Help me wake up better!
November 3, 2020 9:17 AM   Subscribe

How do I doctor my alarm clock so I don't oversleep?

I have an alarm clock that I really like, except for one thing. The snooze button and the alarm-off button are flat, the same size, and right next to each other. This, combined with me not being a morning person, has caused me to turn off my alarm many times when all I wanted to do was snooze it.

There's a tiny little nub on the alarm-off button, but it's not enough when I'm 98% asleep, so I was hoping to do something similar to the snooze button, but...bigger and more readily tactile (I don't want a backup alarm using a different device, this clock radio works perfectly for my morning wakeup process as long as I hit the correct button, and I don't want to add another thing into the mix).

The buttons themselves are a half inch wide by a quarter inch front to back, and all I can think of to do is, like, superglue a small button or something onto the snooze button so it stands out. Do you have a better idea? I'm pretty sure you do, because you're better at thinking of these things than I am.
posted by pdb to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
The "snooze" bar at the front, confusingly, doesn't actually snooze; the zzz button is the one I'm looking to modify.
posted by pdb at 9:19 AM on November 3, 2020

Supergluing a button would work. A little raised lump of Sugru would be a more elegant solution.
posted by phunniemee at 9:20 AM on November 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

Put the alarm clock far enough away that you have to walk to turn it off.
posted by aniola at 9:28 AM on November 3, 2020 [5 favorites]

My MIL is very low vision, and she takes a piece of stick-on velcro, like you'd use for a craft project, and glues one side down on the button. If you have more than 2 buttons to ID, you can use the other side, so the three buttons are prickly, soft, and blank.
posted by gideonfrog at 9:52 AM on November 3, 2020 [8 favorites]

To be extra safe, you could also find a piece of hard flat plastic, cut it to just slightly bigger than the size of the "off" button, and then attach with a piece of study tape on one side of the flap. If sized correctly (i.e. the edge rests on the three sides that surround the end with that button), the flap would cover the off button such that accidental bumps can't depress the button. Instead, you'd need to deliberately flip up the flap to access the button.

This also works great for preventing a cat from turning your playstation 4 on and off at whim.
posted by past unusual at 10:05 AM on November 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

Echoing gideonfrog's suggestion about marking buttons with something tactile.

I'm married to a blind guy and we use the little rubber bumpers for the inside of cabinet doors (like these) to mark buttons and dials and such on various appliances and electronics. They usually have a strong, durable self adhesive on them.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:22 AM on November 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

Get some Sugru (easily available on Amazon, if you shop there) and make a little nub of whatever shape works best for you, and attach it to one of the buttons. They have a tutorial for modifying a game controller that would be pretty much the same for your alarm clock button.

It'll work better than supergluing another button or something, and you get to customize the shape and color to an extent.
posted by rhiannonstone at 2:09 PM on November 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

I used one of those sleep apps on my iphone that is supposed to evaluate the quality of your sleep by how much you toss and turn (I guess.) It was supposed to be able to tell when you were in deep sleep and when you were not and you could set it so that it would wake you up with an alarm when you were out of deep sleep, the idea being that it was much easier to wake up/get up if the alarm went off based on your sleep cycle. It actually kind of worked. I felt much more awake when it went off then if I had waited till later in the morning. The problem was it was usually an hour before I had to get up. I think it was called Sleep Cycle. If I had a 9-5 I think I would probably give it another try, as it is my schedule is quite random so I just use my built in anxiety clock.
posted by Pembquist at 2:55 PM on November 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

Yeah, you tell Sleep Cycle when you need to be awake by, and it starts to wake you up at some point when it thinks you’re starting to wake up, up to 30 minutes early.

You jiggle the phone to snooze it, vs. picking up the phone and swiping up to shut it off. And instead of 9 minutes forever, the snooze time gradually decreases so that you can’t snooze past the time you set.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:32 PM on November 3, 2020

Aniola - our bedroom is small enough that that's not really a possibility (and I'm not putting my alarm clock in the other room).

pembquist/huffy puffy - I don't (and won't) bring my phone into the bedroom at night.

I think Sugru's probably the way I'm going, but thanks all for the great suggestions!
posted by pdb at 3:39 PM on November 3, 2020

Rather than a nub take a little Sugru (or really anything that'll stick; I'd probably use some super glue to attach some plastic model sprue) and build up a ridge on the case above and below the off button about a 1/4" tall. The goal is to require a directed finger tip to turn the alarm off instead of a flat finger being able to.

A DIY custom version of this, this, this, or this button guard.
posted by Mitheral at 9:43 PM on November 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

For future readers also in a small room who don't want to put it in the other room. Put it on the highest shelf (and in the closet if you have one)
posted by aniola at 7:15 AM on November 9, 2020

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