The Oxford Dictionary defines a heavy sleeper as “a person who sleeps deeply and is difficult to wake up”.
Many people who are heavy sleepers tend to have genuine trouble with getting themselves up for work or school in the morning, with regular alarm clocks failing to rouse them from their slumber.
However, there is a new breed of alarm clock that is fast becoming popular with people who class themselves as heavy sleepers. Below are the best rated models available on the market.
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|Name||Max Volume||Bed Shaker||Our Rating|
|Sonic Alert SBB500SS||113 dB||Yes||9.4 / 10|
|Sonic Alert SB200SS||113 dB||Yes||9.2 / 10|
|Clarity Wake Assure||85 dB||Yes||9 / 10|
|Sonic Alert SB300SS||113 dB||Yes||8.8 / 10|
It is not entirely clear why some people are more prone to being heavy sleepers than others; there hasn’t really been much research conducted in this area.
However it is understood that not everyone who is a heavy sleeper is that way from birth, many people just start to have issues with waking in the morning.
Of course, it is important to bear in mind that a person who is depressed may also struggle with waking in the morning when they didn’t before, so this shouldn’t be confused with being a heavy sleeper in general and medical advice should be sought.
A study conducted by Jeffrey Ellenbogen in the 1990’s did reveal that people who were classed as heavy sleepers tended to have a lot more brain activity occurring during the hours of sleep than those who were not.
Markers known as spindles were observed in twelve volunteers in order to measure the brain activity during their sleep periods. The spindles were “activated” by playing a variety of noises throughout the night. Ellenbogen’s team found that the volunteers who were harder to wake up had higher frequencies of spindles.
It is possible that people who are classed as being heavy sleepers simply have more information being processed by their brain, which means they need deeper sleep; this would explain why some people can go through phases in their lives of being a light or heavy sleeper, depending on what is going on in their lives at the time.
Regardless of the reasons, it is clear that some people need help in order to get up at a proper time in the morning and that is where specially designed alarm clocks come into play.
Generally speaking, alarm clocks that are designed with heavy sleepers in mind tend to be much louder than traditional alarm clocks, with some reaching as high as 113 decibels, which is louder than a power saw.
They also tend to continue running until they are manually switched off, unlike most standard alarm clocks which run for a few minutes before automatically switching off. Many alarm clocks of this type have variable tones and volumes, thus allowing maximum control and the ability to tailor use to individual circumstances.
Another main aspect of this kind of alarm clock is the bed shaker, which is basically a circular pad that is placed under a pillow or mattress and vibrates vigorously to encourage you to wake up.
Some designs will increase the intensity of vibrations after each time the snooze button is pressed, encouraging you to get out of bed.
Some alarm clocks can also be linked to bedside lamps and will then switch them on and off to provide another form of stimulus to encourage you to wake up – indeed, the vibrations and flickering lights are ideal for someone who is hearing impaired and might not even be awakened by the sound of the alarm.
There are a few things to consider before buying an alarm clock designed for heavy sleepers and they include:
Noise – these alarm clocks can reach different levels of volume, with some only being slightly louder than standard alarm clocks and others, as mentioned above, being louder than power saws, so it is important to establish how loud you need your alarm to be.
It is also essential to think about where your alarm clock will be situated because if it can only be put near your bed, then you need to factor in the level of sound that will be occurring right near your head. Consideration for neighbours and others who share your living space should, obviously, also be given.
Additional features – what additional features do you want your alarm to have? There aren’t a huge number of options when it comes to additional features, however if you only want something that will vibrate as well as make noise, then you’re not going to want to spend extra on an alarm clock that can also connect to your bedside lamp.
If you are buying the alarm clock for someone who is hearing impaired though, then you may well want to investigate the alarm clocks that also have the option to connect to bedside lamps.
Portability – is this going to be an alarm that you use at home, or whilst on-the-go? If the answer is both, then you want to ensure that your clock can be operated by both mains electricity and battery power.
However, if you only want something portable, perhaps for when you are staying in noisy locations that require you to use ear plugs at night, then a portable, battery-operated model might be better suited to your needs.
It is pretty obvious what the benefits are to having an alarm clock designed for heavy sleepers, but they include:
Better routine – anyone who struggles to get up in the morning will appreciate the pressure to keep routines in check when dealing with this issue. By using an alarm clock, you begin to adjust your body clock and subsequently are able to make the best of your daily routine, perhaps even fitting more into your day.
Increased productivity – whether you work from home or in an office, it is clear that getting up at a reasonable hour will help to improve and increase your overall productivity. This is because you will have had time to get properly ready for the day, as well as having clawed back some much needed morning time to get other essential activities slotted in that you were perhaps unable to before.
Reduced stress – accompanying the previous benefit, if you are able to awaken at a reasonable time each morning, thus giving yourself plenty of time to get prepared for the day, you are more likely to be in a better mood and suffer less from the stress that comes with rushing around first thing in the morning; a mood that can carry over into the rest of the day.
There aren’t really any major risks or warnings associated with alarm clocks that are designed for heavy sleepers; however, one thing that should be considered is the volume of the alarm. Some alarm clocks are so loud that they can cause pain to users who are heavy sleepers but perhaps don’t have a hearing impairment. This can obviously cause damage to the ear drums.
Another thing to consider is the vibrating pad that often accompanies these types of alarm clocks. In most instances, the pads are linked to the alarm clocks using a long cord, which makes them unsuitable for use by children, but also by people who are prone to moving around a lot in their sleep; this is because they could become tangled up in the cord and either damage the alarm clock or injure themselves.