I have the grand-daddy of all alarm clocks. I hate waking up to the sound of sudden beeping from alarm clocks, or even clock radios. It makes me cranky, before I even get out of bed. On the flip side, I really do need a lot of help to wake up in the mornings. I can reach over and smack a snooze button without even waking up.... have done so, more times than I can count.
I found the solution to my morning wake ups about five years ago. I got it here, and never want to use anything else.
This clock wakes you up in a slow but persistant way. First, a dim light turns on, to simulate sunlight (the heat of the light could also stimulate various scent beads - including roasted coffee - but I'm not a fan of scents, so I don't use this feature.) After about 10-15 minutes with the light, it starts to play the sound of chirping birds. If the birds chirp for another fifteen minutes - whether or not you hit the snooze button - before you get up and turn it off, then the annoying sound of the beeping alarm turns kicks in. By that time, though, you've had 30 minutes to ease into your day and you better be prepared to get up.
I love this alarm. The difference between waking up slowly with it, or waking up suddenly to the honking of most alarms is like night and day. BUT. I found a new use for this little gadget that makes it even more useful.
The Cotton Dog is terrified of the dishwasher. He hates the dishwasher more than any other machine or appliance, but from time to time it's necessary. He used to hide under the bed while it was running, but for the last year or so he has started a relentless pacing and panting... signs that he's working up to a full blown panic attack. It's hard to see him like that, and the cycle of panic attacks is really hard to break once they start. Luckily, I fell upon a solution. My clock, in addition to having a progressive wake up, does the opposite at night to ease you to sleep.
There are 5 or 6 sounds that you can play, and after some trial and error, I've discovered that Cotton likes the sounds of the crickets chirping. In fact, he's come to depend on them. So, when I turn on the dish washer, Cotton comes to find me. We go into my room, close the door and turn on the sound from the clock. I grab a good book or my notebook, Cotton climbs under the covers, and we let the crickets chirp.
Panic attack, diverted.
Life is good.
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