A Guide for Alarming Times: Four Apps To Stop You From Oversleeping 

With many people’s daily life taking place within the same four walls, having a healthy and balanced routine has never been so crucial. Yet, with nowhere to physically be, and the freedom of many to plan out their day, a new problem has arisen: Oversleeping. When multiple alarms or even your ‘old school’ alarm clock no longer work, what can one do? Welcome to the 21st century, where there is a free app for all of your needs!

1. Alarmy:

One word to describe this app: Loud. 

If sleeping through your alarm is the problem, Alarmy is for sure the solution. In addition to ‘normal’ alarms and the option to personalize your alarm clock sound, Alarmy has the ‘loud alarm’ option. This combines annoying sounds with extreme loudness which guarantees to wake you up. Pleasant? maybe not, but it is efficient.

To ensure that one does not go back to sleep, Alarmy offers a series of tasks or missions, which must be completed to turn off the alarm. These include ‘shake’, ‘take pic’ ‘maths problem’, and ‘QR code’. A pro-tip from someone who tried the different options blindly: the maths problem option has different levels of difficulty. Although you may consider yourself to have average intelligence, the ‘loud alarm’ and highest difficulty of maths problems may not be the wisest option first thing in the morning!

Once the tasks have been completed, the app presents you with the news for the day, the weather forecast, and even your horoscope… All crucial information for when you’re stuck inside re-living the same nightmare.

A notable aspect of the app is that whenever you exit it, it displays a message bidding the user goodbye or wishing them a good day. A very simple detail which can be very appreciated in a time where many are probably about a week away from re-enacting the Castaway scene with Wilson…

(Free and available for IOS and Android)

2. Early Bird:

Similar to Alarmy, this app allows its users to choose different tasks to complete before the alarm turns off. In addition to ‘shake’, ‘maths problem’, and ‘QR code’, Early Bird has the option ‘copy & write’ and voice recognition. Once the tasks are completed, the app displays the time, the weather forecast, and any important dates or timelines from your calendar. 

Early Bird further increases your chances of waking up by having a random alarm sound generator, which prevents users from getting too accustomed to their alarm sounds.

Noteworthy aspects of the app include its intelligent snooze, which progressively shortens the interval between snoozes, and its ‘talking clock’, which reads the time out loud in a somewhat creepy robotic voice. 

(Free and available for Android)

3. I Can’t Wake up!:

It’s selling point is the variety of tasks that allow you to turn off the alarm and the fact that you can pick multiple tasks to do. In addition to the tasks of the previous two apps, this app also offers a memory game, an order numbers game, a repeat the sequence game, and a ‘match’. ‘Match’ is described as a task where one has to connect a pair of words. This can be personalized or the default words may be utilized. Be aware however that the default is capital cities. If you have poor knowledge of geography, it may not be the best way to wake up.

“Using ‘I Can’t Wake up!’ was quite the experience.”

For those who’d prefer something gentler, the app has a ‘smooth wake up’ option, which involves a slow increase of volume and lower screen brightness. On the other hand, the ‘extra loud’ alarm sound option provides a lovely and sudden wake-up call, which will get you out of bed, and maybe your heart beating out of your chest.

(Free and available for IOS and Android– app may differ slightly depending on the operating system)

4. Sleep Cycle:

Do you struggle to fall asleep and secretly have a soft spot for statistics? Sleep Cycle is just what you need!

Sleep cycle allows its users to either wake up at a specific time or to be gently woken up within a range of 10 to 45 minutes, surrounding a target time. After a night’s sleep, the app offers ‘sleep facts’, demonstrating a graph of the quality of sleep, at what time one went to bed, the time one woke up, and even if one is interested, recordings of any snoring.

Although limited in options for alarm clock sounds (if you choose the free version), Sleep cycle not only helps to wake up but also helps those who struggle to fall asleep. The app provides a series of general and strangely specific calming sounds, including the sound of rain, ticking clocks, and the sound of the inside of an airplane cabin. Something for everyone indeed…

(Free and available for IOS and Android)


Cover: Stas Knop



Rita Alves
Rita Alves was born in Portugal but is currently living in the Netherlands, where she studies Communication Science.

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