5 extreme alarm clocks to make damn sure you get you up each morning

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Raise your hand if you have trouble waking up in the morning.

You too?

If you’re anything like me, you’re on a constant hunt for alarm clock improvements. Something that doesn’t make you angry and turn you into a sleep jerk, but wakes you up enough that you can’t hit the Snooze button and score another hour of sleep. Try these alarm clocks on for size:

Defuseable clock

Defusable Bomb Alarm Clock
Defusable Bomb Alarm Clock

The defuseable clock is intriguing; you have to “defuse” the clock to turn off the alarm — but after one try, any chronic oversleeper would figure it out. There’s no danger! Keep on sleeping!

Sleepy Jerk rating: 1 out of 5 jerkstars.

Talk O’Clock

Talk O’Clock is a user-to-user service. You input the time you’d like to wake up and, theoretically, another human gets that data and calls you to wake you up.

Sleepy Jerk rating: 4 out of 5 jerkstars. If you get a talky partner, they could totally wake you up — but you might also wake up because of a bad case of social anxiety.

Sleep Cycle

Humans are supposed to sleep in 90 minute REM cycles. We’re supposed to be most wakeful every 90 minutes. Sleep Cycle uses your iPhone accelerometer to track how much you move in your sleep — and then wakes you up at the peak of wakefulness nearest your wakeup call.

Sleepy Jerk rating: I’ve used Sleep Cycle, and I’d give it 4 out of 5 jerkstars. It would probably work much better for anyone who is a better overall sleeper than I.


Japanese for “wake up,” Okite is an iPhone app which tweets embarrassing things about the sleeper — like “in a sailor suit now” — for every minute they remain asleep.

Sleepy Jerk rating: 2.5 out of 5 jerkstars. It might get you up, but I can totally see talking yourself out of caring about who knows you love to eat your boogers.

Throwing money away

This concept alarm clock asks you to put a bill in before bed time — and if you don’t wake up when it goes off, your money meets the shredder! So effectively, the money shredding alarm is asking you to commit a federal crime. Maybe that’s why it’s still just a concept.

Shooting yourself awake

Gun And Target Alarm Clock by TG
Gun And Target Alarm Clock by TG

The Gun and Target alarm clock forces you to wake yourself up enough to be able to have perfect aim.

Sleepy Jerk rating: 5 out 5 jerkstars. Based on the number of bad reviews, not only will this alarm clock wake you up, you’ll be too frustrated to go back to sleep.

What works to get you out of bed on your most impossible mornings? Do share; we could all use the wisdom.

Comments on 5 extreme alarm clocks to make damn sure you get you up each morning

  1. No Clocky? An alarm clock that ran away from me making terrible noises and getting trapped under the bed was the only thing that could effectively get me up after long nights during college.

    • I had a Clocky, but the problem was that he lit up! So in the dark morning, all I had to do was look for the moving glow. He’d also get stuck in my bedskirt, so I didn’t have to fish him out from the under-bed dust bunnies.

      So he didn’t get very far, but his R2D2-like bleeping was still usually enough to wake me up. Occasionally I’d stand him on one wheel so he’d just spin and sing in the mornings. 🙂

  2. haha the money eater would be better if it worked like a piggy bank. i just use the rooster noise on my phone and set it 45 minutes before i have to get up, i still sleep to the last possible second tho

  3. My only solution has been to set 3 alarms. It makes me happier if they are 30 minutes apart (so, 9:00, 9:30, and 10:00), but on a night that promises little sleep to begin with, I will set them for 10-15 minutes apart. Either way, my brain usually sleeps through the first alarm, wakes up and gets grumpy at the phone on the second alarm, and by the third alarm I’m either already awake, or I know that I MUST GET UP NOW if I want to make it anywhere on time. I also tend to set a 4th alarm for when I should be leaving the house. “Should be” means about 5 minutes before I will absolutely be late if I don’t walk out the door RITENAO, and pretty much means, “if you don’t have clothes on and working on shoes/jacket, you’re late. If you’ve done all that, grab a water bottle and refill it, you have time for an extra kiss from the boy.”

  4. Has anyone tried those alarms that make the room bright? I think they start half an hour before they’re set, and eventually make the room like daylight.

    During my horse-mad phase, my mom bought me an alarm clock that sounded like a horse running up, whinnying, and running away. The running was easy to sleep through, but not so much the whinnying. Got me up every time.

