Alarm Clock

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The objective is to reinvent the alarm clock into something that is more natural and effective. I do not know about you but the noise that my alarm clock makes is horrid. It is the worst way to wake up someone. Something like that jerks a person out of bed. I can feel my heart seize/jump when I am awaken by a loud noise and I think that it effects my attitude at the beginning of the day. I know other ways exist and in the end I think this total solution should integrate with an entire home automation system.


I have seen various studies/displays on how effective light is at waking up a person and/or changing the metabolic systems of a person. The sun has been used to wake up humans for a long time. As time moved on we found many sources of light. Fire, candles, electric, etc and as a species we have benefited from the extra time we had to now improve ourselves and the things around us. One of the more recent things that I have heard about is blue light and lighting in general. The sun effects various means and processes that generate some of the regulating chemicals in our body.

Blue Light

FLUX anyone?

One such process that has been found was a coloration between blue light and its absorption into the eye. I have heard both positive and negative effects from the studies on blue light and its effectiveness in waking us up and regulating our sleep schedules. Light in general has many effects on the body and has been shown to do different things to the body under its exposure.

It seems like as far as the eyes are concerned that some of the commercial products that are advertised to help eye health and such are just wrong. It has been shown that the health of yourself and if you have any eye diseases effect how this light effects you.

  • "Include a warning if the product presents a potential blue light hazard for people with retinal disease."
  • "A growing body of research shows that the shorter electromagnetic waves of the light spectrum from blue (also called near-UV) through ultraviolet may be harmful."
  • blue light wavelengths (470nm - 400nm)
  • "According to the CVRL Color & Vision database,63 light waves measuring approximately 470nm to 400nm in length are seen as the color blue. The blue bands of the visible light spectrum are adjacent to the invisible band of ultraviolet (UV) light. UV is located on the short wave, high frequency end of the visible light spectrum, just out of sight past the color violet. It is divided into three wavelengths called UV-A , UV-B, and UV-C. The effects of UV-C (100nm-290nm) are negligible, as the waves are so short they are filtered by the atmosphere before reaching the eyes. UV-A (320nm-400nm) and UV-B (290nm-320nm) are responsible for damaging material, skin, and eyes, with UV-B getting most of the blame. "
  • "Blue light is an important element in "natural" lighting, and it may also contribute to psychological health. Research, however, shows that high illumination levels of blue light can be toxic to cellular structures, test animals, and human fetal retinas."
  • "As is evident in the photographs below, worst contrast (i.e. highest blue content) is provided by fluorescent lamps with ≥3000K color temperatures. Poor color replication also occurs with any lamp with a color temperature of ≤3000. Best contrast (i.e. whitest whites and blackest blacks) and best color replication in this comparison is provided by the 2600K ~ 3400K white LED light source. "
  • "Incandescent and LED lamps are capable of several times the intensity of fluorescent lamps, and there is little danger of reaching hazardous blue light levels. If the intensities of the fluorescent lamps were increased to match the obviously stronger output of the others, the amount of blue light would also increase, possibly compounding any hazard to the retina. The only way to safely increase the intensities of fluorescent lamps to match that of incandescent and halogen lamps would be to significantly decrease the blue and UV wavelengths. Such lamps, however, could then no longer be called full-spectrum or daylight."

While full sunlight is preferred for seasonal affective disorder (SAD)[citation needed], light boxes may be effective for the treatment of the condition. Light boxes for seasonal affective disorder are designed to filter out most UV light, which can cause eye and skin damage.[11] The Mayo Clinic Website states that light therapy is of proven effectiveness for Seasonal Affective Disorder [12] and light therapy is seen as the main form of treatment for SAD. Controlled-trial comparisons with antidepressants show equal effectiveness, with less expense and more rapid onset of therapeutic benefit, though a minority of patients may not respond to it.[13] Direct sunlight, reflected into the windows of a home or office by a computer-controlled mirror device called a heliostat, has also been used as a type of light therapy for the treatment of SAD.[14][15]

It is possible that response to light therapy for SAD could be season dependent.[16]

Light therapy either uses a lightbox which emits up to 10,000 lux of light, much brighter than a customary incandescent lamp, or a lower intensity of specific wavelengths of light from the blue (470 nm) to the green (525 nm) areas of the visible spectrum.[29] Newer light therapy devices use LED technology, making them much smaller and more convenient for users.[30] A 1995 study showed that green light therapy at doses of 350 lux produces melatonin suppression and phase shifts equivalent to 10,000 lux white light therapy[31][32], but another study published in May 2010 suggests that the blue light often used for SAD treatment should perhaps be replaced by green or white illumination, because of a possible involvement of the cones in melatonin suppression.

