Personal Productivity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people wanting to improve their personal productivity. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm looking for new and interesting ways of getting up in the morning instead of settings 30 alarms 2 minutes apart from each other on your phone.

I would like to know your experiences with using any new techniques you know of, and if you have felt refreshed after being woken up?

I strongly believe that 'alarm clocks' are bad, scaring yourself awake can't be a good thing?

I only know of two alternatives to the alarm clock.

Sleep Cycle

This is an app for the iPhone, it records your sleep movements and wakes you up in a 30 minute time period before your set wake up time. It tries to workout when you are in your lightest sleep phase. It also wakes you up with calming music instead of a loud alarm.


  • Feel really great after I wake up


  • Doesn't work with two people in the bed
  • Not guaranteed to wake you up

Bed lifter

This is a bed that sits you up in the morning, so there is no sound. It is also really easy to get out of bed since you are already sitting up.


  • Really easy to get out of bed


  • Quite expensive and difficult to buy
share|improve this question
check out this question, it may help you.… – Jeel Shah Jul 21 '12 at 23:50

10 Answers 10

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Getting up in the morning is one the best things to do. Literally, you can do any work fives times faster during morning than any part of the day. So I always postpone my the works I do during night so that I make it a necessary thing to get up in the morning to get the thing done before I start to office.

So I would suggest you to keep some important work in the morning which you must definitely do before starting to office. Else try exercise in the morning. It will be difficult for a month. Second month on, you will automatically wake up. Hope this helps :)

share|improve this answer
Please note that blanket statements regarding when people work best are suspect, e.g., I don't work best in the morning, at all. I'm also pretty sure you don't mean "literally [...] five times faster"--if you do, provide references, because I don't believe it. I do agree that building a wake-up habit will make it easier to wake up in the morning. – Dave Newton Jul 30 '12 at 1:32
Agreeing with Dave. Blanket statements don't sound pleasant. Please provide references for your claims. – TheIndependentAquarius Feb 18 '14 at 16:01

How about buying this little cute device:

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
Oh wow... I don't think I could use that! – Adam Sep 20 '12 at 10:49
Of course you can. Believe you me, your sleepiness will disappear in a second. – akond Sep 20 '12 at 11:14
I could order an item that I really want every day to come at 7am, I always get out of bed for new things :) – Adam Sep 20 '12 at 15:24
Seems like a gimmick. What's stopping someone from simply turning off the alarm, taking out the money, and going back to sleep? – imagineerThis Nov 21 '13 at 22:30
I would have trouble getting to sleep in the first place. Poor Franklin... – Calculus Knight Apr 23 '15 at 17:14

I would say the best thing for me is to have a proper and consistent sleep schedule. Going to sleep everyday at the same exact time, and waking up an exact 9 hours later. The more in sync with the sun you are, the better.

Having a physically active lifestyle, that is also regular and consistent helps a lot. Your metabolism will be faster and you will have more energy.

Lastly, when nothing else works, if you can get a nice someone to give you a BJ, that work wonders.

share|improve this answer

In Education of Millionaires author Michael Ellsberg has a great idea that he calls "20 second rule" which basically states that you are less likely to do anything that takes longer than 20 seconds.

I don't want to go into details (read the book - it's a good read) but you will be more likely to wake up if the first task that you need to do after waking up will take you less than 20 seconds. For example - if you would like to do somethings on a computer and it boots for a minute or so you are less likely to do it. If you want to exercise but putting on your training gear takes you more than 20 seconds you will probably procrastinate.

If exercising in the morning is a preferred option try and experiment - sleep in your gym / jogging clothes, so going through the door will take you less than 20s, for a month. Assuming that forming a habit takes ~30days - after a month you should be an early riser :)

share|improve this answer

I use a two alarm system, but with a meaningful difference from the one you describe: The first alarm sets music playing and gradually increases the volume over a longer time period (currently 15 minutes), and then just around when the music hits full volume, a second beeper alarm goes off.

I manage this with the Android App Alarm Clock Xtreme which actually can launch Pandora (making the music selection different each morning, preventing me from coming to hate a song I used to love). I don't know offhand of an iPhone or desktop or standalone device alternative, but I am confident such a thing exists.

Additionally, there's something called a sun alarm clock, which gradually brightens and is meant to rouse you from sleep the way sunrise/dawn does. I am pretty sure this would not work for me, at least not without a sonic alarm alongside it, but it might help you.

share|improve this answer

I bought a clock radio with a CD player. I can set it to play a music CD at some time early than I need to get up. Gentle music, pleasant. David Darling's Eight String Religion worked great. I would wake up anytime during the first 20 minutes or so, and never slept through the whole thing.

A CD that gets louder, more assertive, faster at the end might be best if you fear sleeping through it.

Avoid CDs that are too relaxing. For a while due to circumstances I had no CDs but for a hypnotherapy CD friend made for massage therapists to use. (I helped with its production.) Very smooth, gentle, meditative - trying to pull the listener down deep! Now that was an interesting way to wake up.

share|improve this answer
+1 I just discovered David Darling thanx to your answer... :-) – Stephane Rolland Nov 4 '12 at 12:47

You should go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time everyday To wake up fresh, and in the morning, Drink a glass of water and make some exercises, start your day with smile...

share|improve this answer

I use the Sleeptracker watch. It works as follows. You set alarm time, e.g. 8.00, and a window size, e.g. 30 min. It monitors movements of your body, which reportedly indicate 'almost-awake' moments (because during deep sleep your body is motionless). A person usually has 15-20 almost-awake moments during a night. The watch wakes you up with a vibration at the first almost-awake moment during your window (in our example, the window is 7.30-8.00). If no such moments occur in the window (which is unlikely), it just wakes you up at 8.00.

Regarding the effect, I can say that the device reduces stress of waking up significantly because: 1) it does not ring, but vibrate on your arm; 2) it does it at the right time, when you are almost awake.

The downside is that it is still up to you to stand up and not fall asleep again. Many times I decided to lay in bed a bit (after the watch vibrates), and then found myself sleeping for another 30-60 min. So you should be self-disciplined enough or use other techniques to actually go out of bed. See, e.g. How to prevent oneself from lounging around in bed, instead of getting out of it and starting the day?

share|improve this answer

There's also FreakyAlarm for iOS, which makes you solve simple logic/math problems before the alarm will turn off. It's surprisingly effective.

The app lets you set various priority levels for your alarms, and varies the number of problems you have to solve based on this.

Not only does this eliminate the possibility of infinite snooze cycles, but it makes my brain actually wake up because I have to run through 2-3 logic/math problems first thing after waking up.

share|improve this answer

I call it the box of pain.

It's as simple as it gets or as complex as you want it to be.

The concept is to have a box with little holes and lock the most strident alarm clock available inside it. Then you make opening the box as difficult and time consuming as you can.

My ideal design was a wooden small box with a padlock. Then the key is placed as out of reach as possible (e.g. above a bookshelf, in a diametrically opposed room of the house, inside an arm-deep water vessel; you name it)

However I improvised one out of an ink's bottle cardboard case and many rubber bands closing it in intricate ways. Then I placed it out of reach, above a bookshelf of my room with the help of a chair and returned it to the living room. My room's chair had wheels, which would prevent my half-asleep self to use it to reach the box.

And this is why during a certain period of my life I used to wake up in the living room.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.