Emerging Tech

Wake up at the right time with a bio-alarm clock

At the end of August, I published a blog post about how technology (specifically, electronic gadgets) is responsible for "junk sleep." Right around the same time, another news story surfaced about bio-alarm clocks. Supposedly, the bio-alarm is designed to wake up the sleeper at the "perfect" time, as if there is such a thing.

At the end of August, I published a blog post about how technology (specifically, electronic gadgets) is responsible for "junk sleep." Right around the same time, another news story surfaced about bio-alarm clocks. Supposedly, the bio-alarm is designed to wake up the sleeper at the "perfect" time, as if there is such a thing. See the Reuters story: "Bio-alarm clocks set for perfect wake-up."

Here's a snippet from the article:

The clocks detect brainwaves or body movements and are programmed to wake sleepers during light sleep, which occurs periodically through the night. ... Sleep cycles vary from 90 to 110 minutes, so the bio-alarm clocks have a roughly 30-minute margin of error.

Boris Abramov, a fellow who decided to try out the Sleeptracker bio-alarm, thought that the device worked fairly well if he had a good night's sleep, but he would sleep through the alarm when he was stressed or worked late hours. From this particular review, it doesn't sound like the bio-alarm is well suited for many IT professionals.

If you're interested in finding out more about bio-alarms, the following devices are currently available:

  • Sleeptracker: This wristband has an accelerometer that reads specific movements common during light sleep
  • SleepSmart: This headband has circuits and sensors that read electrical brain waves that vary in frequency during light and heavy sleep
  • aXbo Sleep Phase Alarm Clock: A wristband that reads body movements

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

3 comments
stever1
stever1

Wait a minute, you guys sleep???

andrew.quee
andrew.quee

...it's called no clock. About 2 years ago I was having real problems with staying up too late, getting up too early and being overtired and cranky. Microsleeping while coding is not a good idea. As I have flexible working hours and can work more or less each day to 'bank' time, I decided I would give up the alarm, and sleep as much as I _need_ to. If I find myself losing time each day, that's a signal I need to get to bed earlier and get more sleep. It works really well. I feel much better, more motivated and I'm ready for each day's challange, rather than just 'warming a seat'

mjd420nova
mjd420nova

It doesn't matter what time I sent on the alarm, I'm awake before it goes off. Usually around five minutes before the time I sent, I'm awake and up. Turning off the alarm and starting my day. This has worked flawlessly regardless of what time I need to get up, even when it's the wee hours like 2 or 3 AM.

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