I hate the jarring wakeful state that alarm clocks produce. I find it so painful that I put myself into a lighter sleep in the hour or so before the alarm goes off, and often wake myself up from 15 to 5 minutes the alarm hits. This isn’t good for me as I don’t get as good a deep sleep as I need. On the other hand, on the rare occasion that I set an alarm for only a few hours of sleep and I don’t naturally come out of a deep sleep before the alarm fires off, I absolutely need that full alarm kick to get me up. What I want is something that can gently tell me the alarm will be going off soon so I can be in a deep sleep up ’till that point and come to the surface or fully wake myself on my own terms, or if that fails I need to receive the full alarm blast. The movie Inception seems to offer a good template.

In the movie they used a gentile musical piece Non, je ne regrette rien by Edith Piaf as a heads-up warning to dreamers that their sleep will be ending soon. If they didn’t wake to the music, they received a “kick”, such as being pushed into free fall or receiving a dunking into water.

Tonight I’m building an mp3 that starts with a minute of Edith Piaf’s piece, at a reduced but slowing increasing volume, followed by about 15 seconds of silence, then a very loud traditional alarm sound. Since I don’t have a need for the alarm clock over the long weekend I’ll have to try it later, and it will probably need some tweaks (1 minute may be too long or too short, or the song used in Inception may not work for me). I’d prefer to cobble together an actual bedside alarm clock but that is tons more work, we’ll see how my Android phone does with my scheme.

In any case, it will be interesting hacking my sleeping habits. I’ll let you know how it goes in a future post.