My husband bought this “Zen” alarm clock for me for my birthday:
It’s a beautiful clock — the bamboo matches our newly-installed floors, and the alarm is a gentle chime that wakes you gradually so that you’re not wrested, writhing and resentful, from your deep and restful sleep.
The way this works is that the hammer strikes the bell first ~ 10 minutes before the time for which your alarm has been set. Around 3 minutes later it chimes again, and then continues, at increasing intervals according to a reversal of the Golden Mean (also known as the Fibonacci Series, constructed by adding the previous 2 numbers in the series 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 etc.).
It actually works quite well. My concern at first was that the lack of insistence would make it unlikely that it would wake me at all. In fact, the first chime arouses me enough to realize that I will have to be getting up soon, and I adjust my dreams, and my expectations, accordingly. Yesterday morning I actually dreamt that the chimes continued, and that I had gotten up and turned the alarm off before the clock had actually chimed a second time. At that point I thought, well, as long as I’m awake. . . This morning it chimed once, I smiled and rolled over and hugged my pillow and then realized that I needed to use the “lav,” and got up before the second chime. My husband was curious, though, so I left the clock on so he could listen to it increase in frequency.
We then devised a series of “instructions,” as the clock would deliver if it could speak:
Chime 1: Good morning!
Chime 2: It’s going to be a beautiful day!
Chime 3: You might want to start thinking about getting up soon.
Chime 4: Hello? Is there anybody in there?
Chime 5: You know, you’re not doing anybody any favors just lying there like a lump.
Chime 6: If you don’t get your lazy a$& out of bed things are going to get really unpleasant.
Chime 7: ding ding ding ding dingdingdingdingdingdingdngdngdng
We’ll see if I ever make it that far.