Considering three major factors - clinical efficacy, ocular and dermatologic safety, and visual comfort - CET recommends the following criteria for light box selection:

  • Any light box you buy should have been tested successfully in peer-reviewed clinical trials.
  • The box should provide 10,000 LUX of illumination at a comfortable sitting distance. Product specifications are often missing or unverified.
  • Fluorescent lamps should have a smooth diffusing screen that filters out ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays are harmful to the eyes and skin.
  • The lamps should give off white light rather than colored light. "Full spectrum" lamps and blue (or bluish) lamps provide no known therapeutic advantage.
  • The light should be projected downward toward the eyes at an angle to minimize aversive visual glare.
  • Smaller is not better: When using a compact light box, even small head movements will take the eyes out of the therapeutic range of the light.[34]

Ultraviolet light causes progressive damage to human skin. This is mediated by genetic damage, collagen damage, as well as destruction of vitamin A and vitamin C in the skin and free radical generation. Ultraviolet light is also known to be a factor in formation of cataracts. Researchers have questioned whether limiting blue light exposure could reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.[35]

Modern phototherapy lamps used in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder and sleep disorders either filter out or do not emit ultraviolet light and are considered safe and effective for the intended purpose, as long as photosensitizing drugs are not being taken at the same time and in the absence of any existing eye conditions. Light therapy is a mood altering treatment, and just as with drug treatments, there is a possibility of triggering a manic state from a depressive state, causing anxiety and other side effects. While these side effects are usually controllable, it is recommended that patients undertake light therapy under the supervision of an experienced clinician, rather than attempting to self-medicate.[36]

It is reported that bright light therapy may activate the production of reproductive hormones, such as testosterone, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and estradiol.[37][38]

There are few absolute contraindications to light therapy, although there are some circumstances in which caution is required. These include when a patient has a condition that might render his or her eyes more vulnerable to phototoxicity, has a tendency toward mania, has a photosensitive skin condition, or is taking a photosensitizing herb (such as St. John's wort) or medication.[39] Patients with porphyria should avoid most forms of light therapy. Patients on certain drugs like methotrexate or chloroquine should use caution with light therapy as there is a chance that these drugs could cause porphyria.

Side effects

Side effects of light therapy for sleep phase disorders include jumpiness or jitteriness, headache, and nausea. Some nondepressive physical complaints (such as poor vision and skin rash or irritation) may improve with light therapy.

Often, people with the disorder report that they cannot sleep until early morning, but fall asleep at about the same time every "night". Unless they have another sleep disorder such as sleep apnea in addition to DSPD, patients can sleep well and have a normal need for sleep. Therefore, they find it very difficult to wake up in time for a typical school or work day. If, however, they are allowed to follow their own schedules, e.g. sleeping from 4 a.m. to noon, they sleep soundly, awaken spontaneously, and do not experience excessive daytime sleepiness.

The major feature of these disorders is a misalignment between the patient's sleep pattern and the sleep pattern that is desired or regarded as the societal norm... In most circadian rhythm sleep disorders, the underlying problem is that the patient cannot sleep when sleep is desired, needed or expected.

Attempting to force oneself onto daytime society's schedule with DSPD has been compared to constantly living with 6 hours of jet lag; the disorder has, in fact, been referred to as "social jet lag".[7] Often, sufferers manage only a few hours sleep a night during the working week, then compensate by sleeping until the afternoon on weekends. Sleeping in on weekends, and/or taking long naps during the day, may give people with the disorder relief from daytime sleepiness but may also perpetuate the late sleep phase.

Treatments that have been reported in the medical literature include:

Light therapy (phototherapy) with a full spectrum lamp or portable visor, usually 10,000 lux for 30–90 minutes at the patient's usual time of spontaneous awakening, or shortly before (but not long before), which is in accordance with the phase response curve (PRC) for light. The use of an LED light therapy device can reduce this to 15–30 minutes.[26] Sunlight can also be used.

