Alternative Alarm Clocks

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Ken: …intuitive. It knows. Ryan Eldridge here from Nerds on Call and Ryan, I wanna wake up refreshed. How can I do that?

Ryan: Well, better than waking up refreshed, what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna stop that addiction to that snooze button when you’re slapping it all the time.

Ken: I just wanna get two more minutes

Ryan: I don’t know about you, but I wake up really angry with that alarm when it goes off. I wanna beat it up. So here’s some cool things you can do to wake up, just some apps you can put on your phone. So the first one is called Fred O’Clock and I’ve got it listed it up here on my iPad here. And what you do is when the alarm goes off in order to turn it off, you have to play a game of Simon.

Ken: Nope. I’m throwing that across the room.

Ryan: There’s other games you can also get on there so you can have…there’s one that’s like hunt the battleship where it kinda goes around. So for three bucks you can get a bunch of different games you can play.

Ken: There are a lot of folks that wake up and they’re not even remotely ready to do anything like this. When you first wake up, you’re like, “Ugh.”

Ryan: Users report that you turning on the brain real quickly like that actually wakes them up and makes them feel ready to go for the day. So that’s kinda cool.

Ken: All right, I like that.

Ryan: So one of the other ones is called Wake and Shake. This is another one that’s just gonna drive you crazy. When it goes off…I’ll set it up, this will go off in a few seconds…but when it goes off, you have to shake the bejesus out of your…

Ken: Oh, so like throwing it across the room would be the same thing.

Ryan: Kinda like that, but there’s different levels. The funniest thing here is you can go all the way up to Impossible, where it will just never go off, all the way down to Teddy Bear, where you just gotta gently shake it. So you have to shake it to turn it off and it’s called Wake and Shake. Another cool one is, this one’s called Sleep Cycle. And the cool part about Sleep Cycle is it tracks what you do while you’re sleeping.

Ken: Right.

Ryan: It turns on the microphone on your your phone or your iPad.

Ken: Okay.

Ryan: You set it next to your nightstand and it monitors you throughout the night. And so it tells you how good you slept. So you can see on mine, I didn’t sleep well at all. You’re smiling.

Ken: Because I wanna use it. Also recording if you talk in your sleep?

Ryan: It’s recording everything.

Ken: So if you’re talking in your sleep and…yeah.

Ryan: But it knows when you’re turning around and when you’re making noises and grunts and whatever. And it kinda tracks how you’re sleeping and you can see over time how you’re sleeping and how well you’re doing. And the alarm sounds are really nice. When it turns on, it’s just so pleasant. And then you can buy extra ringtones and things for it.

And then of course the SensorWake. We talked about this after CES this year. The cool part about this is it’s got little pods that you put in there and it wakes you up with smell. And so you can get the smell of croissant or the smell of espresso or seaside or whatever.

Ken: I kinda like that.

Ryan: And it just kinda wakes you up gently. And this one’s gonna be available in June. It’s about 89 bucks. And then we turned this one on, but it didn’t work. So this is the Clocky. This is about 40 or 50 bucks and it’s got little wheels on it and when the alarm goes off, it’s supposed to roll off, fall to the floor and just take off and run around. But unfortunately it didn’t turn on and we were hoping to turn it on. But you gotta chase it down to turn it off.

Ken: Oh, so that’s two things I’m throwing out the window. Once I catch it, right? Once I catch it, I’m either kicking that thing or I’m throwing it out the window.

Ryan: So these are just different ways you can cut your addiction to the old snooze button and just wake up a little different.

Ken: I like it. Giving you different options. Although I’m worried about that thing recording me sleep-talking. I don’t know what I’m saying in my sleep. Ryan Eldridge, Nerds on Call. We always have the information linked to our site at Cody, back to you.


Do you have a love-hate relationship with your snooze button? Everybody loves 5 or 10 more minutes of sleep, but sometimes the consequences are dire. The Nerds from Nerds on call are here with some great alternative alarm clocks to get you out of bed and break your snooze button habit. The harsh buzz or beep of an alarm clock is not a very pleasant way to start your day, which is why these alternative alarm clocks break from the norm and wake you up by invigorating your mind, not just your ears.

