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
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Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.