- Disabilities & the Disabled
The Vibrating Pillow Alarm Clock for A More Gentle Start to the Day
Is a Vibrating Pillow Alarm Clock Right For You?
If you've ever thought that there has to be a better way of being awakened each morning than a loud ringing noise, they you're probably right. A vibrating pillow alarm clock can reliably get you up and going even if you're a heavy sleeper or have a profound hearing loss.
Learn more about these devices, some of their features, and see some popular models on this page.
Who Needs a Vibrating Pillow Alarm Clock?
There are a number of advantages offered by a vibrating pillow alarm clock. They can be really useful for those who:
- Have significant hearing loss or are deaf
Sometimes alarms simply aren't loud enough and won't wake a person with significant hearing loss whereas a vibrating device will do the job. Of course, volume may not be the only problem. Many alarms ring at a high frequency, it may be hard for some people to hear it due to a high frequency hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears) even though the volume may be relatively loud.
- Sleep with ear plugs
Some people have to sleep with ear plugs to cut down on other outside noises that can keep them from getting a good nights sleep. With one of these devices, you won't miss your alarm clock even if you do sleep with ear plugs.
- Sleep through regular auditory alarms
Some people are heavier sleepers than others and in fact, may have the ability to sleep through a ringing alarm clock. In many cases, the vibrating pillow alarm will do what the traditional alarm clock can't, wake these heavy sleepers up!
- Have a significant other on a different schedule.
Sure there are alarm clocks with dual alarms that will alert both of you with a different alarm setting, but the point is the alarm will likely wake your partner when it goes off for you. With a vibrating pillow alarm, your partner will likely continue their peaceful slumber when you rise. In fact, the whole house or the apartment next door should be totally oblivious to your alarm.
- Find a ringing alarm clock to be a bad way to start the day.
For some people, being roused by an annoying buzzer can ruin their entire morning. For them, a vibrating pillow is a much less alarming way to start the day.
Choosing the Right Alarm
Vibrating pillow alarm clocks offer a number of features to help make sure you wake up. Before buying one here are some things to consider:
- The alarm
Most of these clocks offer users a number of ways to awaken. Certainly the vibrator is one, but most will also offer an audible alarm if desired and others also provide a flashing alarm. The flashing alarm may be part of the device or it may attach to a lamp in your room. Certainly, you want the ability to choose which of these methods you employ versus having to use all three. The Sonic Alert and Sonic Boom models are well know for these features.
The auditory alarms can be selected for volume if you want a louder alarm; they can be as high as 85dB or even 113dB. Some even allow you to select the frequency of the alarm; this is really useful for those who have a high frequency hearing loss.
Many of these vibrating pillow alarm clocks are desk top models. They sit at bedside but have an accessory that slips under your pillow. The travel version of these clocks are smaller. However, because they have a smaller display they often can't be viewed by others in the room and they tend to have fewer features.
Certainly display size can be important, especially if you don't have perfect vision.
Like any alarm clock, you'll want reliable power. Batteries are perfect for travel alarms and can prevent problems during power outages. However, be sure the batteries will be easy to replace; AA and AAA batteries can be picked up just about anywhere. In addition, if the alarm offers an indicator that batteries are low, catastrophes can be averted. AC powered models offer freedom from the problem of dead batteries, but back up battery power is good for those times when a power failure occurs.
- Other features
Some vibrating pillow alarm clocks will also provide a radio or allow you to connect to your iPod. The iLuv device featured here is an example of this. Any good alarm clock will also offer a "snooze" function to allow you to sleep just a bit longer.
Another useful feature for those with a significant hearing loss are signalers for when the phone rings or the doorbell is activated. These generally provide a flashing light so that you're aware you have callers. Some devices have these lights built-in, others connect to a lamp in your room.