Light therapy generally requires adding some extra time to the patient's morning routine. Patients with a family history of macular degeneration are advised to consult with an eye doctor. The use of exogenous melatonin administration (see below) in conjunction with light therapy is common.

Dim lights in the evening, sometimes called darkness therapy. Just as bright light upon awakening should advance one's sleep-phase, bright light in the evening and night delays it (see the PRC). One might be advised to keep lights dim the last hours before bedtime and even wear sunglasses or amber-colored goggles. Attaining an earlier sleep onset, in a dark room with eyes closed, effectively blocks a period of phase-delaying light. An understanding of this is a motivating factor in treatment.

Melatonin taken an hour or so before usual bedtime may induce sleepiness.

Taken this late, it does not, of itself, affect circadian rhythms,[28] but a decrease in exposure to light in the evening is helpful in establishing an earlier pattern. In accordance with its phase response curve (PRC), a very small dose of melatonin can also, or instead, be taken some hours earlier as an aid to resetting the body clock;[29] it must then be so small as to not induce excessive sleepiness.

Side effects of melatonin may include disturbance of sleep, nightmares, daytime sleepiness and depression, though the current tendency to use lower doses has decreased such complaints. Large doses of melatonin can even be counterproductive: Lewy et al.

PHASE RESPONSE CURVES - Chemicals and Light -

Vitamin B12 was, in the 1990s, suggested as a remedy for DSPD, and can still be found to be recommended by many sources. Several case reports were published. However, a review for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in 2007 concluded that no benefit was seen from this treatment.[39]

A strict schedule and good sleep hygiene are essential in maintaining any good effects of treatment. With treatment, some people with mild DSPD may sleep and function well with an early sleep schedule. Caffeine and other stimulant drugs to keep a person awake during the day may not be necessary, and should be avoided in the afternoon and evening, in accordance with good sleep hygiene. A chief difficulty of treating DSPD is in maintaining an earlier schedule after it has been established. Inevitable events of normal life, such as staying up late for a celebration or having to stay in bed with an illness, tend to reset the sleeping schedule to its intrinsic late times.

Its not a disorder its genetics.

Production of melatonin by the pineal gland is inhibited by light and permitted by darkness. For this reason melatonin has been called "the hormone of darkness". Its onset each evening is called the Dim-Light Melatonin Onset (DLMO).

Terman et al. devised a formulation that mimics that gradual washout (vs. the spikes in blood concentration and rapid washout associated with most over-the-counter melatonin tablets). When used several hours before sleep, the compound shifts the circadian clock earlier, thus promoting earlier sleep onset and morning awakening.[89]

It is principally blue light, around 460 to 480nm, that suppresses melatonin,[90] increasingly with increased light intensity and length of exposure. Until recent history, humans in temperate climates were exposed to few hours of (blue) daylight in the winter; their fires gave predominantly yellow light. Wearing glasses that block blue light in the hours before bedtime may avoid melatonin loss. Kayumov et al. showed that light containing only wavelengths greater than 530 nm does not suppress melatonin in bright-light conditions.[91] Use of blue-blocking goggles the last hours before bedtime has also been advised for people who need to adjust to an earlier bedtime, as melatonin promotes sleepiness.[citation needed]

Melanin production

Along with melanocyte-stimulating hormone, melatonin controls the dispersion of melanin throughout melanocyte cells.[115] Melatonin controls pigmentation changes by aggregation of melanin into the melanocytes within the skin, causing the skin to change color. This is responsible for the change in skin color due to amount of sleep or the appearance of those who are sleep deprived, since melatonin also controls the circadian cycle. This interaction is also responsible for the skin color of elderly people, since melatonin production reduces with age.[citation needed]

Don't light up. Keep digital clocks out of view, urges Mednick — who adds that lights blinking on your BlackBerry, computer, or television can also disrupt slumber. Even worse, a visible clock can be a stressful reminder of how much time you've spent tossing and turning, which can make it harder to sleep peacefully. So can exposure to bright light during your two-minute trip to the bathroom. “Even a little light can decrease melatonin levels, making it difficult to fall back to sleep,” says Mednick.


  • Melatonin notes are important!!!


I would think that something gradually getting louder would be better then the defcon alert alarm that most have now. But would it wake you? I know that someone mentioned that the same alarm clock noise everyday will not work eventually. That you will just block it out because you are used to it.

