Extreme alarm clocks may help students wake up for school

Extreme alarm clocks may help kids wake up for school
August 24, 2013 12:06:43 AM PDT
Back to school also means back to waking up early and many students, and their parents, are dreading it. So how can you roust those sleepyheads? 7 On Your Side takes a look at extreme alarm clocks.

Oh those 8 a.m. classes, they can be brutal, especially after a long summer of sleeping in.

"Ever since I was a teenager it's really difficult for me to wake up," said Megan Sinclair of Hayward.

"Usually I set maybe six or seven alarms on my phone," said Kurt Beeler of Hayward.

Beeler and Sinclair both struggle to get out of bed and they say their alarm clocks don't help.

"I just hit the snooze button and go right back to bed," said Beeler.

"I know exactly how to snooze it and I can snooze it in my sleep which is dangerous because I don't want to miss waking up," said Sinclair.

It's a common problem among high school and college students. So we decided to check out a new trend for rousting those late sleepers. They are sometimes called extreme alarm clocks.

We took a look at one of them called the Sonic Bomb. Its piercing noise is disturbing enough, but it also comes with a device called "the bomb" that shakes your bed.

Sinclair bravely agrees to try it out. We set up a camera in her bedroom where one moment she is sleeping peacefully and the next she is jolted awake. She says that bomb felt worse than it looks.

"I was in like a dream state and I really though a bomb was going off into my room. It instantly shocked me awake, I mean my body really jolted," said Sinclair.

She says she never even considered the snooze button.

"I thought to myself, 'I am not getting back in. I am awake, I do not need to go back to sleep,'" said Sinclair.

Now we check out the "Clocky". When the alarm goes off, Clocky jumps off the night stand and starts rolling around the room. You have to chase it down to turn it off.

"I think it's a great idea," said Beeler.

Beeler agrees to try it out so we set up the camera in his room. One moment you can see him in a deep sleep and then the alarm goes off. Sure enough, Clocky jumps off the table and Beeler stumbles out of bed.

"And then you think, 'OK where is it? Now I've got to get out of bed and chase it down because it's loud and annoying,'" said Beeler.

He finds it in a corner and he is up for the day.

"There are a small number of people who might benefit from these approaches," said David Claman M.D., the director of the UCSF Sleep Disorders Center.

We showed the clocks to Claman and asked if it's a good idea to be jolted out of your sleep this way.

"It certainly seems like a very abrupt way to wake up. I don't know that that would be harmful to people, but it would certainly get your heart rate going fast," said Claman.

"I mean it was just so shocking. You're not going to sleep through this," said Sinclair.

If you'd like a more pleasant and helpful way to wake up, I recommend our own ABC7 Alarm Clock App. It will wake you up gently and give you news, sports, weather and traffic alerts -- everything you need to start your day. You can download it free onto your smartphone. Click here for more information on it.


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