4 Ways To Wake Up That Are Better Than Your Alarm Clock

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It is time to turn off that alarm clock. For decades, we’ve leaned on the song-blasting, buzzing, screeching, or dinging of an alarm clock to get the day going. Turns out, these loud, even jolting wake up calls might be making you feel even less rested.

Maybe you’ve found yourself extra foggy after that 6am wake up? Or by 10am, you’re feeling like you got not sleep at all? Studies show this feeling might just be from how you woke up. (Looking at you, loud alarm clock.) A study by the National Institute of Industrial Health in Japan found that participants who were suddenly woken up by an alarm, rather than naturally waking, experienced higher blood pressure and a higher heart rate thanks to a sudden interruption in the REM cycle.

When you are in your deepest sleep period during the REM cycle and your body is not truly ready to stir, sound has been used as the easiest way to get up and going for the day. But by forcing awakening from a deep sleep, you may trigger sleep inertia, characterized by reduced mental and physical performance like grogginess, muscle weakness, or feeling a strong desire to go back to sleep despite a good night’s rest, according to the Sleep Foundation. This is most common for people who have varying waketimes throughout the week whether from a sporadic shift-based schedule or varying wakeup routines from one week to the next. But no more. It’s time to nix the harsh sound strategy with these alternatives:


Haptics, or tactical responses, is a type of alert that uses feeling like a vibration rather than sound. Think of a subtle thump or pulsating feeling that mimics a soft tapping sensation. The Apple Watch already has some impressive features to monitor sleep, but you can also utilize its sleep haptics options for a subtle, soothing wake up tool. The sleep feature allows you to set sleep goals, bedtime reminders, and change your alarm tones to just haptics.


Studies show that keeping your sleeping in alignment with the natural falling and rising of the sun is optimal for health. And if you’re not getting enough light, it can really disrupt your circadian rhythm or internal clock. More and more science is unveiling the beneficial impacts of light therapy beyond just as a wake up tool. (Light therapy is a 2021 Wellness Trend, by the way!) But rising with this sun isn’t necessarily realistic. So, we are opting for light-based sleep devises as the go-to way to calmly start the day.

The Hatch Restore is a good solution. Combining a sound machine, sunrise alarm, smart light, meditation app, and an alarm clock into one smart sleep assistant, you can program it with your own sleep routine to help you wind down and wake up refreshed.

hatch rest

Hatch Rest — $60.00

The Hatch Rest comes with 11 sounds (crickets, rain, white noise, birds, wind, ocean, water stream, dryer, and three lullabies), a customizable nightlight, a light library, sleep programs and ability to create a sleep and dream schedule, a time-to-rise feature, different colored lights, and more. The Rest is compatible with Apple and Android. It also comes with a free Rest Mini with purchase.

Hatch is also helping the kiddos learn better sleeping and waking skills. The Rest Mini creates a calming environment that soothes them to sleep by blocking out unwanted noise for nap or bedtime.

rest mini

Hatch Rest Mini — $40.00

The Rest Mini comes with eight sounds (heartbeat, water, white noise, dryer, ocean, wind, rain and birds) and can be controlled remotely with Apple and Android phones (using the Simple Companion app).



No, we don’t mean blasting any old alarm sound. An Australian study found that melodic tones are optimal for waking up calmly and naturally. Look for an alarm clocks with options for melodies that rise and fall. Researchers noted that the presence of sound transitions “increase arousal, cognition and attention, which may potentially lead to reduce effects of sleep inertia.” Try the minimalist OneClock alarm clock that utilizes these scientifically studied tones, tempos, and frequencies for a much more enjoyable wakeup.

Warming functions

There is nothing more calming and relaxing than hopping in a cozy bed. And while it’s the best for dozing after a long day, you can now channel that same feeling for waking up. Smart mattresses hitting the market are coming armed with a thermal alarm system that provide temperature regulating technology control with a coinciding sleep app for your smart phone. Set your ideal sleeping temperature for a good night’s rest and a preferred gradual temperature change that will wake you up slowly and comfortably using warmth. No pesky loud noises needed.

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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