The 10 Best Bluetooth Alarm Clocks
A Brief History Of Alarm Clocks
His also tracked the movement of the stars, presumably for those times when you wanted to take a really long nap.
Portable alarms and clock radios hit the scene, with that glorious snooze button not far on their heels.
Waking up on time isn't easy. If it were, we wouldn't need so much help to do it every morning. Luckily, however, late-risers have enjoyed good company over the centuries, as alarm clocks can trace their origins back through quite an impressive lineage.
The first alarm clock we have record of belonged to the famed Greek philosopher Plato, who had a water clock that would make a sound like a pipe organ when it was time for him to rise for his lectures. Other early models featured pebbles dropping on gongs or air forced through reeds to rouse users from their slumber.
In 725 C.E., the Chinese engineer Yi Xing devised another water clock, but this one had elaborate puppet shows and gongs that went off at designated times. His also tracked the movement of the stars, presumably for those times when you wanted to take a really long nap.
Many of these early clocks, especially those that became popular in Europe in subsequent years, were quite large, owing to the vast array of gears necessary to operate them. They were designed for public use and placed in town squares, making it easy for everyone to rise at the same time. Hitting the snooze button was awfully difficult, however.
In Germany around the 15th century, personal alarm clocks began to propagate among the wealthy, while most regular people still relied on roosters, the sun, or servants to get them up at the desired hour.
When the Industrial Revolution hit and factory work became more prevalent, "knocker-ups" became common. These were people with long sticks who would rap on your window at a designated time to ensure you didn't oversleep for work. In towns where the factory was the primary employer, the plant would have a loud whistle that would let everyone know that it was time to rise and shine.
In the 19th century, customizable alarm clocks were invented independently in the U.S. and France. These would fail to grab much of a toehold in the market, though, and other means of waking up remained more popular until the 1920s.
Once the industry figured out how to mass produce personal alarm clocks, innovation blossomed. Portable alarms and clock radios hit the scene, with that glorious snooze button not far on their heels.
Today, you can find alarm clocks that can do almost anything, from predicting the weather to improving your sleep with white noise. They have become an indispensable part of our lives, and the only thing worse than hearing one go off in the morning is waking up to realize that you never heard it.
Choosing The Right Alarm
As you may have noticed, we've come a long way from the simple buzzing alarms that some of us knew growing up. Picking out an alarm clock is now a bigger decision than it used to be, back when the only real choice was between digital and analog.
While finding a clock that will actually wake you up is still of paramount importance, just about any option you can get will put multiple alarms at your disposal. What should really impact your decision are the other bells and whistles each model offers (figuratively speaking, as most of them will come with literal bells and whistles).
However, you should beware of any that have bright lights or anything else that might interfere with your ability to nod off.
If you have trouble sleeping through the night, you might consider a clock with a white noise option. There are also some that offer features like aromatherapy, which could help relax and sedate you. However, you should beware of any that have bright lights or anything else that might interfere with your ability to nod off.
Think about how you want to greet the day, as well. Some can connect to your phone in order to play your favorite song as an alarm, while others have wake-up lights that mimic the sunrise, spurring your body's natural rhythms to take over. Also, if you're a chronic over-sleeper, you may be interested to know that some models require you to complete a task (like solve a math problem) in order to successfully hit the snooze button.
If you get a Bluetooth model, it can serve as a lot more than just a wake-up call. Many of them can also work as personal stereos, making them great party accessories. There are also some that will help you plan your day with weather reports and traffic updates, and many can even answer phone calls.
It's not quite the robot butler I've spent half my life dreaming about, but it's pretty darn close.
Tips For Waking Up Refreshed
There are some people who can bounce right out of bed in the morning, refreshed and ready to face the day.
I call these people psychopaths.
Still, if you're tired of having to drag yourself out of bed each morning, there are a few things you can do to ensure you get the most out of your beauty sleep.
If you have a Bluetooth alarm clock and you're really starved for entertainment, you can also listen to some relaxing music before hitting the hay.
The first thing is establish a sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night, and get up at the same time every morning. No snoozing, and no cheat days — not even weekends. While this may seem like it would put a damper on your social life, the amount of energy you'll have every day will more than outweigh the occasional late nights you'll miss.
Don't turn your bed into an office or entertainment center, either. That means putting away the phone, tablet, or laptop about an hour before you want to fall asleep. You can try reading an actual, physical book (do they still make those?) until your eyelids start to feel heavy. If you have a Bluetooth alarm clock and you're really starved for entertainment, you can also listen to some relaxing music before hitting the hay.
Another important habit you'll want to create is exercising daily, and preferably with at least some weight training. People who work out every day report better sleep quality, and getting good sleep is just as important as getting enough sleep.