Song of the LARK

I sleep with it, and it vibrates. The Lego robot's going to be jealous!

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.

(Official site is here.)

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?

14 responses to “Song of the LARK

  1. I use my phone’s alarm…which goes off in :30 minute intervals starting at 2:30am up till 7am.

    Yes, I’m insane.

    I usually sleep through the 2:30-3:30am alarms anyways. But usually get the 4am alarm, which is what I’m looking for.

    I learned that I can sleep for 5 hours and be fully rested. I also listen to this meditation CDs when I wake up, which sometimes put me back to sleep, that’s why I have another alarm to wake me up again after I wake up the first time.

    My goal is to return to the routine I had that allowed me to I write my first novel in 3 weeks: Bed at 9pm, up at 4am, write 3k words or more from 5am – 8am or later. repeat.

    So far…unsuccessful, It’s hard getting up early when I don’t really have to. Siigh.

  2. I feel ya man. My wife and I bought a white noise machine so she could sleep over my snoring. It actually works really well but the only problem is that if I wake up a little early I can’t get back to sleep because the darn thing makes need to pee (her favorite noise is the sound of the ocean and rushing waves).

  3. What a great alarm clock. It would have come in really handy a couple of years ago. My husband’s shiftwork means that he occasionally has to be out of bed at 4:00am to get ready for work, and it drove me insane that his alarm woke me up at that ridiculous time.

    Now, I have my own special alarm clock. It’s a baby who wakes up at 4:00am for a feed every morning. There’s not even a snooze button, his “alarm” call just keeps getting louder and louder until I make it through the house to his bedroom.

  4. Can’t say I’ll be much help here if that’s what you’re looking for. This is what my wake-up calls look like:
    5:45 am: Wake up to alarm. Groan, hit sleep button, and then close eyes. . .
    5:58 Be woken up by second alarm (At least I’m smart enough to know I fall asleep right after the first alarm goes off)
    6:00 emerge into the world with fresh clothes. Proceed to eat breakfast, then brush teeth, then go to school.
    Proceed through school day, get home, check writing blogs if memory doesn’t fail epicly, do homework, write, then (If time) play a few video games for a half hour or so.
    Repeat every week day.
    πŸ™‚ (Testing smiley face)
    And thus proceeds the life of every child insane enough to take IB, resulting in all honors classes or even harder AP classes.

  5. That looks like a good solution, although I have a couple of questions…

    First, who took the photo? I was just wondering if you snapped it with your right hand, or if Betsy took the photo? πŸ™‚

    Second, why are you on the floor instead of your bed??

    Third, did you ever try muffling the sound of the phone? if you put it on a some type of cushion and also cover it (perhaps wrap it in a towel), it really reduces the sound of the vibration.

  6. I always wake up a couple minutes before five without fail. I need no complicated, bleating device to regulate how much rest I receive that night!

    My alarm clock serves just to help me pace my morning, organize it, dice it up into neat little sections devoted each to a specific morning-time activity.

  7. 6. Quit smoking – smoking will make snoring worse since the effect
    of smoking would be to block the blood flow inside your veins also as key
    arteries. You will have difficulty breathing.

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