Alarm clocks have an interesting existence. They’re something many of us desperately need, and yet a few seconds after they start working as requested, we want to rip them to shreds or throw them out the window in front of an oncoming bus.
This momentum is slightly reduced by modern smart alarm clocks, which seem to have learned a lesson from previous generations: “You better wake this guy up gently, or I’m dead.”
Smart alarm clocks have come a long way from those old clock radios that look like wood-paneled mini-vans. They can eerily watch you sleep and give you unwanted feedback about everything you’re doing wrong, gently wake you with soothing sounds tailored to your sleep patterns, and even mimic a sunrise by bathing you in natural light.
You can gently shake one of them like you would a waiter offering more water, but it won’t throw it into the fireplace or anything.
Gentle tips for waking up
For example, Amazon’s Halo Rise, coming soon, feels like something out of a dystopian sci-fi movie that seems friendly at first, but then won’t let the character leave the room. It uses sleep sensors to track things like breathing patterns, then gives you feedback the next morning. “You seem to yell a lot,” he might say.
While you might think of these sensors as robotic arms scanning your eyes and probing your nostrils in the middle of the night, they are seemingly non-contact. The Rise measures sleep stats while he is sitting perfectly still and does not require him to use any devices in bed that inadvertently keep him awake.
It can also measure ambient light and noise with suggestions on how to improve your surroundings and mimic the sunrise in the morning to gradually wake you up. Is there a real alarm? I think I know.
Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light features 25 brightness settings and the ability to set a sunrise and sunset. It’s an impressive range, but I feel like the type of person who would buy an alarm clock with 25 brightness settings is also the type of person who would get mad at their spouse for setting it to the wrong setting. “I told you I can’t sleep well in Orange Honeydew!”
While the Loftie Clock has many of the previous smart wake-up bells and whistles (not literally), its most unique feature is the inclusion of bedtime stories, like a lullaby or your uncle talking about that time you took the train from Wichita to Lexington. .
Why not just use the alarm on your phone?
Good question. Many people don’t even have an alarm clock and simply set their phone’s alarm and/or use a sleep app that already has many of these features. My girlfriend wakes me up every morning like Karen woke up Henry in Good boys.
The argument for separate alarm clocks is that there have been numerous studies showing that using your smartphone before bed can cause restlessness, and relying on it for an alarm can make you scroll Twitter for too long or see what your ex is up to. . on Facebook, neither of which is conducive to sleep.
Using an alarm clock helps it work and can prevent you from overusing your phone late at night.
Many of us have trouble sleeping, and while it’s easy to mock these smart alarm clocks with their AI technology and multitude of settings, I get it. Spending more on a smart device is usually silly when it comes to things like toasters and toothbrushes, but we’re talking about sleep here. If you’ve tried it all and think one of these robotic angels could help you, go ahead. But only if you have tried everything to get a good night’s sleep.
It’s important to remember what bad nighttime habits won’t prevent: Smart alarm clocks won’t prevent you from heading to Taco Bell at 2am and then wondering why you’re tossing and turning all night. They won’t stop you from repeatedly trying to finish that video game level where you keep dying. And they certainly won’t stop you from staying so long at the bar that you become one of the stools.
But if you don’t do any of those things and warm milk just isn’t enough (eww), maybe a smart alarm could help. If not, feel free to toss it into your ceiling fan.