Ask LH: How Can I Wake Myself Up Without Disturbing My Girlfriend?

Ask LH: How Can I Wake Myself Up Without Disturbing My Girlfriend?

Dear Lifehacker, I’m trying to get into a routine of waking up early for a run or a swim, but the problem is my alarm clock wakes up my girlfriend, and she can’t get back to sleep again. Do you have a recommendation for a way to wake me up before her without waking her up too? Thanks, Sleep Or Split

Grumpy girlfriend picture from Shutterstock

Dear SOS,

It sounds like you need to get yourself a fitness wristband. Most of these come with an inbuilt vibrating alarm that wakes the wearer up soundlessly. Provided your wrist isn’t underneath your girlfriend at the time, the vibrations shouldn’t disturb her sleep.

In addition to waking you up quietly, fitness wristbands are tailor-made to keep tabs on all facets of fitness and exercise, which would appear to suit your lifestyle perfectly. They monitor everything from how much deep/SWS sleep you get to the number of steps you take each day. The Samsung Galaxy Gear Fit even comes with an inbuilt heart-rate monitor although the device only works with a Galaxy smartphone.

My personal recommendation would be the Jawbone UP24. It’s comfortable, stylish and boasts a user-friendly app that’s compatible with most Android and iOS devices. You can read more about the device here.

If you’re a heavy sleeper, a pair of Bluetooth headphones might be a better option. Simply schedule a connection to your phone’s music playlist and you’ll get that blast of morning sound you need without waking your partner. In terms of specific brands, SleepPhones might be worth checking out — as its name implies, these are designed to be worn comfortably in bed.

If any readers have silent wake-up routines of their own, let SOS know in the comments section below.

Cheers Lifehacker

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  • Sleep or Split?

    I think you have a bigger problem here. If she does’t value your efforts in keeping yourself healthy and fit …

    • Seems a little unfair, she might work later and get to bed later than him for all you know. People do need sleep.

        • Riiight, because it’s obviously a dichotomy and there’s no way to be healthy that doesn’t involve inconveniencing others.

  • Or get a Pebble watch. you can have up to 4 alarms on it… mine wakes me up at ungodly hours so I’m not late for work. and I set my phone’s alarm to wake me up if my watch does not.

  • Simple solution:

    1. Open up her purse
    2. Remove testicles
    3. Wake up and go for a run whenever you damn please.

    • So being a man means being an inconsiderate prick? Doing whatever you want, whenever you want isn’t a sign of being a man, it’s a sign of being a spoilt child. Time to grow up.

  • In response to Rocket and Bob:

    As a night shift worker myself, I end up going to bed around 4:30am-5:00am. So when my girlfriends alarm goes off at 6:00am for her work day, I’ve already entered delta sleep and don’t get waken up by it. Sure there is a rare occurrence where it does wake me up, but that works.

    Just because he cares about his girlfriends sleep doesn’t mean he’s whipped, Bob. I have the potential of being a serial killer if someone wakes me up way too early.

    My suggestion; is it possible for you to set your alarm a little earlier (this is only if your girlfriend goes to bed late) so she’s in a deep sleep by the time you get up? If not, definitely try the wristband solution.

  • First, follow @BobsYourUncle advice. Really.

    Alternatively, if your GF has your credit card as well as your testicles – she probably won’t let you fork out for new technology, so set your phone alarm to ‘vibrate only’ and put it under your pillow.

    If that doesn’t work, drink heaps before you go to bed, then when you wake up in the middle of the night – go sleep in another bed. Your alarm can be as loud as you need if you’re in anothe room.

  • Oh I thought this was going to be about something entirely different.

  • I’ve found with some trial and error if I set my phone alarm (iPhone) to about 30-35% volume and leave it on a carpeted surface right next to the bed 9/10 times it will wake me up before my wife.

  • Nothing in this article suggests a girlfriend threatening to split. Just someone who cares about their partner wanting to minimise the impact of their own behaviour.

  • I use Sleep Cycle on iOS. It wakes me up with a noise increasing alarm with vibrations under my pillow. Doesn’t wake my gf up!

    • Don’t think a mobile phone under your head all night is a good idea? I like my brain medium-well thanks!

      • Only if your head is as big as your pillow…. In fact sleep cycle should be put on your mattress but not under your pillow. The vibration only alarm will wake me easily without waking my partner. And after a couple of weeks or months, your body will get used to waking early and you won’t need the alarm as much.

  • My roommate has taught herself to ignore her alarm clock, so it usually rings for 30 minutes before she can actually be bothered to get up out of bed … to press snooze. She has “depression”, so if she doesn’t have something to do during the day, she’s sleeping. She just finished her holidays which she spent sleeping at odd ours – effectively screwing up her internal clock. She used to believe that having the volume LOUDER on her alarm was the key to waking up on time for work, until I brought it up that I couldn’t sleep. She initially had a tantrum, returned after and said she would half the volume (which is what I was going to ask in the first place until she had a hissy-fit). She even tried an alarm clock exactly the same as mine, so despite the volume, it still woke me up.

    I can’t wait to live on my own.

    • Cool story. “Depression” is a mental illness, not something to be sneered at.

  • So after searching for an hour of ways to try and wake up with disturbing my other half I’ve come to one conclusion, the ones using “” around depression are ignorant and highly uneducated people. Living with depression is horse shit do you people even think we like take pills the deal with the never ending bad thoughts, the ACTUAL PHYSICAL body aches and pains. Making our significant other deal with it too, OR the feel of not wanting to do anything because you body and mind are so tired. Getting no sleep. NO ONE with this shit wants it. NO ONE! so for you people throwing out “depression” need to get on your uneducated high horse and go pick another topic you OBVOUSLY have no idea about.

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