|Summary Of Alarm Clocks
||[Dec. 27th, 2007|12:28 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
Mostly for my own benefit, herein lies a summary of my experiences with alarm clocks.
I’ve needed an alarm clock to get up since I can remember. I can’t remember if there was a time when it was just Mom trying to wake me up, mostly because my sleeping hours were often a blur of "I did what?" (especially from about age 11 – puberty – until my late 20s, when I stopped being constantly sleep deprived).
Mom, waking me up to get me to go to school. She endured a lot of verbal abuse for many years. Especially as life experiences and bathroom walls increased the breadth of my vocabulary.
Regular alarm clock. Works until I figure out how to disable it in my sleep. Often has to go off for an hour or more before I actually get up. I could sometimes ignore it for hours, banging the snooze button or incorporating the noise into dreams.
Regular alarm clock across the room. I successfully learned how to get up, cross the room, and disable the alarm clock without waking.
These were the alarm clocks of my life for the first 20-30 years. While my sleep has ALWAYS been bad, it was once I got laid off in 2003 and had no pressing appointments to make that my sleep got totally out of control and required new measures.
Two alarm clocks, set to go off at different times. Worked a little better than just one, but not much. Also, aggravating.
Wrist-worn alarm clock. This was a cute little device that would try to find a point in my sleep cycle where I was not in a deep sleep and go off. Kind of worked, needed a regular alarm as backup. Eventually broke.
Asking friends to call and converse. Worked sometimes, but only when an actual conversation occurred – asking "are you awake yet?" allowed Sleeping Kelly an opportunity to lie, get the caller off the phone, and go back to sleep. BUT, this gave me the idea of having to engage my brain to wake up.
CD/radio alarm clock playing NPR. Usually failed to wake me. But it helped bring my brain more to the surface before the other (beeping) alarm went off. Made it easier to wake up, but by no means ideal.
CD/radio alarm clock playing comedy CDs. This engaged my brain and worked great until I memorized the CD.
CD/radio alarm clock playing a NEW comedy CD. This also worked great, but it cost too much money to keep buying new CDs every few days.
CD/radio alarm clock playing burned CDs of mixed comedy CDs. The damned CD/radio alarm clock thing couldn’t play them (its technology was not current enough).
Specially ordered cube-shaped MP3-playing alarm clock. Could only fit about 20 minutes worth of material and didn’t work very well. Pretty much a failure.
Final configuration – an iPod and iHome set. The iPod was filled with comedy and set to random; the iHome was set to play the iPod about an hour before I had to get up. Once several weeks’ worth of configuration issues were worked out, this finally worked. Given its flexibility, it has the potential to last a long time.