Ditch your bleeping alarm clock. “The loud sound that wakes you up from deep sleep is too much of a transition for the brain and body,” says Mednick. “Your brain is still moving very slowly and can't adjust to the fast, bright waking world. It can take 30 minutes to an hour to fully clear your head.” She recommends replacing a conventional alarm clock with one that “wakes you up gradually, either with light or with gongs that start very quietly,” she says. (Most come with quirky names like Peaceful Progression or the Zen Timepiece.)


Chill out (for real). Keeping your body cool at night signals it to fall into a deeper, more restful sleep, says psychiatrist Sara Mednick, author of "Take a Nap! Change Your Life" (Workman Publishing). Turn down the thermostat in your room to 68 degrees, she says.

Your sleeping body is very sensitive to temperature. If you turn your heat down at night and have a timer on your thermostat, you can set the heat to come back on about an hour before you want to wake up. Assuming you were at a comfortable sleeping temperature all night, this should prompt you to awaken. You can also use temperature in conjunction with light, since sunlight hitting your bed directly will warm you up. You may even be able to choose what blankets you use so that you will be comfortable throughout the night (your body temperature drops after midnight), but begin to get too hot as your body temperature naturally rises (regardless of external temperature), toward the end of your sleep cycle. If you want to take a brief nap outside on a hot day (when you are camping or backpacking, for instance), you can choose someplace to sleep where you will be in a shadow initially, but where you will eventually be in the sun.


If you drink coffee regularly, the easiest way to use smell as a trigger to awake is to put your coffee maker in your bedroom and set its timer for just before when you want to wake up. Smell is not generally a reliable way to wake up, though, so use this in combination with other methods.

After Waking Up

Give yourself goose bumps. We weren't very excited to learn that a cool shower is better than a warm one. But Mark Mahowald, professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, says that simply making your shower a few degrees cooler will increase alertness. And if you're daring, some neuroscientists theorize that taking a truly cold shower (68 degrees) could increase levels of beta-endorphins and produce a sense of well-being, says Orly Avitzur, a neurologist in Tarrytown, New York, and editor in chief of the American Academy of Neurology Web site. Adding a peppermint body wash or shampoo to the mix puts even more spring in your step, says Rachel Herz, author of "The Scent of Desire" (William Morrow) and visiting professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University Medical School. (She co-created Scentology's Endurance Enhancer, an energizing peppermint-based fragrance.) “Numerous studies have shown that people are stronger, faster, and more attentive after exposure to peppermint,” according to Herz. One such study, at Wheeling Jesuit University, found that athletes exposed to the scent could do more push-ups.

Start drinking. Down two eight-ounce glasses of plain water as soon as the alarm goes off. “We all wake up dehydrated,” says Susan Kleiner, a dietitian and author of "The Good Mood Diet" (Springboard Press). This is a problem, considering that every biochemical reaction — all of our thinking processes and our muscle contractions — depend on us having enough water.

Get your Omega-3s. These fatty acids “are critically important in improving brain function, energy, and mood,” says Kleiner, who has been known to add omega-3-rich salmon to her morning omelet. Taking a 1,000- to 1,500-milligram supplement every day may also produce energizing benefits in a week.

Try some caffeine. The stimulant not only inhibits the body's chemicals responsible for drowsiness, but it also prompts the release of adrenaline, which speeds heart rate, opens the lungs' breathing tubes, increases blood flow to the muscles, and causes the liver to release sugar into the bloodstream. An eight-ounce cup in the morning (or about 50 milligrams of caffeine) is enough to kick-start most people into the land of the living, according to Thorpy. Just steer clear of those fat- and sugar-laden milk shakes masquerading as coffee. The best brew is a latte, says Kleiner: “The protein and carbohydrates in milk are ideal for fueling the brain and muscles.”

14. Breathe deeply The first thing you should do in the morning is take some deep breaths into your stomach and concentrate on waking up. Imagine breathing in a bright white light that makes your body feel happy and light.


Oxygen/CO2 Buildup

Sleep Environment

Noises keeping you awake

Different people have different tolerances to noise when they're trying to sleep, but on average a sound exposure level above 55 dBA causes a sleeping person to awaken. However, even if a noise doesn't fully wake you up, it can cause other disturbances as you sleep. You have more restless body movements, your heart rate goes up, your blood pressure increases, your breathing changes. These physiological effects are seen with sound exposure levels as low as 40 dBA.

