By Rajnish Mago, MD (bio)
Some of our patients have difficulty waking up in the morning and sleep through their wake-up alarm. For example, in my clinical practice, this has been a huge problem for young people with ADHD, especially those who are in college.
One problem is that a person who is very sleepy when the alarm rings may just turn the alarm off while half-asleep. But, what if it was not too easy to turn the alarm off? A tool that may help is an app called Alarmy.
What is special about this alarm is that you have to do certain tasks, called Missions and which you can choose from, before the alarm will stop ringing. Several of the tasks are free and I don’t see any reason to pay for the other tasks (those with the image of a lock on them) that require payment. See the image below.
Four of the missions that are free are described below. You will note that some of the missions can be done while still in bed (Shake, Math problems) but others need you to actually get out of bed to do the task (Take a picture, Barcode/ QR-code).
1. Shake the phone
You could choose to have to shake your phone a certain number of times before the alarm stops ringing. In the image below, the requirement was set to having to shake the phone 30 times!
You can customize a) the number of times you have to shake the phone and b) how hard you have to shake the phone. See the image below.
2. Solve a math problem
You could also choose to require that you answer some math questions before the alarm will stop ringing.
You can customize a) how many math problems and b) the difficulty of the math problems you have to solve to shut the alarm off. See the image below.
3. Take a picture
You can require yourself to get out of bed, go to a particular spot in the house (e.g., the bathroom) and take a picture of something specific before the alarm will stop ringing. How cool is that?
4. Barcodes or QR codes
You can scan the barcode on any item, then place it far from your bed or in another room. Then, to shut the alarm off, you have to go and scan that particular barcode again. See the image below.
With apps, books, websites, etc. that we may recommend to our patients, I think it is important for us to try them out ourselves before we recommend them to patients. So, go ahead—download Alarmy for free and use it to wake up tomorrow!
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