Introduction: Cheap and Easy Clock Hack for Heavy Sleepers

Picture of Cheap and Easy Clock Hack for Heavy Sleepers

This is my first Instructable so I hope everyone enjoys. 
In the mornings I tend to have trouble getting out of bed.  I have tried setting multiple clocks, putting the clocks acroos the room, and still I find a way to turn them off and get back into bed.  I figured that making it more difficult to turn the alarm off on my clock would help me wake up.  
I have been looking around instructables to find an idea to help but most of them look to be higher than my skill when it comes to working with electronics, so I came up with the Clock Cage.

Step 1: Getting the Materials

Picture of Getting the Materials

Now for me this build only cost $2.00 because most of the items I had laying around.  I am sure most people have some of theses materials somewhere around your home or you can recycle something that's broken.


A Clock (not in picture) - for the cage I perfer a battery clock.  they cost about $3 to $5
A somewhat see-through container - found a CD case on clearence at wal-mart for $1
A piece of scrape wood bigger than the container - if you had to buy some I wouldn't think more
                                                                                            than $5
A piece of 3 feet or so of 1"x1" wood to attach the container to and hinge the base - again $2 or $3
A padlock or combination lock - $3 or $4
Some small screws - I think a pack is about $1.50
Some wire and a picture hanger - you can get a pack at Wal-Mart for about $4
A pack of small hingers (not in picture) - They cost $0.97

Note:  I will say some of these materials can be substutited, for instance instead of wire you can use a zip tie, instead of screws you can use nails (but it has to be the ones with heads, there are some nails that dont).

The tools needed:

A pair of pliers
A screwdriver
A drill with a bit alittle smaller the the screws
A tablesaw, jigsaw, or powersaw -- anything to cut the wood to shape, just use caution with any
                                                                 power tools you use.

Step 2: Making the Hinge

Picture of Making the Hinge

First what you want to do is cut the 1x1 and construct a rectangle a little smaller than the top of the CD case. (This will give room to attach the CD case to the frame)  Loop the wire around one of the handles on the CD case, slip on a crimp tube, and crimp it shut.  You are making a ring for the padlock.  Again, you can substitute other items instead of wire, ie. zip tie, chain, etc.  Now flip the CD case upside down and secure it to the frame with screws. 

Step 3: Making the Base

Picture of Making the Base

Now cut the wood board you're using for the base about 1 inch wider than the frame with the CD case. That extra inch will give you places to attachs the hinges.  Finally, attach the hinges and the wall hanger - be sure you have the wall hanger on the same side as the wire loop!

Step 4: The Cage Is Finished

Picture of The Cage Is Finished

The last thing to do is set your clock put it on the base, close the lid, lock it shut, and put the key and cage away from each other.  That way you will be forced to get out of bed to find the key and walk to unlock the cage to turn your clock off.

Thank you for checking out my first instructable
I hope other people find this hack helpful.
I would love to hear what everyone thinks of The Clock Cage

Step 5: Update: Making a Window

Picture of Update: Making a Window

Thanks to everyones comments.  I decided to modify  the cage and add a window so it is easier to see the clock.  This was a very easy change, I used a Dremal to cut out a part of the container and cut down a piece scrap plexiglass.  After that I drilled through the container and plexiglass and I just pop riveted them into place.


subzero22 (author)2010-09-04

have anything for me as I've tried the same things but for me i need them louder. I sometimes barley hear them when I get up or even sleep right threw them. I've visited my sisters house in California one time and literally slept threw an earth quake. Right now I use my pc with my speakers full blast but I don't want to keep doing that.

DvlChicky (author)subzero222011-12-30

What about the old-fashioned alarm clock with the 2 bells & a little hammer on top? Those are pretty loud & annoying. Have you tried one of those yet?

vamshi 03 (author)2010-07-14

excellent ! though i am not a heavy sleeper but wana try it

Junkyard Dawg (author)2010-06-30

I see the makings of a funny joke to play on my sister. Just build this, and place the alarm clock (set to go off at 6AM) inside, place it in her room, and wait. (evil laugh)

Crakur (author)2010-03-30

Cool idea but i sleep through my alarm =D

lemonie (author)2010-02-17

I know a guy who can sleep through alarms. We'd be in the same house, up at a normal time, then maybe 11:00-12:00 beep-beep-beep woof woof woof woof (2 dogs) -beep-beep woof woof -beep-beep woof woof until the dogs got tired then -beep-beep-beep-beep-beep-beep-beep-beep-beep-beep for the rest of the hour.


Father Christmas (author)lemonie2010-02-18

 Ha! That is what is it like to live with me! 

