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Reverse Alarm Clock

Pavlov for Insomnia
  (+12, -2)(+12, -2)
(+12, -2)
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To begin using this clock, you must first condition your body to it. To do so you put it in the aptly titled conditioning mode. You start it shortly before going to sleep, and it monitors your breathing and eye movements unobtrusively until it judges that you are near sleep. It then plays it's "alarm", which is not very loud, but easily heard. This carries on playing until you have been asleep for a minute or so.

Once this has been going on for a while, you will be able to use it to set a time (either fixed, or set at the end of a sleep timer) at which it will play this alarm, and your Pavlovian conditioning will send you to sleep.

Of course, you should try not to listen to too many similar-sounding alarms during the day, lest you suddenly fall asleep at them...

dbmag9, Nov 24 2007

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       I think that, if I had difficulty getting to sleep, and I was waiting for a "not very loud" alarm to go off as I started to doze, I'd never get to sleep....
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 24 2007
  

       It's not an alarming sound, so using the word "alarm" is a bit confusing. It could be called a lullaby or something.   

       To expand the idea a bit, you could start the program with some soothing classical music as you lie down. Then have it switch to something even slower as it detects you relax toward sleep--wind in trees, maybe, or soft-brush jazz snares. It could work in several gentle stages, depending on the accuracy of the detectors, then change to something for sleep that continues all night long. Then, as the idea says, once conditioning has taken, put each sound a little earlier in each stage--push instead of pull, so to speak.   

       I'm liking this, as I have found that I sleep much better with the sound of a fan in the room, and can often only get calm by listening to audio books.
baconbrain, Nov 25 2007
  

       I don't think it would need to be alarming to keep me awake - just knowing it was going to happen would be enough. But pay me no heed on this.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 25 2007
  

       I don't think it would work - but I do think it would be very interesting to find out for sure.
lurch, Nov 25 2007
  

       Why are you late for work?   

       My alarm clock didn't go off.
4whom, Nov 28 2007
  

       yeah... in theory... [+]
sprogga, Nov 28 2007
  

       Perhaps it could use binaural beats [+]
Spacecoyote, Nov 28 2007
  
      
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