How to wake a very heavy sleeping child?
February 9, 2022 8:53 PM   Subscribe

Done multiple alarms, sunrise and music. She will sleep through a screaming baby next to her. She ignores shaking, gets very upset when woken with a cold wet cloth on her face (she agreed the night before to try). My only successful method is to pick her up and carry her to outside to eat, and after 20m, wakes up, but she is too big to carry now. She's fine when waking naturally, but length of sleep is 7-12 hours from same bedtime, so not reliable. Please, parents and heavy sleepers of Mefi, help me fix this!
posted by dorothyisunderwood to Health & Fitness (42 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
have you already tried pulling the blankets off? my mom used to do that to me. I loathed it, but I got up.
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:11 PM on February 9, 2022 [2 favorites]

How old are they? How do they respond to natural consequences, like wake up to an empty house and everybody is at Disneyland, you snooze you lose?
posted by dum spiro spero at 9:33 PM on February 9, 2022

Does she sleep through the alarms or just turn them off and go back to sleep/never really wake up? In the latter case, putting my phone across the room and using an app that made me do math problems before it would turn off worked for me. Here's the app I use: link
posted by matildatakesovertheworld at 9:44 PM on February 9, 2022 [1 favorite]

Has she got any sense of time and how it passes? Is she sleeping enough? Getting to sleep early enough?

If so, then what has worked with me and my children is that you lie in bed and look at the clock with the current time, set the alarm and then tense your entire body with the thought that I need to wake up at yyyy am which is xxxx hours from now. Do that twice more and try to go straight to sleep, ie. do NOT get out of bed again.
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 9:54 PM on February 9, 2022

Response by poster: Blankets are pulled off, air con turned off, activities are late or missed and tech devices confiscated, no diff when she is asleep. We have tried the math alarm but she sleeps through 20-30min of alarms, while the rest of the nearby house wakes up. She is 10 and physically healthy.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 10:30 PM on February 9, 2022

Have you tried adjusting her sleep schedule, so she goes to bed earlier? Does she STILL wake up at the same time?
posted by kschang at 10:40 PM on February 9, 2022 [4 favorites]

Are you timing the waking times with her sleep cycles, based on when she’s going to sleep? If I’m woken in the middle of a sleep cycle it takes me half an hour to actually ‘wake up’ and be fully conscious, but if it’s in the right part of it, it’s no effort at all. (Staying awake and not going back to sleep is another thing, though.)

Also of note, my natural sleep cycle is 1am-9 or 10am, and it has been since I was a kid. I have spent much of my life unsuccessfully trying to fit into the wakeful times dictated by society. It just leaves you feeling like a failure for not being able to override your natural self. If your daughter is like that and there’s anything you can do to make it easier on her, she will thank you in the long run.
posted by lhall at 10:51 PM on February 9, 2022 [20 favorites]

Have you taken her for a sleep study? Does she snore? She may be apneic and you could not know it, leaving her with very little restful sleep (this can happen without snoring!).

It was the case with my youngest when she was much smaller. She looooooves to sleep, in fact, she would just go upstairs and bang on the door and try to climb into bed on her own if there wasn't anyone with her. Turns out she was sleeping a lot and out cold, but had huge tonsils and adenoids. She snored like a little bear and wasn't moving air properly, resulting in complete sleep deprivation. She's now 17 and still sleeps through everything including but not limited to: house alarms, hardwired fire alarms right outside her room, barking dogs, thunderstorms, etc.

I would give your ped a call and see what they have to say. Better safe than sorry. And if nothing else, the secret weapon to get somebody out of bed -- frozen marbles. They roll into every nook and cranny. Positively evil. My Polish grandmother did it to my grandfather when he wouldn't get up.
posted by dancinglamb at 11:41 PM on February 9, 2022 [31 favorites]

+1 ask the pediatrician to check out her tonsils and adenoids.
posted by potrzebie at 11:58 PM on February 9, 2022 [3 favorites]

Brainstorming from the successful "pick her up and make her eat" method, what would happen if you propped her up so she was sitting in bed (maybe put something behind her so she can't lay back again), and fed her something while there? I'm guessing that the changed body position plus the eating might do the trick...?
posted by contrapositive at 12:42 AM on February 10, 2022

I like the app Sleep Cycle. You put the phone on the bed and the accelerometer tracks movement. An alarm wakes you within a pre-chosen window of time, right at the moment when your sleep cycle is changing over, so you’re easier to rouse and feel less groggy. It also tracks sleep data, which is pretty motivating.

