Under-the-Pillow Alarm Clock:

Can any of you recommend an under-the-pillow alarm clock, for when I need to wake up early, but don't want to wake my wife?

I've seen various options online, but I don't know whether their bulk or their normal noise interferes with sleep (before the alarm is supposed to interfere with sleep, of course). Thanks!

DonBoy (mail) (www):
Wild-ass guess: maybe deaf people use vibration-based alarm clocks, and that's what you'd want?
10.18.2008 6:35pm
first history:
Use your cell phone (assuming it has an alarm) and set on vibrate (otherwise known as the "pleasure mode.") Obviously you will also be notified of calls the same way.

Or there's this or this. No personal experience, however; I like the design of the second one, though.
10.18.2008 6:44pm
js (mail):
use your cellphone, assuming it has an alarm only sound setting (which mine does) or you don't get called late at night. or buy a vibrating alarm clock like the second one first history recommended.
10.18.2008 6:47pm
sonicfrog (mail) (www):
Instead of a buzzer, rig you alarm clock to deliver an electric charge and connect electrodes to your toes. That should do it.... except for the loud scream of shock and agony in the morning. :-)
10.18.2008 7:07pm
Divorced (mail):
You're approaching the problem the wrong way. Ask your wife to wear ear plugs.
10.18.2008 7:20pm
Grant Gould (mail):
I used a silent alarm for many years. The sort that you can strap to your wrist are best, as they are less likely to end up in/under the wrong pillow, fall onto some sounding-board-like object under the bed, etc.

I don't recall the brand name, alas, but I seem to recall that there are half a dozen brands out there, mostly marketed for the elderly and/or deaf.
10.18.2008 7:55pm
Get cat and spend a couple weeks conditioning it to be fed (by you) at the time you want to be awoken. You can count on it awakening you at that time every day hence. (If you need to get up at a different time some days - well, tough!)
10.18.2008 8:22pm
Allan (mail):
Many cell phones can be turned off without interrupting the alarm function: they just turn themselves on and then ring or vibrate.
10.18.2008 8:58pm
Le Messurier (mail):
Your wife should have breakfast made and ready for you as soon as you come out of the bedroom. Previously, she should have awakened you so that you could get up and shower.

Otherwise, separate bedrooms should do the trick.
10.18.2008 9:01pm
grackle (mail):
Just recall the time you want to get up when you go to bed. Then just get up. Why the need for external reminders?
10.18.2008 9:08pm
This is one of the purposes of children. Have one of them tip-toe in and wake you. did remember to have children, I hope?
10.18.2008 9:23pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):
Go to the drug store and buy a Westclox Baby BenĀ®- it has the old fashioned style wind-up key on the back.

Epoxy glue, screw, or otherwise affix the clock to a solid, immovable surface.

Tie a long string to the wind-up key; when the alarm goes off, the key revolves.

Insulate the clock to sound proof it- tape, glue, or otherwise affix sound deadening material to it, or, disassemble the clock and remove the alarm striker, or merely bend it such that it does not contact the body of the clock.

Place a custard cream pie held in an aluminum foil pie plate on a shelf that is least two feet directly above your pillow.

Here's where it gets tricky...

Take the string that is tied to the wind-up key, and lead it to the pie. While taking care to keep most of the slack out of the string, affix it to the back edge of the aluminum foil pie plate.

When the alarm goes off, there will be no noise other than a load of whipped cream hitting you in the face from a height of twenty-four inches, as the string that you tied to the rear edge of the pie plate will wind around the key and cause the entire assemblage to flip over 180 degrees as it is pulled off the shelf.

You have to sleep on your back for this to work- believe me, it's a homerun.
10.18.2008 9:25pm
Drink a lot of water right before getting into bed. A few hours later, you'll get up on your own.
10.18.2008 9:38pm
sleep on the coach
10.18.2008 9:42pm
jerenkrantz (mail):
Shake Awake products work really well. (I'm hearing impaired.)

Good luck.
10.18.2008 9:55pm
As a wife with a husband addicted to the snooze alarm, tell your wife I said you're a total sweetie.
10.18.2008 10:19pm
Dave N (mail):
sleep on the coach
Which one? The one that helps you play basketball better or the one that takes Cinderella to the ball.

