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Devices which are too clever

28 January 2005 21:50


I have a sleep problem.

It's nothing serious like Sleep Apnea (which is where your breathing stops when you're asleep) or narcolepsy where people spontaneously fall asleep.

My problem is that I sleep too easily, I get tired lots and will be asleep without much effort at all. I'm yawning constantly throughout the day regardless of how much excercise, activity, sleep, or caffeine I've had.

This tends to last for around 6-8 months at a time.

I sleep deeply, more than once I've woken up to find somebody taking my pulse, or checking my breathing.


My problem with alarm clocks is that almost all the ones I've tried suck.

I used to have a lovely CD-player which woke me up pretty reliably, it measured its volume in decibels which was a cute touch.

Right now I have three clocks :

  • A brass-bell windup clock
  • A clock-radio-alarm-clock
  • An Amstrad CD-Player

The first I tend to forget to wind up, so it's useless.

The second is too clever - although the volume on the radio goes up very to a high level there's a "limiter" built into the alarm clock. Presumably as the result of some stupid lawsuit or something. Anyway you set the clock and set the volume to "10". The next morning the alarm clock turns on the radio at volume level "3".

There's no way to make the radio volume loud when it's in alarm mode.

Finally the Amstrad (yes Amstrad) branded CD-player will "reduce it's volume by 10% for every hour the device is left in the power-off state". (Paraphrasing from the manual).

Presumably this too is designed to avoid you turning it on at 4AM and going deaf, however it's a case of a device being too clever for its own good, and it annoys me.

Some people need a loud noise to wake them up. I do. I need three, or four, or five.



Sweet dreams people.

(PS. Apart from maing stupid mistakes at times when I really should know better I'm fine - I went to a doctor a time or two a few years ago. Apart from diagnosing depression and offering me happy-pills which I declined they didn't have any useful advice, so I'm used to periods of insomnia/sleepyness averaging 6-8months at a time).

Update OK It looks like it is Sleep Apnea after all…

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