Another option might be an alarm for Deaf people, that vibrates the pillow or buzzes on her wrist- a tactile sensation rather than an audible alarm?
posted by nouvelle-personne at 1:10 AM on February 10, 2022 [6 favorites]

Some kids just thrive on more sleep. A lack of sleep impacts on behavior the next day and makes it hard to get kids out of bed. Our youngest, now 13, has needed about 11 hours for many years. Behavior is crabby and somewhat more naughty with less sleep. Ease of waking is determined by whether or not the kid wakes when the room light is turned on and verbally prompted; a loft bed makes it difficult to physically prompt the waking process.

Going to bed at 7PM for a 6AM wake-up is not too popular, even less so now at the age of 13 when friends have bedtimes of 9-11PM, but back-calculating bedtime based on needed wake time and hours needed of sleep seems to work fine. The pediatrician doesn't seem too concerned that this is a bit more than the common 8-10 hours needed by this age group, because it's been consistent. On weekends, if we set the bedtime to 8 or 9PM, the kid gets out of bed about 12 hours later without any prompting. There is slight variability there of around an hour.

I did notice you said "from same bedtime". One of the issues here had been a spouse who wasn't looking at this as a number of hours required issue, and was using recollections of her own bedtimes as a child and/or comparisons to other families and kids. Getting past the preconceived notions about bedtimes based on comparisons to other kids has been a bit of a problem. It is worth getting through that though.
posted by jgreco at 1:20 AM on February 10, 2022 [10 favorites]

A cheap smartphone watch - 50 bucks on Amazon - is my soundless alarm. You put the app on your phone, you control the alarms (though the phone needs to be close to the watch to sync). Turn off sleeper mode, and set a string of alarms closer and closer to each other. You have 8 to work with, I think, plus “events” which are like regularly-scheduled alarms during the day. The buzz is strong, but not frightening. I’m actually learning to wake a little before the alarm, which is cool! You could decide together to fasten it to an awkward body part - non-dominant upper arm, ankle, etc., to discourage turning off the buzz with a side button press.

I’ve heard about smartwatches as tools for managing executive function, too - I have 2 buzzing reminders am/pm to drink water, a noon one to eat lunch, etc. It rings automatically if I haven’t stood up in an hour.

PM me if you’re interested and I’ll find the name of the one I have (Mii Fit?). I use zero of its other functions - no steps tracking or email notifications for me, thanks! If you can set and forget alarms for a while, it’s an effectively dumb watch that only gets smart for the two minutes you need to sync it when you’ve updated alarm times.
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 1:21 AM on February 10, 2022

Small doses of melatonin can help (~0.3mg; OTC melatonin is waaaay over dosed) if there is an issue with circadian rhythm / delayed sleep phase. But this really only affects sleep/wake cycle. Warming/ cooling, hormones, appetite, etc. remain on the natural circadian cycle; fighting that by trying to stay on a standard "9-5" has long term health implications as a result.

This sleep pattern is common in ASD and may not be something that needs to be fixed at all. If it is not a medical issue you should not be forcing a natural night-owl into a daytime schedule. It will never work, and I do not believe it is moral to mess around with a person's sleep (it is a torture technique after all). Inconvenience is not a justification. If any person-- especially a child-- especially an ND child-- is communicating "I need to sleep until 11 today" then what right does anyone have to say they should not?

We were late to school every day for about 2 years. This was by design: we plan-C'd the morning routine, and I learned very quickly that we were not as late to school plan C'ing the thing than if I tried to somehow force it to happen. I call that success.
posted by cape at 1:25 AM on February 10, 2022 [5 favorites]

Outside of talking to your pediatrician which is never a bad idea, my suggestion would be to first get idea of her natural uninterrupted sleep cycle. It would be useful to have specific times instead of a range, its very possible that 7 hours is fine, 8.5 hours is fine and 10 is fine but 9 is NOT. Data points on if she gets up in the middle of the night, when that happens is useful too.