    • I have one of the lights that slowly turns on. I’m able to set how long it takes me to wake up too. I perfer the crescendo beeping of my Oregon Scientific alarm to it’s beeping but the slowly getting brighter thing is awesome for putting you in a light plane of sleep when your beeping alarm does go off. I’m not using it right now though because our baby is sleeping on our room and I don’t want her to get in the habit of getting up at 5:30 just because I have to get up then to go to work!

    • i use one of these and for me it´s perfect. i HATED the beeping every morning. now, with the light clock i am usually awake shortly before the sound goes on. but next time i´d invest more money to plg in my mp3-player as well..

    • I use it too and love it. Mine gets brighter over a 45 min. period and it’s definitely enough to wake me up. It’s nice and slow and I tend to wake up much happier than I did with a noise making alarm.

  5. I like to hide alarm clocks in boxes within another box so that I’ll have to search for it.

    Also, there’s a drawer next to my bed that’s empty. I like putting my cell phone in there on vibrate so not only does it have an annoying ringtone to wake me up, but it bounces a bit in the empty drawer so it makes angry knocking noises. I also have to open up the drawer to make it shut up. 😛

    I’ve always wanted to try the Tocky Runaway Alarm Clock though. 🙂

  6. I’m all for the Clockey! In our house you sit the snooze once and on the second alarm it rolls off the dresser, usually landing on the dog, who then assumes it’s time for a walk. . . you try telling a 100lb German Shepherd/St. Bernard to go back to sleep LoL works like a charm!

  7. A large yellow lab who has decided that at 7:30 she MUST clamber up onto our (very high) bed and do a little dance of morning happiness before bestowing copious kisses on any and all exposed human flesh, plus the cat. Wakes everyone up every time.

  8. The only alarm clock I have ever had success with is my cat. She knows when breakfast is, she will step on my hair and bite my nose if I don’t get up, and the only way to defuse her is to go get her food.

    • Also, I love the sleepy carl metaphor. I totally have another person who talks me out of getting up, sometimes going as far as to say “What are you talking about, you are getting up. You’re getting dressed right now.” No one understands!

      • Omg, this! My “sleepy carl” loves to convince me that I am awake and getting ready when I am actually still snoozing away, just dreaming about it. And that’s not even a satisfying dream!

        • Right? I’m so glad to hear this happens to someone else! And then once I am awake, people are mad at me.

          Them: “You lied to me. You said you were getting up.”

          Me: “You don’t understand! I was lied to, too!”

  9. Ohhhhhh, man. My partner and I are both TERRIBLE morning people. I’ve found that it’s best if I switch up the song/ring I use on my phone alarm. If I use the same sound for more than a week I start sleeping through it. It also keeps me from learning to hate songs I formerly loved.

    It also helps if I start checking e-mail on my phone as soon as my alarm goes off. If my brain has something to do, my Sleepy Carl can’t talk me into going back to bed.

    In my house, we have a rule that I’m not allowed to speak for the first hour I’m awake. Because I don’t think rationally in the morning and may say hateful things I don’t mean.

  10. I hate waking up in the morning – especially on the days when it’s just the perfect cool temperature, and the bed is just the right point of warm.

    I currently use my iPhone, and have two alarms set, 15 minutes apart, with two different ring tones. The first one is a nice soothing song – currently it is the theme from Pirates of the Caribbean (which starts off quiet, and then reaches a nice loud crescendo). That is just to wake me up a little bit, and pull me out of deep sleep – usually the snooze button is thwacked and I roll back over to catch another 15 minutes.

    About 15 minutes later, the second alarm will kick off, even if I have snoozed the first. This one is set to the most obnoxiously noisy ring tone I have. Previously it was The Doom Song from Invader Zim… now it is Nyan Cat, of internet fame. This makes me jump out of bed instantly in an attempt to avoid the very loud NYAN NYAN NYAN escaping from my phone.

    Also – Think Geek has some really evil/awesome alarm clocks. Like the Rolling alarm clock that attempts to escape – or the one the shoots the key to stop the air raid style siren off in a random direction, forcing you out of bed.

  11. Our foster basset is the perfect alarm clock. Wakes us up at 6:30am on the dot every morning. Super difficult to sleep when a basset is jumping all over your bed.

    I’ve also seen a money alarm clock that donates money to the OPPOSITE political party or interest group when you sleep in.

    This one donates to the your least favorite charity: http://nudges.wordpress.com/snuznluz-the-alarm-clock-that-donates-to-your-least-favorite-charity/

    At $10/min slept in, I’d be up in no time.

