falls into the complete opposite category (that is, "the noisiest of all possible clocks in order to wake the soundest of sleepers" clock). This would be the Sensory Assault clock. Woohoo! With a name like that you're bound to wake up... :)

Jeri Dansky said...

David, what a great counterpoint! I just saw that someone wrote a whole list of annoying alarm clocks, if you want to pursue that even more.

joselinadam said...

Alarm Clock uses an ambient light, peaceful sound and stimulating aromas from nature to awaken sleepers. Alarm Clock looks like very attractive one.
Shake Awake - shake awake clock,shake awake distributors

shatrarrow said...

Jerri - I finally bought the Zen alarm clock! My husband and I absolutely love it. We actually leave it in the next room because the chimes are so reverberating. I used to have the progressive alarm clock which I liked too, but the progressive chiming on the Zen clock does a lot better job of actually waking you up!

Jeri Dansky said...

Shatrarrow, I'm so glad to hear you got the Zen alarm clock and that you're enjoying it - thanks for letting me know!

Melissa said...

haha great post, I could use one too!

alicia said...

I also have the Progression alarm clock, and it really is the best I've ever had. All alarm clocks before I'd completely ignore, but this one manages to wake me up and not make me feel like I've been dragged, confused, kicking and screaming into some fiery abyss.
Half an hour before the set time, the light starts coming on. The light would theoretically start warming the scent pads (or the beads that come with it, which are almost all terrible), and I did use those in the beginning, but it takes too much effort to remember to use a new scent pad every night (and maybe you wake up in the morning and don't want to smell that particular choice). Fifteen minutes before you wake up, the sound starts. The default is chirping birds, but since it's on a loop, it gets old FAST. The Zen Melody, however, is pleasant enough to listen to. If you're still not up (or hit the snooze, which works for something weird like 8 minutes at a time), the real alarm will finally blare hatefully at you. It's given you so many chances to get up at that point that you really can't be too upset though.

Should you wish to use them, I know that fragrance oils from Bath and Body Works work very well on the scent pads.

Jeri Dansky said...

Alicia, thanks for the very complete report! There's nothing like hearing from someone who owns and uses the product.

Helen said...

The Moonbeam clock has a great retro look but is absolutely horrid and terrifying to wake up to. The light doesn't progress, it flashes like a neon light. It's like the light torture used on prisoners of war where a light flashes on and off at regularly timed intervals. Scary.

Jeri Dansky said...

Helen, thanks for letting us know!