Sleep & Mornings

The Best Alarm Clocks for Sleepyheads

Say goodbye to frazzled mornings with alarms designed with the ADHD brain in mind. You’ll never sleep in again with features like vibration, aromatherapy, and even a simulated sunrise that give your brain an early-morning boost.

The Best ADHD Tools: Alarm Clocks
The Best ADHD Tools: Alarm Clocks

Like many other adults with ADHD, I struggle to wake up in the morning. My alarm clock buzzes, chortles, and even vibrates, but I have an amazing talent for turning it off and going back to sleep.

My clients (I’m an ADHD coach) are equally talented. Despite their best efforts to get out of bed on time, many are late to rise on a daily basis. I’ve had them try setting multiple alarm clocks, positioning their alarm clocks across the room, even placing alarm clocks inside their pillows. All to no avail. Surely there’s an ADHD tool that will help them rise and shine. Right?

When I began my quest, I found a lot of great timers, but little in the way of a surefire alarm clock.

Best Alarm Clocks for ADHD

Shake Awake ($17.99). This vibrating, tuck-inside-your-pillow device can create enough of a ruckus for sleepyheads.

Alarm Clock and Vibes Bedshaker ($73.75) If you’re like me and some of my clients, you may need a foghorn to wake you up. And if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be a deer in the headlights, this is the alarm for you, which flashes a bright light and shakes your bed.

Sonic Boom ($29.50) Available on Amazon or from sonicalert.com. In addition to shaking your bed and flashing lights, it generates a 113-decibel shriek.

[Free Resource: Mobile Apps for Better Sleep]

The Screaming Meanie ($30.99 from Amazon.com) clocks in at an ear-popping 120 decibels. (For inquiring minds, that’s louder than a jet airplane.)

Philips Wake-up Light During my research, I met a woman who swore by progression wake-up clocks like this one. Over a 30-minute period, this clock it gradually wakens you with light, nature sounds, and aromatherapy. Something soothing to start the day, kind of makes you go ahhhhhhh.

Zen Alarm Clock (starting at $139.95 from now-zen.com). The literature claims that this clock can “awaken the soul,” and, as I discovered the next morning, that’s not far from the truth. First once, then with increasing frequency, it sounded the gentle, soothing chimes that one associates with mountain monasteries. After 10 minutes, it coaxed me out of bed. I felt calm and refreshed.

Only one hitch: The effect was so relaxing that I just had to try it again. So I reset the alarm and went back to sleep.

NOTE: Product names, models, prices, and specifications were updated in February 2018. Please leave a comment below if you are aware of more accurate and up-to-date information.

[Free Download: Guide to Sleeping Better]

Updated on November 21, 2019

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  1. I have a Philips wake up light and I love it so, SO, much. It really makes it feel like I woke up on my own naturally. I used to get startled out of dreams and feel disoriented and panicked. I don’t know the exact science, but I can tell it “pulls me” into the lightest stage of sleep, and then when the radio starts (I set it to classical music radio, but you can also do bird sounds or other nature sounds) I wake up not at all disoriented. I could not recommend it enough. I got it as a graduation present from my parents. When mine dies (hopefully years from now) I will 100% buy another. I would honestly pay $500 for it is I had to. I believe mine costed around $150. They have a new model now, but I’m in no rush to get it, mine is awesome. I will link mine (not sponsored). https://www.amazon.com/Philips-Simulation-Headspace-Subscription-HF3520/dp/B0093162RM

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