  12. I once dated a guy who had an alarm clock that was kept under the pillow. Besides making horrible, horrible noises at the designated hour, it also vibrated like the world was coming to an end. At the time, I was a non-believer. But the one morning I was at his place when it went off, I grabbed onto it and screamed, “DIE!!!”

    So, that was pretty effective. However, I do not own one, as I prefer not to start my days screaming, “DIE!”

    • My boy friend had one of those when I started dating him too. . . it was like the 4 horse men of the apocalypse were riding through his bedroom every morning. It didn’t last too long though. . . I think my own “DIE” vibes killed it.

  13. I used to have a roomate who had the LOUDEST beep beep beep alarm, who would sleep right through it. Unfortunately. He’d also lock his door, and could pretty much sleep through anything, and the stupid alarm would go off for literally hours and drive us all insane. The rest of us roomates got together, discussed it, and changed his alarm to music, turned it up to max volume and put it on country music. We never had a problem with him again. I’m now having to use this technique on my 12yo LOL!!!

  14. The only thing that really wakes me up is, ironically enough, a ringtone of my mother’s snoring.

    … I know.

    I used to have a ringtone of my dad snoring, which, honest to god, sounded like a moose with asthma trying to sing.
    But I lost that one 😛

  15. I’m surprised no one has mentioned this but getting more or better sleep at night might work. I know it’s not possible for some, but it works for me… I stopped using an alarm clock once I started going to bed a little earlier. Pre- baby, I only use one if I was exhausted when I went to bed the night before.

  16. I’m pretty weird about waking up. I set my iphone to the cricket noises and it wakes me right up, but if my animals start running all over the bed and making noises and knocking things off shelves, I won’t budge. It drives my girlfriend crazy! But, on days when I just know I won’t be able to shake off my sleepy Carl, I have to put my phone on the other side of the room so I physically have to get up and walk across the room to turn it off. Once I’m standing I’m up for good. It’s usually just convincing myself to get out from under the covers that is the tricky part.

  17. I’m a snooze button junkie. I once had an alarm clock that quite literally GAVE UP on you if you snoozed for a whole hour. The most effective alarm clock I’ve ever owned is my parrot. She wakes up at dawn, no amount of drapery changes this, and she thinks the whole flock (me, my partner, and the other parrot) should be up and eating 30 minutes after the sun comes up. This is awesome on weekend near the winter solstice (When the sun comes up between 7:30 and 8 at my latitude) and weekdays durring the Summer when it become nearly impossible for me to be late for work. It kind of blows on weekends in the summer when the sun comes up at 5:00 and therefore we should all be up at 5:30.

  18. I want the Jeeves alarm clock. It wakes you up with Stephen Fry’s lovely voice saying something different every day. Now if only it could make me a proper English breakfast too.

    • I have the Jeeves alarm clock. Unfortunately, I have to say that the execution doesn’t even come close to living up to the concept. The clock itself is buggy, makes very loud clicking noises at odd intervals, and is really prone to breaking. It was a huge disappointment.

    • This is a great idea, but it’s like freerice.org and it makes me feel GOOD about, respectively, sleeping in or wasting time on the internet. The one Spiker mentions reinforces that you sleeping in makes the world a crappier place by donating to terrible things, and it’s more forceful because I think it already has your credit card number and it’s NOT AFRAID TO USE IT.

      Or you can do what I do – own a dog in a place I’m not allowed to own a dog. So I have to get out of bed early enough to walk him and sneak him back into the building before anyone else wakes up – or else I’m forced to deal with the serious consequences of my life choices, which of course I’d rather not. Works every time.

  19. I just got a darth vader alarm clock from costco. If you set it on demo mode, the alarm is darth’s breathing and light saber noise. And it flashes. The only sucky part is the snooze only lasts for 5 min.

  20. My dog is useless as an alarm clock. When it gets light or cold she crawls under the covers and won’t move till gone 1pm given half a chance. Shes worse than a lazy teenager. Bf is not much better and I normally have to shout at him for 30 minutes as his alarm is going off.

    I put my iphone down the other end of the boat so I have to get up but then some days I do still manage to sleep through that. I blame Family Guy for being on so late. 😉

  21. My foolproof method for making sure I wake up early in the morning :

    Drink a big glass of water before bed. You stay hydrated, and you’ll wake up before your alarm goes off because of the burning need to pee… which you can only hit snooze on for so long!

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