Hey look, I got a new toy.
Here’s the problem I was having. My wife has to get up around 7:00 to get to work by 8. I, on the other hand, get up at the ungodly hour of 5:30, which gives me time to write my blog post and still be at work by 7.
I was using my cell phone’s alarm clock feature – in vibrate mode – to wake me up. The motor in the phone was so loud I could set it on the night stand and the sound alone would wake me. In fact, it would wake Betsy, too.
An hour and a half early.
You see the problem.
The concept of the LARK is simple: you wear a wristband to bed, and it wakes you up by vibrating – quietly, so you’re woken by touch, not sound. You can sneak out of bed so your wife keeps sleeping.
We’ve been on this new routine for almost two weeks now. The verdict? It works. I wake up, Betsy sleeps. Mission accomplished.
That said, it has some drawbacks:
- The LARK wristband inexplicably requires you to download an iPhone app to set your alarm, which means you have to have an iPhone (or iPad). Why they would narrow their target audience so drastically is beyond me.
- The app also has some trouble connecting to the wristband. It often tells you to hook up the wristband to the docking/charging station so it can connect, even though the wristband is already docked. Often you actually have to remove the wristband from the dock to make it work. It’s fine once you figure out the quirks, but this is something they easily could’ve fixed. (Fortunately, the wristband alarm will go off even if the connection is broken.)
- The vibration is quieter than my phone’s, quiet enough that it gets the job done, but it’s still very much audible. I could imagine it waking someone if they were a light sleeper.
- The damn thing costs a hundred dollars. Yeah, there are cheaper products out there that do the same thing, but they all had serious problems. (One wristband had buttons on the band itself, and if you accidentally hit the wrong button while sleeping, it could turn the alarm off!)
The LARK app has some other features, too: it’ll track your sleeping statistics and even (at an extra cost) act as a sleeping “coach,” provided you care enough to set up a username and password. I do not.
So. Money well spent? I’d say so. But for as much money as I did spend, you’d think they could’ve worked out some of those issues.
What’s your wake-up situation? Do you have any kind of unusual alarm or system? Have you ever had the same problem I did, and if so, what did you do?