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Skip The Snooze Button With These Best Alarm Clocks For Heavy Sleepers

Author:

Christie Calucchia

Medical reviewer:

Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS

March 26, 2023

Contributor

By Christie Calucchia

Contributor

Christie is a writer, editor, and content strategist whose work has appeared in Shape, Real Simple, Southern Living, InStyle, People, Travel + Leisure, and more.

Medical review by

Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS

Board-certified Family Physician

Scott Nass, M.D., MPA, FAAFP, AAHIVS is a family physician and HIV specialist in California. He takes a holistic approach to healthcare, incorporating principles of functional medicine and using food as medicine when working with patients.

Image by mbg creative

March 26, 2023

Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

It’s no secret that sleep is essential for optimal health and wellness. Research shows that the quality, timing, and regularity of your sleep are just as important as the number of hours you get. The best alarm clocks for heavy sleepers will stop you from oversleeping and help you stick with an ideal sleep schedule.

Ahead, check out seven of the best alarm clocks for heavy sleepers. We’ve even found options with companion apps for easy programming and sleep tracking, so you can really maximize on those hours spent in bed. Some incorporate loud noises, bright lights, and even vibrations. No matter which you choose, these alarm clocks are great for even the heaviest of sleepers.

The best alarm clocks for heavy sleepers of 2023:

Best with soundscapes: Loftie Alarm ClockBest for kids: Hatch Rest+Best sunrise: Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up LightBest budget: Peakeep Twin Bell Alarm ClockBest vibrating: Sonic Alert Sonic Bomb Alarm ClockBest wearable: Pavlok Shock ClockBest moving: Clocky Alarm Clock on Wheels

What causes heavy sleeping?

“Although heavy sleeping isn’t a medical term, we generally think of a heavy sleeper as someone who can sleep through stimuli that would wake other people up, such as noise, light, or smells,” explains Michael Miyamoto, M.D., cardiologist and medical director at Amazon Halo.

How lightly or heavily a person sleeps is dependent on factors such as sleep quality, deep sleep stages, sleep disorders, and possibly genetics, adds Miyamoto. That in mind, there is no singular explanation for what causes heavy sleeping. However, Miyamoto references a 2010 study which found heavy sleepers had more brainwave activity1, associated with a greater ability to block out sleep disruptions. The reasoning behind this remains unclear, he adds.

How to choose an alarm clock for heavy sleepers:

If you (or someone you sleep with) is a heavy sleeper, keep the below criteria in mind when deciding which alarm clock is best for you.

Persistence

Miyamoto says heavy sleepers should look for an alarm clock that uses persistent noises, lights, and other waking features. He explains that an alarm that stops quickly or can easily be snoozed won’t be the best option for someone prone to sleeping through stimuli.

Progressive stimuli

Ideally, an alarm clock should have progressive levels of light and sound. “Heavy sleepers generally need more [frequent] and longer nudges to wake up,” Miyamoto says.

Features that support quality sleep

Miyamoto says a common reason for sleeping through an alarm is not getting enough high quality sleep. “Much of this has to do with simply getting to bed too late, as well as too much light exposure at bedtime,” he adds. “Other factors include caffeine and alcohol exposure, stress, and bedrooms that are too warm.” Turning to an alarm with features that help you fall asleep faster may help deep sleepers have an easier time waking up.

How we picked:

Features

Alarm clocks for heavy sleepers come with all kinds of features, including loud alarms, vibrating settings, bright lights, and more. These were considered in picking the best options that are the most likely to actually help someone who struggles to wake up after sleeping.

Design

Looks aren’t everything, but if you’re going to invest in an alarm clock that will sit on your nightstand, you’ll want it to look as good as it works. That’s why we kept the design of alarm clocks in mind when compiling this list.

Reviews

User reviews helped us determine which alarm clocks are most helpful for heavy sleepers and which aren’t worth the money. Each pick on this list has hundreds to thousands of positive reviews from happy shoppers.

The alarm clocks on our list range in price from under $20 to over $100. There’s an effective option for every budget, and those on the pricier side have unique features and design elements to justify the investment.

Our picks for the best alarm clocks for heavy sleepers of 2023:

Best with soundscapes: Loftie Alarm Clock

Pros:

White noise and other features to help you fall asleepBreathwork, meditations, and sound bathsTwo-phase alarm for peaceful wake-up

Cons:

Requires wifi connectionLight isn’t designed as a wake-up feature

Size: 2.75 x 6.5 x 2.75 inches

Wake-up method: Two-phase alarm with sounds

Power source: USB-C cablePower adapter

Display type: Digital

This alarm clock from Loftie has features to help you fall asleep and wake up peacefully. The design is modern and stylish with a dimmable digital screen and warm nightlight. To soothe you to sleep, it offers a white noise machine, nature soundscapes, breathwork, meditations, and sound baths. It even has a blackout mode for total darkness if that’s what you prefer.