My sleep cycle is 2 hours long (note sleep cycles can vary from like 70-120 minutes on average it so it could be something like 80 minutes long), which I will go through multiple times through a night. I run into issues when that gets interrupted somehow, so much so that if I wake up to pee an 90 minutes before I need to get up I just stay awake because I will be late late late & absolutely miserable otherwise. I also only nap in 2 hour increments, any less or more than that just throws me for an absolute loop and waking up such a terrible task. (So my sleep schedule is I can do 2 hour or 4 hour naps, I start my bedtime process at 9 hours from when I need to get up to be asleep at the 8 hour mark, so I can wake up at 8 hour mark reliably. I will sleep 10 or 12 hours when given the chance but never an odd number of hours.) My daughter's is 90 minutes long. I can calculate pretty reliably based on her bedtime when random noises will wake her up (this is important because I work nights and on weekends when I am home I am up at 2-3am cleaning and such, and there are key times where I need to be much quieter not to wake her up).

I'd suggest allowing as much sleep as she wants on the weekends or any other days in which she is able to just sleep to her hearts content, and tracking that as closely as possible to get trends on when good wake up times are for her, and then modifying her sleep schedule to try and replicate what seems to work. Sleep trackers could be useful in figuring out this data if you have a fitbit/apple watch/other device that does this hanging around.

Looking at your list of things you have tried, I think vibrating alarms may be useful to try. You also might want to start with making sure you are doing something similar every day to sort of help the body realize oh this is the wake up sound, even if it is knocking on her door, or opening her blinds, or something that is not the alarm itself but a part of the wake-up routine for her.

And my last tip, If I really have to get up early, or at an odd time I'll drink extra water before bed so I have to pee at some point sooner than later.
posted by AlexiaSky at 2:41 AM on February 10, 2022 [4 favorites]

I agree with people saying it can’t hurt to see a doctor and get a sleep study done.

I also think that if the cold wet cloth on her face worked, even if she hated it, it’s a place to start for experimenting. Cold wet cloth just behind the ears or on the soles of her feet, or dry cold (like an ice pack) which would feel less invasive. Have you tried blowing in her ear gently? That’s another sudden gives-you-shivers intervention that might work.

There’s also the question of how much she hates it. My parents just had to open the door and tell us to hurry up and get up and I hated it - it made me furious sometimes. Being woken up is the worst - I think that’s a natural body/mind response (and why the best solution is making sure she’s getting enough quality sleep). If something works but she can’t stand it, see what suggestions she would have to improve on it - what it is about that thing that she hates, not just the fact of it.
posted by Mchelly at 5:30 AM on February 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

Do check out medical options. But: any chance you have a household pet? My mom's method in my tween years became bringing my cat to me in bed. I adored that cat so much that I would wake up and stay awake to snuggle with him, vs. turning off an alarm and going straight back to sleep. This method relies on the pet being portable and amenable to snuggling, obviously.

Otherwise, yeah, cold wet cloth to the face sounds awful but I'm wondering if cold wet cloth to the wrists might be successful but less terrible.
posted by Stacey at 5:45 AM on February 10, 2022 [4 favorites]

What time does she fall asleep at night? Not what time does she go to bed, what time does she fall asleep. It may be as simple as she needs more sleep. A ten year old can need up to 12 hours of sleep a night. And while the 12 hours of sleep a night might be on the high end of average that is considered a healthy and normal amount for a 10 year old with 10-11 hours being the average amount they need. You may want to start simply by rolling back her bed times and make sure she is getting the time she needs every single night of the week. If that doesn't solve it then see a doctor.
posted by wwax at 6:20 AM on February 10, 2022 [3 favorites]

Until you can talk to the pediatrician to check for physical issues, I'd start putting her to bed a full 12 hours before she has to get up. She may resist this but.......desperate measures. I'd also keep a log of sleep/wake times for a few weeks and look for patterns. You can also present that log to the pediatrician when you go in to discuss this.

You might also try adding in a sunrise alarm clock. I got one for my kid who is NOT a morning person and I find that the gradual increase in light over 30 minutes is met with a lot less fuss than just snapping on the lights when it's time to wake up. She did burrow back into her blankets this morning and whine at me when I opened her door but she was awake. You could even put it on a high shelf to reduce the chance of her turning it off in her sleep.
posted by The Librarian at 6:26 AM on February 10, 2022 [6 favorites]

I was a very heavy sleeping child, teenager, and young adult. Sleeping through a blaring alarm next to my head, through fire sirens, through bright light, etc. As a teenager, I learned to use two or three alarms that were in various places in my room to force myself up so that I didn't miss important things. But until then, I was like your daughter, needing to be physically moved to wake. Something that my parents found that worked was standing me up and making me talk.
posted by minervous at 6:57 AM on February 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

