questionswhat alarm sounds do you wake up to?

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I use a podcast with Gentle Alarm on Android. Gentle alarm allows for a slow fade in. It works really well and doesn't jar you awake. I suspect though that if alarm sounds aren't helping this suggestion might not help.

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I have a "gentle wake" alarm, so the beep starts low and gradually gets louder.

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It's called "aviary". Basically sounds like a bunch of birds chirping.

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The repeated "BZZZZZZZZZZZZ"...of a vibrating phone...

And I hate every second of it!

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I wake up to a rather pleasant, fast-paced beep from my almost 18 year old Sony Dream Machine (with a tape player and two alarms). I find it very much preferable to an annoying buzz or beep and definitely to waking up to the radio (never know if you're going to get a commercial, a jarring song, etc).
But I'm also one of those freaky morning people who doesn't really have a problem waking up in the morning. So it works for me.

I've heard that the alarms that also have lights that gradually increase in brightness can be very helpful for those who have trouble waking up to a "standard" alarm.

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Alarm sound on an iphone. It's the only thing annoying enough to actually get me out of bed. So not a morning person.

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I used to wake up every morning simply from the sound of my phone vibrating. But then I got a new phone that didn't let me do that and I'm in the same boat as you. I currently am using an alarm that sounds like Bongo drums. I feel like I'm able to wake up in a better way than with a high pitched beeping. When I had tried alarms like that I woke up with a burst of adrenaline that wore off after a few seconds and made me fall right back to sleep. If I did get up right after my alarm, then I would have a quezzy feeling for a while. The point is that it's not enjoyable to have an alarm that wakes you up with the same determination as a fire alarm. I'm sure most people wouldn't want to wake up every morning by getting stabbed with an epi-pen each morning so waking up because you have triggered your sympathetic neverous system should be almost as undesirable. I suggest an alarm that won't jolt you awake but is annoying enough that you can't ignore it. Be sure to set multiple alarms.

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The gentle sounds of fresh coffee brewing.

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If you have an iPhone, something else to check out is the "Sleep Cycle" alarm clock. It will wake you up before your alarm time if it senses that you're moving around and not in a deep sleep. I'm sure android has something similar and there might be some stand alone alarm clocks like this. (they would probably be expensive)

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My Sony alarm clock that's been with me through high school, college and many years of adult life - on Radio - I can't stand a buzzer.

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I wake up to chirping birds and the soothing voice of Stephen Fry doing his best to be a Jeeves. You can get them over at thinkgeek (http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/lights/aef3/). Plus he's got a litany of crazy wake up messages (like: "It appears to be morning. Very inconvenient, I agree. I believe it is the rotation of the Earth that is to blame, Sir.").

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Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.They're awesome for nice wake up music!

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It takes nothing to wake me up. Every time my dog gets up and turns around on his bed five feet away it wakes me up. So my alarm is set to station that does a a 5 minutes traffic/news/weather broadcast every hour. I get caught up on the previous days events and get some useful information on what to wear and planning for weekend weather and then get started on the day. During times of inclement weather it's especially useful as they also broadcast road closures and whether various government offices, including mine, will be open. I can find out it's a snow day without getting out of bed.

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This was my alarm for about 2 years. It was great at waking me up until I got tired of almost having a heart attack every morning

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My phone is set to play The Sweet's 'Ballroom Blitz' as the alarm tone. It's a fun wake up

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Aerith's Theme from Final Fantasy VII

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Maybe you should try a clock on wheels? --> http://www.amazon.com/Clocky-Alarm-Clock-Wheels-Aqua/dp/B000TAS9XQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336666537&sr=8-1 <--

Back when I had to be forced back into the conscious world (my alarm clock set at 6am) it was never the alarm itself or the radio that would snap me out of bed. Actually, what got me up was the sound of the old clock radio powering on just before the radio actually tuned in. That electrical HHMMmm was all it took

Now, I wake up to damn birds chirping. My response is to shoot at them will a full auto airsoft rifle. (just kidding...sorta).

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sorry to be "that one" but if you are having problems waking then you are having problems elsewhere too. either you need to start going to bed at a reasonable time, add some vitamin b for energy, or find a sleep study to see if you have sleep apnea type problems. you need to get a set schedule on the "i get up at x so i go to bed at y" system, even if there is only five or six hours in there your body will learn the system.

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@moosezilla: Nice in theory, but doesn't work for night people. Tried it, even went so far as to keep the same schedule on weekends, and it never took. Backed off bedtime to the point I was going to bed 10 hours before I had to get up, and just ended up staring at the ceiling for 3 hours.

I really think I'm an alien from a planet with a 36 hour rotation.

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@moosezilla: It could be sleep apnea, but I get my full eight hours of sleep, as well as taking super B complex, centrum multivitamin, triple omega, calcium and green tea extract everyday.

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I have a clock-radio tuned between two stations and set to loud, on the other side of the room. The mix of the two stations competing with each other and static is annoying enough to get me up. This has been the best solution I've found, since apparently I can sleep right through the regular alarm now.