I go to bed every night right before setting several alarms to ensure I actually get my ass out of bed at a reasonable time every day; I wake up every morning to the iPhone’s “Radar” alarm sound inches from my head. I like it — it’s free, it’s easy to set and it’s reliable. And I’m not alone. A 2013 study found that 44 percent of smartphone owners wake up to an alarm app on their phone. This despite the fact that many other studies show smartphones are murder for a good night’s sleep.
It all comes down to a couple factors: blue light emanating from your screen disrupts your body’s natural production of melatonin if you’re looking at your phone before you go to bed; middle-of-the-night notifications might stir your from your sleep, and avoiding them can prompt a bout of FOMO-driven anxiety. Of course, you can combat all of these problems with a combination of blue-light filters on your phone, Do Not Disturb Mode and good old fashioned self-restraint — but many suggest kicking the smartphone out of your bedroom altogether.
If this is the path you choose, an old-fashioned analog alarm clock is the best smartphone replacement. Driven by a battery and quartz and lacking in any features apart from the time and your alarm, a classic alarm clock is simple, effective and cheap. Better still, you’ll find no shortage of wonderfully designed timepieces, many penned by design greats like Dieter Rams, Arne Jacobson and Henning Koppel. Not only will they help you achieve a better night’s rest, they’ll add a little charm to your bedside table, too.