My tween and I both wake up best by waking up our brain, more so than the body. I used to have my husband "tell me something interesting" to get me up. I do that for my kid - tell him an interesting news story or show him a funny video on the internet. It seems to get his brain online faster, and then the body follows.
posted by xo at 7:32 AM on February 10, 2022

Seconding an vibrating alarm for Deaf and HOH people. I use the
Sonic Bomb Dual Extra Loud Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker — but use just the bed shaking part, if I lived alone, I might use the 'boom' too — but it's very, very loud — far too loud for my hearing spouse! They also have some cute models for children.
posted by Lescha at 8:29 AM on February 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

The low-tech, and low impact, method we've used in my family to wake my deep-sleeping mother has always been to uncover her feet, and then grasp the big toe firmly, not sharply, and give it a series of good shakes. She had tough skin on her feet, definitely tougher than a tween girl, and it worked in 30-60 seconds. Pinch the toe a little bit if you have to, not to inflict pain, just to alter the sensation a bit.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 9:27 AM on February 10, 2022

Something cold on my body to wake me up would make me lose trust in anyone who did it. If I had agreed once, fine, but I would never agree again. If it kept happening, it would be abuse. Your child has a non typical sleep needs and should be under the care of a doctor that isn’t trying to make them conform but is about helping them cope with a world that sees that as a moral failing. Punishment is not a solution. One sleep doctor told me that natural light can help much more than artificial light and they are finding more evidence that having your head in an upright position is also important for wakefulness.

I don’t think OP is abusive, but agree many of these proposed solutions are getting too close to abuse for my comfort level.
posted by soelo at 10:20 AM on February 10, 2022 [5 favorites]

Kiddo needs more sleep. Start with that as the assumption, and then figure it out from there. Is she going to bed too late? Not sleeping well in bed? Those are the questions to answer. You can't answer this after one night. Bedtime needs to move up to start to start, I think. I'd get that kid in bed with a book and no electronics eleven hours before waking time to start for a few days in a row (a week at least, really). Don't worry about what time the clock says or if that seems too early based on the clock. I'd start from there and see how it goes...
posted by bluedaisy at 10:30 AM on February 10, 2022

Nthing talking to a Pediatrician, and possibly getting a sleep study. The sooner the better.

I was this child, and I also had horrible snoring to boot. It turns out that I have a narrower than normal trachea, and I was probably having sleep apnea episodes. I've since gotten diagnosed with sleep apnea as an adult, got fitted for a CPAP, and I use it every night. As a result, I can get up easily when I need to, I don't sleep through alarms anymore, and it actually feels like I've had a restful night's sleep.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:04 AM on February 10, 2022 [5 favorites]

Again, this is an autistic child (check post history) with a very common ASD sleep pattern.

Barring a medical issue as mentioned by several people already, there is nothing to be fixed and asking the question "how can I make my autistic child wake up when I want them to?" is no different than "how can I make my autistic child act more normally and be less weird?" It will not work and causes actual harm to the person you are doing these things to, and is about as helpful as telling a suicidal person to just be happier.

"More cold water!" "Pull on her big toe!" Do you even hear yourselves?

A person whose natural sleep pattern does not meet the day-world's 9-5 expectation is already doing their absolute best in a world not suited to them. This is an autistic child doing their best. Do not push them further by messing around with their sleep. It is a very cruel thing to do to someone.
posted by cape at 11:13 AM on February 10, 2022 [9 favorites]

Yeah, I just wanted to follow up my answer to say what I thought went without saying (though on the internet nothing goes without saying), that any of those suggestions have to be with the complete agreement and consent from the kid, same as the cold cloth the OP suggested in the first place. This isn't about shocking her out of nowhere. If she's not willing to try it, of course you don't do it.
posted by Mchelly at 11:21 AM on February 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

Fair enough-- OP did not disclose whether or not the child wants to wake up at this time. (Maybe they have started really enjoying school and do not want to be late every day for example).

But there's definitely a thing where parents of ND kids struggle to get the compliance they seek without realizing that compliance-based training/parenting does not work and is in fact harmful, and that is what I'm pushing back against. No idea if it applies to the OP's specific case.
posted by cape at 11:30 AM on February 10, 2022 [5 favorites]

I have no knowledge of what influence autism has on sleep so please disregard if this is off base, but what you describe sounds... like something quite different from the garden variety kid-has-trouble-getting-up situation I thought it was when I asked about the blankets.