Because loud or unusual noises often signaled danger in the lives of our ancestors, we have inherited from them an automatic "fight or flight" response to noise, which releases energizing stress hormones to prepare us to take emergency action. This response occurs in a primitive part of the brain (the amygdala), and triggers stress hormone secretions even when we're asleep. If this happens repeatedly, over time our stress hormone levels can become chronically elevated, a condition which is associated with a wide range of negative health effects.

Sun lights

Sleep Study yourself? Cams?


Watch out for Sunday-night insomnia. Yes, it can be caused by workweek dread. But more often it's the result of erratic sleep behavior on the weekends — when you're more likely to stay out until 2 A.M. and lounge in bed past 10 the next day. The solution, says Michael Thorpy, director of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, is to put yourself on a sleep schedule and stick to it seven days a week. “It's the single most important thing you can do to improve your energy level,” he says.

Don't procrastinate. Slapping the snooze bar only postpones the inevitable — and leaves you with the kind of fragmented sleep that makes you feel groggy. Set the alarm for the time you really have to get up, and place the clock across the room — so you're forced into the vertical position.

Video: Vanquish the anguish of secondhand stress Hit the gym. “Exercise increases blood pressure and heart rate and activates the whole sympathetic nervous system,” says Thomas Plante, professor of psychology at Santa Clara University in California. For those with no major cardiovascular problems, “this wakes you up and gives you a healthy boost in the morning.” The most energizing workouts, according to Plante's research: solo outdoor activities, which expose you to energy-boosting sunlight and “aren't so draining, because you don't have to worry about keeping up conversation.”

Take a walk, drink water, eat carbs and protein during day.

but if you want to actually remember any of it, go to bed. Robert Stickgold, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has spent nearly 20 years proving that getting a good night's sleep helps etch memories and new skills into the brain. In one 2005 study, Stickgold had subjects type a numerical sequence in the morning and again 12 hours later (without a sleep break). The group that learned the sequence in the evening and returned after a night of sleep for testing was 20 percent faster — and became 35 percent faster after three nights of sleep.

Drink a tall glass of water before going to bed. You will find that you wake up very promptly.and will occasionally have to wake up and use the bathroom, so you'll be up at least 30 minutes before target time.

Calculate the number of hours before your intended wake-up time. If possible, try to sleep for a multiple of about 90 minutes; your sleep cycle repeats in approximately 90 minute intervals (this will differ from person to person). You can use this to your advantage, as it's easier to awaken from the lighter part (the end) of your sleep cycle.

Envision your wake-up time. As you lie in bed, think about the time at which you want to wake. Visualize a clock with that time on it, and visualize yourself getting up at that time. You may even find it helpful to tell yourself out loud, “I will wake up at (the desired time).” While this may sound silly, controlled experiments have revealed that many people can use these techniques to successfully and regularly awaken at the correct time without using an alarm or other external trigger. How the brain manages to keep track of the hours is unknown.

Use your alarm clock as a backup. If you have an alarm clock available, and you absolutely must wake up at a certain time, it is best to set it to shortly after you normally wake up just in case this method doesn’t work. Additionally, using an alarm clock may also help you to wake up before the alarm goes off because you will truly expect to awake at that time. This strong expectation should prompt the release of adrenocorticotropin. While adding this step doesn’t really free you from the alarm clock, you may still be able to enjoy awakening without the harsh jolt of the alarm.

Go to bed happy with your partner, Meditate, pray and calm down before going to bed, Keep the window open, Go to the toilet.

Cut out noise, it’s actually killing you! I recently read in New Scientist Magazine that your life is actually being shortened by noise during the night. Yep, that’s right… that screaming police car or roaring traffic is actually killing you! The magazine said that the noise has an effect on your heart and waking up many times during the night puts your body under a lot of stress.

Sleepers can become accustomed to the sound of their alarm clock if it has been used for a period of time, making it less effective. Because progressive alarm clocks have a complex waking procedure, they can deter this adaptation due to the body needing to adapt to more stimuli than just a simple sound alert.

Scientific studies on sleep having shown that sleep stage at awakening is an important factor in amplifying sleep inertia. Alarm clocks involving sleep stage monitoring appeared on the market in 2005.[12] Using sensing technologies such as EEG electrodes or accelerometers, these alarm clocks are supposed to wake people only from light sleep.