  1. Fred O'Clock

    Fred O’Clock is a free app for iOS devices that forces you to play a classic game from your childhood in order to turn off your alarm. The free version comes with a basic memory game to help wake your mind up so that you have a harder time falling back asleep. The creators promise that engaging your brain as soon as you wake up really gets you out of bed and moving around. Although the free version comes with just one game, for $2.99 you can get 5 more games including: Play That Song, Mindbender, Space Attack, Submarine Hunt, and Catch the Comet. Fred O’Clock is a great app for iPhone users, but for Android users there is the Mimicker App from Microsoft. With the Mimicker App, users are forced to perform tasks like making a face to show a certain emotion, or repeating a tongue twister to turn off the alarm. These apps are not necessarily alternative alarm clocks, but they can provide an effective way to get you out of bed without hitting that snooze button.

  2. Clocky

    The Clocky is a fairly traditional alarm clock with a twist. It is an alarm clock on wheels that is designed to run away from you when your alarm sounds. If you do not get up, the alarm will roll off of your nightstand and you will have to get out of bed to find it and shut it off. The durable design is meant to safely make a three foot drop from nightstand to floor, so you don’t need to worry about your clock being smashed. Clocky also includes an option that allows you to get one snooze cycle in before it runs away. The Clocky was one of the first alternative alarm clock and is sure to get you out of bed quickly and effectively. As soon as you get up and leave the warmth of your sheets, you will be ready for your day; after you find your Clocky, that is.

  3. Wake N' Shake



    The next option on our list of alternative alarm clocks is one that has been referred to as “the merciless alarm clock.” Wake N’ Shake is an app that costs $0.99 and is designed to help you get the blood flowing through your body as soon as you wake up. Once the alarm goes off, the only way to silence it is to shake your phone until the “meter” is full. Once you have shaken your phone enough, the alarm will subside and you can do what you choose. Although this alarm clock won’t exactly make you sweat, it is a great way to wake your body and your mind with the same process. Wake N’ Shake also has an option for quick naps that can be set with the tap of a button. You can choose from a variety of different alarm sounds, which makes shaking your phone vigorously in the early morning a but more bearable.

  4. Sleep Cycle

    For a gentler alternative to the previously mentioned alarm clocks, Sleep Cycle is a great program. This app will track and analyze your sleeping habits and patterns as you sleep. By tracking your sleep cycles, the app will attempt to wake you up at the best possible time in a gentle, pleasing manner. Once you are awake, you can review detailed statistics of your sleeping habits and motion so that you can determine how to get a better night’s sleep. TechRadar, Wired, and the Wall Street Journal all swear that this app really works: from the graphing and statistics portion to help you wake up feeling relaxed and refreshed. Sleep Cycle is a free app that can seriously alter your sleeping habits for the better, making it one of our favorite alternate alarm clocks for those of us who just want some solid sleep!

  5. SensorWake

    Although not available until June, the SensorWake makes our list of alternative alarm clocks because it is revolutionary. SensorWake is an olfactory alarm clock that wakes you up with a scent. The “alarm” is just a small hatch that spritzes fragrance until you shut it off. According to a SensorWake study, 99% of users woke up within 2 minutes of the scents being sprayed. The fragrances that wake you are pleasant yet jarring such as peppermint, chocolate, coffee, and croissants. If you happen to be sick or have a stuffed nose, SensorWake also includes a backup audible alarm that goes off after 3 minutes of fragrance. Right now you can pre-order the SensorWake for a price of $89, but you will also need to buy the fragrance packs, which will cost around $11 for a pack of two which is good for about 60 wake ups. This new age alarm is a great place to end our list of the best alternative alarm clocks.

About The Author: Andrea Andrea Eldridge is CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, a computer repair company that specializes in on-site and online service for homes and businesses. Andrea is the writer of a weekly column, Nerd Chick Adventures in The Record Searchlight. She prepares TV segments for and appears regularly on CBS, CW and FOX on shows such as Good Day Sacramento, More Good Day Portland, and CBS 13 News, offering viewers technology and lifestyle tips. See Andrea in action at

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