I needed an alarm clock that did not wake the wife and more importantly our new baby. It’s one thing for your partner to wake up but it’s a whole new ball game when a baby is involved.
The motivation was there; I needed an alarm clock that did not wake my partner or our baby. It needed to be silent but yet get lazy butt up and ready for work.
I tried many different ideas and compiled them below into a plethora of methods. Hopefully, you too can find something that works for you.
The blindfold method was one of the most effective alarm clocks I have tried that both of us liked. It’s also the quietest of the methods which are why I have it at the top.
Like most people, I can’t sleep with the light on. Since I have to get up sooner then the wife and baby I have a bright light above my bed. This light is connected to one of those smart plugs* and comes on 15 minutes before I have to wake up. The glaring light is so annoying that I often wake up within a few minutes.
As for the wife? She is used to sleeping with a sleep mask that blocks out all that light. Since there is no loud alarm going off or me hitting the snooze too many times the baby also gets to sleep in.
You can buy light alarm clocks on Amazon* which work a lot better as they wake you up more gradually. But I like the instant shock of light to shock me awake.
If your partner doesn’t like sleeping with a mask on you can get the Privacy Pop Bed Tent* on their side of the bed. It’s a tent-like structure that can help to keep the light out without having something on your face.
Wrap-a-Nap Travel Pillow
They make this pillow that blocks the light and muffles sound which would be ideal to keep from waking your partner. It’s called the Wrap-a-Nap Travel Pillow*.
Also, works well if your partner snores too!
This is a perfect solution to use with our blind-fold method above as it also muffles sound too.
Fan In Your Face Method
This method came from me not liking things touching my face.
I grabbed a regular fan with a mechanical switch and put it to the wifi smart plugs* as we mentioned above. I have a plug set to turn on 15 minutes before I need to get up. The fan is pointed directly at my face above my bed.
When the time comes, the fan blows on to my face. Some might find this soothing, but I find it so annoying that I wake up. To be extra annoying I thought about putting streamers on the output of the to have little bits of paper smacking me in the face, but that would be too much.
I found this method to be more of a torture than anything. But it could be what you need?
This poking method is like the fan in your face where you have the smart plug to turn on when you want to wake up. What is different is that we’re not worried about the fan blowing to wake you up but instead poking you awake.
Using an oscillating fan next to you while you sleep attach something soft and long to it. When the fan comes on it oscillates back and forth and pokes you awake.
Of course, be smart about this, don’t have it poke you in the eye or anywhere important.
I’ve done this with an empty paper towel roll taped to the fan bottom. I located the fan at the bottom of the bed to wake me up by tickling my feet.
Vibrating Alarm Clocks
Vibrating alarm clocks can work very well. Many people use there Fitbits to wake them up as the vibration is more than enough.
You can even buy wrist alarm clocks* that are built to vibrate you awake too.
The problem with these that I’ve seen is that the vibration could also wake up your partner. This is because your wrist that it’s on would be also close to the ears of your partner. Or even the vibrations could be felt if you have a spring mattress.
The solution to the vibration waking your partner is to put the wrist alarm on your ankle. You still get the vibration, but the sound is not as bad because it’s further away.
Before you even try the vibrating wrist alarms try putting your phone on a vibrating alarm and place it under your pillow to see if wakes you.
If you don’t wake up from that vibration, you might not wake up to the wrist ones. Unless you sleep rough and move the pillow around in your sleep, the wrist idea might work for you as it stays with you.
Pillow Alarm Method
They do make pillows you can buy with speakers in them to wake you up. If you worry about sleeping on your phone, you can use a Pillow Alarm Speaker* instead to wake you.
I like to have birds chirping for my alarm as it doesn’t wake the wife or the baby.
Sleep Headphone Method
They make headphones to wear while in bed called Sleep Headphones*.
If you can sleep with these on you might have the answer to your waking problem. Have some music or the birds chirping alarm to wake you. You’ll hear it more than your partner and should sleep through it depending on their tolerance of sound in bed.
You Win Method
I call this method the “You Win” method because it’s ironic. You don’t win if you’re the one waking up because of your partner’s alarms. But instead, you brace it and let them win.
You wake up with them. This might not be possible for some, but you might find it better for both of you. If you both wake up at the same time, then it’s likely you go to sleep at the same time thus maximizing time spent with each other. Plus, the morning can be one of the most beautiful times of the day, and it might be that extra 5 minutes with each other is worth it.
When I tried this method, it was not bad when I had no kids. I got up, and my wife got up at the same time, and we spent the mornings together. It was nice. What I found out later about my wife was that she would be up for 2 hours after I got up and she would get a bunch of stuff done but then would pass out for another 2 hours to make up for the lost time. Sometimes this is the only option that works.
Not the ideal situation but sometimes you can sleep in different rooms.
This can work for some, but I feel like most couples have that one partner that puts the alarm clock on the loudest setting and hits snooze 8 times before getting up.
If that is the case, you might be better at being the alarm clock yourself for your sanity and waking them up yourself.
Ditch The Traditional Alarm Clocks
Buzz… buzz… buzz sounds of a regular alarm clock is so annoying. It’s probably the most hated sound among the people.
Instead, go with birds chirping or more soothing sounds like an ASMR video on YouTube. You might be surprised by how soft sounds can wake you and not torture others with your snooze button.
Keep In Mind
Please keep in mind when getting a new alarm to have a backup method. Set another alarm in case you miss the new alarm to make sure you can wake up at the right time.
Maybe even try multiple of the methods above the same night to see which one wakes you up and not your partner.
I figured I should have a list of things not to do.
Don’t sleep with earplugs in as it can impact your ears with too much ear wax.
Don’t use a heating pad. I know some people who recommend using heating pads with an outlet timer to wake them up, but this doesn’t seem safe to me. They swear by it as the heat wakes them up but once again I can’t stand by this idea. Extreme heat or any heat while in bed should be a concern to many and should not be an alarm clock. Don’t be foolish.