New Toy

Wednesday 25th January, 2006
I've finally found something sufficiently geeky gadgety to buy with my christmas gift money... an alarm clock...with a difference.

Image:New Toy

Theory has is that human sleep consists of a cycle of repeating phases, the most famous being the REM sleep dreaming phase. One complete cycle lasts 90-110mins and you need 4 or 5 complete cycles a night.

The problem comes when you need to get up for work or another appointment. Depend on the time you actually get to sleep, your cycles may or may not be in phase with your alarm. If your alarm tries to wake you when you're in deep sleep it's really not a good time. You may feel awful, struggle to open your eyes or just be moody for the rest of the day. Presumably, if you have a fixed sleeping pattern your body gets used to it to some extent but if you have a late night (or even an early night) by just a few minutes it can make all the difference.

The Axbo alarm clock is unique in that it contains a sleep pattern monitor. As you sleep, it monitors your movements using a wireless sweatband peripheral. As you become more refreshed it can see it and it then triggers the alarm at the optimum time. This will be within 30mins of the time you set it to go off but never later. So if your alarm is set for 0700, it will wake you at any time between 0630 & 0700 based on the optimum time. You should wake easily and refreshed. Clearly it will wake you at the end of the previous cycle and stop you starting a new one.

For €200 plus carriage from Austria, it's a lot of money - but this is what gift money is all about. I'll report back on the results.

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