When it’s time to wake up, the clock uses a two-phase alarm. First, it uses soft sounds to gently nudge you awake. Next, it plays more energizing sounds to further rouse you from sleep. Bonus: the clock doubles as a Bluetooth speaker.

Our commerce editor, Carleigh Ferrante, loves the Loftie Alarm Clock, noting that the brand’s Nighstant Bundle has fully elevated her sleep. “I had my eye on Loftie for a while before trying out the Loftie Lamp. I was so impressed with the device that I had to get myself the alarm clock, too. Together, these two devices help me ease into bed, sleep more soundly, and get out of bed in a fraction of the time that I used to. I love the breathwork and meditation capabilities and actually look forward to the soft glow of the lamp in the morning. The best part? I’m scrolling way less and I’ve cut down significantly on screen time.” — Carleigh Ferrante, commerce editor

Best for kids: Hatch Rest+

Pros:

NightlightCompanion appSoothing sounds

Cons:

Some users have trouble with the app

Size: 4 x 4 x 6.5 inches

Wake-up method: LightSound

Power source: Rechargeable battery

Display type: Digital

This newest kids version of Hatch’s popular smart sleep devices functions as a soothing sound machine, customizable nightlight, and alarm clock all in one. It has a dimmable clock you can choose to adjust or turn off completely. Plus, you can control and program the device using an app on your smartphone, which makes it an especially great pick for parents.

The sleep machine comes with a charging base that provides up to eight hours of battery, so it’s a great portable option as well. While this clock has plenty of features to help little ones sleep soundly, it also uses light and sound to signal when it’s time to wake up.

What our tester says:

“I’ve used this alarm clock for my four year old since she was born! You can control the volume on a scale of 1 to 100, depending on the size of the room and how far away it is from the crib. We love that the light feature serves as a way to make bedtime more fun! Before we turn out the lights in our toddler’s room, we let her choose what color she wants her Hatch to be (purple is a favorite!). We’ve taught her that when her light turns green in the morning (we control it through the app), it’s time to wake up!” — Jordan Dennis, mindbodygreen tester

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Best sunrise: Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light

Pros:

Sunrise and sunset simulationNatural soundsRadio feature

Cons:

Not the most practical design

Size: 6 x 10 x 10 inches

Wake-up method: LightSound

Power source: Power cord

Display type: Digital

If you don’t like waking up abruptly to a loud alarm, this sunrise wake-up light is a great alternative. It’s designed to provide a more natural wakeup, with a light that mimics the sunrise. The device also has a sunset feature to help you wind down and ease into sleep at night.

Choose from 20 brightness settings and five natural wake-up sounds, such as birds chirping, to get you out of bed. The clock also has an FM radio and a tap snooze button, and it doubles as a bedside lamp.

This wake-up light has more than 4,400 five-star reviews on Amazon. Shoppers say it works great and is well worth the price. One reviewer who has sleep apnea writes, “The first day I woke up with this clock was literally the most peaceful way I’ve ever woken up.”

Best budget: Peakeep Twin Bell Alarm Clock

Pros:

Multiple color optionsAesthetically pleasingLoud sounds

Cons:

No snooze buttonNo app or additional features

Size: 6.5 x 6.5 inches

Wake-up method: Twin bell alarm

Power source: Battery

Display type: Analog

This vintage-inspired alarm clock has a compact and timeless design that will blend right in with any bedroom decor. We love the traditional clock face, but appreciate the fact that the hands won’t tick, so you can sleep soundly until the alarm goes off. The device wakes you up with a twin bell alarm that’s loud enough for the deepest sleepers. Just note, there’s no snooze button on this one, so be ready to jump out of bed on the first ring.

With nearly 3,000 five-star reviews and more than 9,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, this clock has gained a ton of positive feedback. While the sound it jarring, customers say it’s ideal for those who need to be jolted awake. “There’s no way you’ll be able to sleep through the clock’s panic-inducing, shrill peals of the hammer bouncing off the twin bells,” one shopper writes.