In addition to autism factors and sleep study, perhaps have her thyroid looked at? (I knew a girl whose inability to get up to get to school turned out to be a result of Hashimoto's.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 12:06 PM on February 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

This was me from the ages of around 10 to 23. No other health issues at all, but it was miserable.

Regardless of when I went to sleep, I would always be in such a deep sleep when it was time to get up that nothing would make me stay awake. In 8th grade I used to set 5 alarms, each 2-5 minutes apart, in various locations in my room. I would simply sleepwalk out of bed, turn the alarm off, go back to bed and fall instantly back asleep, and do it again for each alarm. I was a good student and grades really mattered to me, so I wanted to get up and go to school, but I would consistently get a lower grade in my first period classes because of oversleeping.

It gradually improved in the later years of high school and into college, but it didn't completely go away until I moved to another country 8 timezones earlier. Then my sleeping/waking became completely normal, though I'm still a really deep sleeper. The incredible irony is that as I've gotten older, I've become a morning bird who routinely wakes up at 530-6am, even on vacation, which still boggles my mind.

Anyway. I'm assuming moving countries is not an option for you, but I wanted to share my story to let you know that sometimes people sleep so deeply that normal stimuli don't work consistently. I think the trick is not to rely on alarms or machines, but to help her in person because it sounds like she can't do it on her own. Get her out of her bed gently and walk her out of her room with your support, ideally into a cooler room or area, and keep her upright. Drinking water/juice and a lukewarm shower helps too (but make sure she doesn't sit down in the shower and fall back asleep, which is what I would sometimes do). If she's anything like me, she's certainly not doing it on purpose; her brain just doesn't respond to normal sleep end cues, and it has to be coaxed out of sleep. Good luck!!
posted by widdershins at 1:11 PM on February 10, 2022 [2 favorites]

Well, she has to get up for school, so you can't exactly let her sleep indefinitely. Someday she'll likely have to wake up for work. Sometimes we need to wake up whether we want to or not so finding a way to hasten this when necessary is kind of a necessary evil. What if it's an emergency?

That aside, though, I would consider moving her bedtime earlier to see if you can get her to wake up naturally when it's time to get up. I would also consider a watch with sleep tracking features (hello, fitbit) to learn more about her sleep patterns and use that as a guide in scheduling her sleep more productively. Fitbit also has an annoying vibration alarm--not sure if you've tried that with her but it really jars me awake. Is she tired after school? Or during the day at all? Humans weren't actually designed to sleep in these long stretches so I wonder if taking a nap after school would help her wake up the next day more easily.

Good luck!
posted by Amy93 at 1:31 PM on February 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

What is it about metafilter and wanting to torture spectrum kids--let the kid sleep.
posted by PinkMoose at 8:14 PM on February 10, 2022

I was this kid. I had severe consequences - many similar to what’s suggested in this thread - and have had decades as an adult being absolutely panic stricken about falling asleep because of it. I’m in intensive therapy, take multiple medications and *still* often am unable to sleep because of the level of adrenaline my body produces after having been taught that it’s bad to get deep sleep. I consider it a resounding victory when I get a single hour of deep sleep in a night.

Sleep is way more necessary than whatever it is that she would be missing. Don’t schedule anything for her in the morning. Work with the school district. This is 100% something you should accommodate rather than teaching her body that it’s doing something wrong to sleep deeply. See a pediatrician, get a sleep study. And if the answer is “she needs a lot of sleep” or “she only gets deep sleep after Xpm” just make that happen.
posted by Bottlecap at 9:00 PM on February 10, 2022 [4 favorites]

I've always struggled with waking and a doc once told me to eat a hardboiled egg before bed. Something about the protein helping steady blood sugar through the night, so I wasn't waking up low.

Who knows if it was placebo but it really worked.
It's just onerous and gross eating an egg every night so I'm back to my sleepy ways.
posted by EarnestDeer at 9:36 PM on February 10, 2022

@EarnestDeer: this isn’t an answer to OP’s question, but a comment on your answer: a cheese stick (string mozzarella, Colby-Jack blend, whatever) will do just as well as a hard boiled egg.

As to everything else, I’m in agreement with the “don’t torture the child” answers here. Yikes.
posted by verbminx at 3:14 AM on February 11, 2022

Response by poster: To clarify: a) she wants to get up on time because missing out on school (her school is being great and working with us on her irregular attendance patiently) means she misses classes and friend time

and b) she does not have a fixed sleep schedule. Since she was a baby, her sleep patterns have been variable - sometimes 6 hours, sometimes 10+. Same bedtime = wildly different waking hours without an alarm.

