Part of the difficulty with alarm clocks has to do with an inability to appreciate their one purpose in life is to ruin a perfectly good nights sleep. They are evil, the enemy, and they have the unmitigated gall to go off or come on, which is really closer to the truth, whenever I am in my deepest, most restful slumber. The fact that I have programmed them to do so is not the point, (or at least not one that I am willing to look at). A counter productive approach works best here; muffle the sound even if you have to throw the damn thing out the window!
We have come a long way from Levi Hutchins traditional spring-wound clockwork device of long ago. Today, there are many ways in which your sleep can be successfully ruined. Honorable mention goes to the volume switch on the radio alarm clock, which can control exactly how high you jump out of bed when the thing goes off! (High ceiling bedrooms offer the best odds here.) The degree of arousal and awareness is dependent on the radio station selected to wake you up. Why choose falling water or soft music? It will only soothe you awake and permit everyone else in your house to sleep a bit longer. Misery loves company. If you have to get up, do it to a significant drum roll or Heavy Metal. If you are very cultured in your waking hours, consider The William Tell Overture at full blast! (The Lone Ranger wont mind.)
And now a few words about the sleep and snooze alarms. The sleep button is most annoying because its name belies its purpose. It allows the radio to come on and then go off suddenly, without even saying goodbye. The snooze alarm is a tricky little dicky that will pretend to be your friend. Actually, its process of granting you some respite and then taking it away reminds me of some ancient Chinese torture, like the death of a thousand egg rolls. Setting it an hour before you need to get up might make you feel like you are ahead of the game, but consider how much better you would sleep if there was no alarm and no snooze aid to help it along! Traitors and assassins to the innocent sleepers of the world, they are. Shall we unite? Heres a plan.
Buy several alarm clocks and set them to go off at five-minute intervals. Then spend the night somewhere else. Thats one way of telling them it isnt so even when they say it is! Set the clock and put it in another room. It may disturb someone else, but at least it wont be you this time! Keep a hammer by the bed and smash the alarm clock whenever it dares to ruin your sleep. You will win, but it will cost you, Last but not least, consider getting a rooster instead of a clock and keep him happy.
If all this fails and you feel you must come to terms with an alarm of some type in your home, at least learn to customize. I would like mine to resemble a hand grenade. The pop could be the alarm and I'm sure that the ensuing explosion would make me jump out of bed at least a foot! If you are the quiet, walk-in-the-woods, open-shoe type, you may enjoy the Zen clocks that are available on the market today. They depict harmony in nature with Japanese wave, cloud and sushi designs. Or perhaps the worlds largest alarm clock is more your speed. Its sellers boast a bell of more than four inches in diameter. Celebrity alarm clocks will certainly appeal to the more star-struck among us. Made to look and sound like your favorite famous people, you can have The Everly Brothers admonish you to "Wake Up Little Susie" even if your name is Maurice. Marilyn Monroe whispering sweet nothings into a male ear is guaranteed to arouse (more than an ear, Id say). The skys the limit, but you do have to wake up. Theres that.
All that being said, clocks usually leave me alone. I am an early riser and even though I set the clock, I usually get up before it has a chance to do me in. Its almost a point of principle for me and I like it that way. I suppose alarm clocks are here to stay and that they do some good, after all. Why, we couldnt go to war if we were all asleep, now could we? Nor could we pay taxes, go to work, get tired or even start forest fires. A comatose environment seems best. Are you with me or no? If so, sound the alarm. Once its, "Yes," and two its, "Well, maybe."
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