I think the latter would be more comfortable, though.
10.18.2008 10:33pm
Dr. T (mail) (www):
I recommend pillow speakers. The small speakers usually lie within pillow case pockets. A standard cord plugs into any alarm clock (or stereo or computer) that has an eighth-inch headphone jack. Pillow speakers also allows you to listen to music in bed without disturbing anyone else.
10.18.2008 10:33pm
Simple vibrating watch may do the trick. Many sizes and styles, though you may want to pay particular attention to the Malen watch available at (I could not resist).
10.18.2008 11:15pm
J. Aldridge:
Is there something like a wireless ear mold that would sound off only in your ear?
10.18.2008 11:26pm
Something Wicked:
I seem to recall that the Governor of New York had a good model but can't remember the name.
10.19.2008 2:33am
andy (mail) (www):

Thanks for the laugh -- had my sides splitting.
10.19.2008 2:58am
Texas Lawyer:
I know several people have objected to the tone of recent posts.

I am glad that the Conspiracy has returned to its high-minded roots.
10.19.2008 3:03am
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):


Thanks for the laugh -- had my sides splitting.

10.19.2008 3:13am
You should be careful about relying on a cell phone to do this. I know that my Blackberry alarm is turned off by pressing any key. The pressure from the pillow will very likely turn off the alarm before it even causes the thing to vibrate.
10.19.2008 5:37am
Sarah (mail) (www):
Hutz - you don't have your keypad locked? My cell phone, with the keypad locked, is both an alarm clock AND an early-morning "wake up, you have to remember that stupid four-digit code you came up with, Miss Brilliant" device. The only other option is to put the cell phone in a drawer until it gives up on the alarm, and then the drawer shakes. Best alarm ever; I'm always awake by the time I've finally remembered how to turn it off.
10.19.2008 9:42am
happy husband (mail):
Sleep in separate bedrooms, except when the two of you need to snuggle. You can stay up late, you can wake up early, you can eat Doritos and watch classic Westerns, you can do whatever you want. Then you don't have to worry about waking her up (with your alarm, with snoring, with kicking her in your sleep, etc.).

And she can watch "What Not to Wear" or "American Idol" or "Sex in the City" or whatever other crap is on, and you won't be harmed by it, and you won't leave her.
10.19.2008 11:16am
I get up real early to run, even on vacation. My wife doesn't share my zeal, so I got the Shake-Awake to use on a trip. We both thought it would work great. I put it under my pillow, secure in the knowledge I wouldn't disturb my wife's slumber. Well, the thing does work great--it shook, and shook, and BUZZED, and scared the holy crap out of both of us. Turns out, it shakes so hard the whole bed shakes, and the shaking is so intense it makes a buzzing sound that is every bit as loud as a conventional alarm. Works great for the hearing-impaired; for the rest of us, not so much.
10.19.2008 1:53pm
Paul Koski (mail):
Leave the alarmclock with the chambermaid, buy her silent hushpuppies. In some arrangements you may also need to leave her written instructions &motivate her to comply.
10.19.2008 2:22pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
Get a quiet dog. Take a dog out to pee at 5:30:am a few days in a row, and you won't get a minutes peace after that time. Different dog's have different styles, but most are effective. My (now long gone) Rottweiler would wedge his nose under my ribs and gently nudge me awake (i.e., he would lift me 3-4 inches off the mattress). My current Golden Retriever will place his leash on my face, and then bring my shoes and try to place them on my feet. He sucks at putting my shoes on me, so he just ends up mouthing the crap out of my feet. There is no snooze button on a Golden Retriever.

I'd avoid those "teacup" breeds that would be likely to lick the inside of your mouth. That would certainly wake me up, but I doubt it would end well for the dog.
10.19.2008 3:09pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Which one? The one that helps you play basketball better or the one that takes Cinderella to the ball.

I think the latter would be more comfortable, though.
Until midnight, sure.

(Hint: you have to read the whole story.)
10.19.2008 3:14pm
douglas (mail):
Heed Struthius- When I was in college, we did a semester abroad, and the whole group of students lived together in one big house. One was deaf, and had a shaker alarm. It must have slipped off the bed onto the floor, or against the wall several times. That thing was loud as heck- woke us up a floor up on the other side of the house. Didn't wake him, though!
10.19.2008 3:29pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
You should avoid having to get up so early. It's bad for the health.
10.19.2008 4:22pm
ambrose (mail):
A nice relief from election commercials.
10.19.2008 9:00pm