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Best vibrating: Sonic Alert Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock

Pros:

Loud soundsVibrating optionOptional flashing strobe lights

Cons:

Not as aesthetically pleasing as other optionsNot very intuitive to set

Size: 5.25 x 5.5 inches

Wake-up method: LightSoundVibration

Power source: Power cord

Display type: Digital

For heavy sleepers and those who are deaf or hearing impaired, this alarm clock wakes users with a layer of sensory elements. It has an extra-loud alarm sound clocking in at 113 decibels, a vibrating unit you can put under your pillow or between a mattress and a box spring, and flashing lights to help ensure deep sleepers wake up.

A dimmable display allows you to adjust the duration of your alarm and snooze time, and the device is powered by a plug-in cord, but also comes with a battery backup in case of a power outage. What’s more, you can set two alarms at once, which is ideal for couples with different schedules. Just keep in mind, some reviewers say setting the alarms can be a bit tricky.

Even so, more than 22,000 Amazon shoppers have given this clock a five-star rating. Based on reviews, it works well for heavy sleepers and those with some sleep conditions, such as narcolepsy and circadian rhythm disorder. “With this alarm, as soon as it turns on, I literally jump out of bed and turn it off [because] it startles the living crap out of me,” one customer writes.

Best wearable: Pavlok Shock Clock

Pros:

WearableQuietCompanion app

Cons:

Some say it isn’t comfortable

Size: 1 inch wide

Wake-up method: VibrationBeepsGentle zap sensations

Power source: Battery

Display type: Digital

Ideal for those with roommates or partners who are lighter sleepers, this wearable alarm clock helps the person wearing it wake up efficiently, without disrupting those around them. It uses beeps and vibrations to gently but effectively wake the wearer. For truly deep sleepers, there’s even a more intense zap feature to help get you moving (reviewers promise it’s not painful at all).

The wearable alarm clock connects to an app and can be controlled with a smartphone. If the beeps, vibrations, and zaps aren’t enough to fully get you out of bed, there are other features to explore, such as requiring a QR code scan in another room or doing jumping jacks to turn off the alarm.

“Where has this been all my life?” asks one Amazon shopper. “It is impossible to sleep through, gets my blood pumping in the morning, and the best part is it wakes me without a single sound.”

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Best portable: Clocky Alarm Clock on Wheels

Pros:

Loud soundsOption to snoozeOptional roll-away feature

Cons:

Short battery lifeCan only roll off of a nightstand up to 3 feet tall

Size: 5.5 x 4.3 inches

Wake-up method: SoundMovement

Power source: Battery

Display type: Digital

If a traditional alarm just isn’t cutting it, consider this rolling device. First, it wakes you with a loud beeping sound. If you wait too long to turn the alarm off, the clock will roll off a low nightstand (up to 3 feet tall) to move about your floor, forcing you to get up out of bed to stop the racket.

This device has an optional single snooze button, and if the rolling feature isn’t for you, you can simply disable it. The clock is available in seven colors and has a standard digital time display.

It’s a bit gimmicky, but deep sleepers say this moving alarm clock truly does help get them out of bed. Thousands of Amazon shoppers have given it a five-star rating. People say it’s great for kids, teenagers, and adults who are deep sleepers or have nontraditional sleeping schedules. “If the initial fall of the clock doesn’t wake you up, the abrupt beeping and radio-surfing noises will,” one reviewer writes.

FAQ:

What helps heavy sleepers wake?

Long, consistent stimuli can help heavy sleepers wake up. Having a consistent sleep schedule that allows for the recommended seven hours of sleep can also help, according to our expert, Michael Miyamoto, M.D., cardiologist and medical director at Amazon Halo. “Overall, paying attention to good sleep hygiene is the best way to help heavy sleepers transition to wakefulness,” he says.

What is the best alarm to wake someone up?

The best alarm is whatever works for you. “Your alarm should do its primary job, to wake you up, while avoiding startling you out of a deep sleep, which can result in excessive grogginess,” says Miyamoto.

Why do I keep sleeping through my alarms?

More than a third of U.S. adults report getting insufficient sleep, according to Miyamoto. This is a common explanation for why someone might sleep through their alarm. Consistent, high-quality sleep can help, but you should always check with your doctor to rule out an underlying issue, such as a sleep disorder.

Is heavy sleeping a disorder?

Heavy sleeping itself isn’t technically a disorder. However, it is occasionally related to sleep disorders like sleep apnea, Miyamoto explains. If you think you have a sleep disorder, you should consult a physician.

The takeaway.

If you struggle to wake up, you might consider upgrading your alarm clock. The best alarm clocks for heavy sleepers can improve your overall sleep hygiene and help you wake up more efficiently. We’re big proponents of quality sleep here at mindbodygreen, and have also put together a list of the best sunrise alarm clocks for a natural way to ease into your day.

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