I'm writing up a list of the ideas above and we'll go through and see what works. It is worth escalating to her doctors, although that will take a while with waiting lists. We have previously discussed melatonin, but for various reasons, her pediatrician nixed it.

I'm just going to sidestep the torture stuff as there are some big assumptions being made from a place of kindness.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 5:18 AM on February 11, 2022 [5 favorites]

"Let the kid sleep" is brilliant in theory and not at all practical in the real world where a) the child herself wants to wake up on time and b) life happens in the mornings whether we want to or not, including school for children and work for caregivers.

I nth checking her tonsils and adenoids, my own kid started having much much more restful sleep once they were removed. An alarm on a Fitbit or similar might help too, the ones that sense where you are in your sleep cycle. Finding the right time in the sleep cycle to ease her way to wakefulness is going to be the gentlest method. Maybe it makes sense to watch her movements for a bit in the mornings? See if you can sense a pattern? Some days she might be ready to wake up at 6am and some closer to 8, or whenever.
posted by lydhre at 6:33 AM on February 11, 2022

Coming out of left field, but is she sleeping flat on her bed? Does she get better sleep on her back, side or stomach? Has she tried sleeping with her head and upper body raised to promote better breathing, while not sliding back into a flat position?
How well does she sleep on a reclining chair or sofa? Can she sleep in the vehicle on road trips?
The point I am making is that she may get better quality sleep in an upright position, therefore not need as many hours of sleep. This could effect her waking state.
posted by TrishaU at 12:16 PM on February 11, 2022

If kidlet wakes up when carried outside, have you tried a daylight alarm clock? Set one up without enough lead time that child can wake slowly with it, over the span of at least half an hour instead of minutes.

I recently tried light therapy glasses (Re-timer, several brands work similarly) to help regulate my sleep. It took a couple of weeks and I was extremely skeptical, but they helped a noticeable amount. These aren't good for waking (you have to be awake to out them on), but they sell daylight alarm clocks that work on a similar principle.

I also like the idea of a cheap fitness band that will vibrate to wake a the right time in your REM cycle. I've done that before and it makes me feel less groggy.

I slept deeply as a kid and I have such horrifying insomnia now that I can't sleep without pills and haven't been able to in years (I've spent multiple month stints trying over the years with disastrous consequences) and I'd give anything to be this kid again.

Good luck. I have a bunch of empathy for both schedule demands and the need for unusual amounts of sleep.
posted by liminal_shadows at 5:33 AM on February 12, 2022

oh one more thing that could possibly be a variable: How's her mattress? At about your daughter's age, my kid started needing a softer mattress in order to be comfortable at night (A nice foam pad on top of the mattress she had was enough.) You want her sleep to be as good as it can be in the night, to help her have had enough of it by the morning...
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:33 AM on February 12, 2022

The most successful and reliable thing for me is to have a fairly quiet Music alarm (a cd player or streaming - familiar music seems to work better) that goes off about 30 minutes before I need to wake up. This doesn't actually wake me up, but it seems to activate something in my brain that makes it possible for the alarm to wake me.

(bonus, sometimes it does wake me up if it hits at a good sleep cycle end)

Then, an actual alarm that goes off at alarm time. This one I put far enough away that I have to get out of bed to turn it off. This is kind of the same theory as a sunrise alarm, but a sunrise alarm doesn't work for me. The vibrating alarm has also been medium-successful for me.

When I was 18 years old I lived in apartment style dorms in college, and slept through a fire alarm at 4am in my building that was an actual fire - it had the traditional alarm noises, strobe lights in the bedrooms and a loud announcing voice on a speaker asking us to evacuate. I was woken up by a firefighter shaking me and shouting at me to get out of the building, 20 minutes later. If your daughter stays places away from you make sure she knows to let everyone know she could sleep through alarms they wouldn't think possible!

ps: my parents just let me sleep a lot when I was impossible to wake up, which I know was from a good place, but I was embarassingly late to and/or missed lots of fun things when I was younger, and I get worried about sleeping through an alarm and no one "making" me wake up as an adult. Damned if you do, damned if you don't on this one! ;)
posted by euphoria066 at 5:31 PM on February 13, 2022

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