Or at least it used to be, until i figured to use the alarm on my phone at the loudest setting and place it on my pillow right next to my ear.

lemonie (author)Father Christmas2010-02-18

It is possible to shut noise out, but 1 hour of irritating-beeping and 2 dogs, I don't get... super-hungover or super-something else?


codex_corvidus (author)lemonie2010-02-19

I am one of these afformentioned heavy sleepers.  I have slept through 2 earthquakes, a volcano eruption, and a car crash.  Some of us just sleep heavier than a black hole, regardless of hangover lol.

This ible is brilliant btw.  I've tried all the above suggestions as well (setting multiple alarms, setting them far away, etc) but I never would've thought to make the alarm clock harder to get to.  Genius.  This will save me from another day being late to work!

OMG where do yo live!?!?!!? here in wisconsin, we only get blizards and tornadoes.

i wanna move to where you live

 lmfao ok lemme reiterate

The car crash happened in eastern Oregon.  One of the earthquakes was in sourthern Washington, and the other earthquake and volcano eruption occurred in The Philippines in 1991, during the famous eruption of Mt. Pinatubo.

nikholemarie (author)2010-02-24

have you seen the smash a clock

nitrox027 (author)2010-02-21

i have a netbook hooked up to a 1000 watt amp which is connected to 2x12" subs next to my head, i have an alarm program i wrote then opens a mp3 file at a certain time. i just choose the most anoying song i can find, usually screamo or something like that and to shut it off you have to open the netbook, and enter a password then close the program, works well, especially since the subs are enough to shake stuff off shelves in my living room, from where they are now in my room

Okok (author)nitrox0272010-02-21

Problem with this sort of solutions is if you have any neighbours listening to it all every morning!

nitrox027 (author)Okok2010-02-21

well i have the benefit of having a neighbor who's hard of hearing

Okok (author)nitrox0272010-02-21

Lucky you! Mine complain for any silly noise a bit too late or too early... I can just imagine them knocking my wall down with all their "complaint knocks" XD

Rimwulf (author)Okok2010-02-23

Tell them to deal with it you have to deal with their noisiness. lol.

Rimwulf (author)nitrox0272010-02-21

I have been looking for a puzzle program where you have to work a small puzzle to turn it off. know of any?

PKM (author)Rimwulf2010-02-23

Do sums to turn off your alarm clock

The problem I have with these is they mostly underestimate the duration of the window in which I can go back to sleep after being woken.  I could be made to walk down to the bottom of the garden in the snow wearing only boxers to retrieve the key to unlock the cabinet holding the Rubix cube which I have to solve before I can find in which order to turn off eighteen different alarm clocks in different rooms... and then go back to sleep :)

I favour a more carrot than stick approach- make it more desirable to be out of bed than in bed. All you really need for that is a coffee machine and a timeswitch (or a teasmade if you have more taste in caffeinated breakfast beverages).

Rimwulf (author)PKM2010-02-23

Yeah some people can go through hell and still want to fall asleep. For those I would recommend something shocking to the system, something to get some adrenaline flowing; like a bucket of ice water (hey you needed a shower anyway) or frozen quarters on the back or a taser attached to  your-  woops never mind but hey you get the point. oh what really works would a servo that would remove your blankets.

MicroKID (author)Rimwulf2010-02-22

That's a nice idea. I'll try to code one for you. Might take a while. :) But I'll update this message when it's done.

nitrox027 (author)Rimwulf2010-02-21

cant say that i do, try making your own. might be the only way

Consider My Solution (author)2010-02-22

Have you tried going to bed earlier?

neffk (author)2010-02-22

The Old Man Says: I like the idea, but it's probably a better idea to just be less sleep deprived.  Get 8 hrs for a week or two and see if you still need this contraption.

Kryptonite (author)2010-02-22

Suggestion: make a couple of these with the key for each one in the one before that. And the first key is hidden. He he.

jack002 (author)2010-02-21

Nice! I like it! You can also try a container of ice water over your bed with a motor and timer. Also your bed with a hinge on one side and a large motor on the ceiling with a rope on a pully, it winds up and dumps you to the floor. :)

brianpthomson (author)jack0022010-02-21

How about freezing the key in a small cup of water!  Should be awake by the time you get the key out of the ice.

Biohazard1194 (author)2010-02-17

This just might wake me up.
The only other thing that has worked so far was taping my clock to the ceiling.

5* and faved :D

xKari (author)Biohazard11942010-02-20

 wouldn't it fall down though?

Biohazard1194 (author)xKari2010-02-20

The tape held it fairly well... It only fell once.
It was just one of those cheapo tiny alarm clocks I found at a goodwill anyway. So I didn't mind it shattering over my floor, until I stepped on it...

xKari (author)Biohazard11942010-02-21

 oh, the ones that goes "dee... dee... dee... dee... dee dee dee dee dee dee DEE DEE DEE DEE" ? 

ecarrilloalbarran (author)xKari2010-02-21

ha ha ha

roosta (author)2010-02-21

even better, throw the key across the room when the lights are out. that way you godda go looking for it. :P

npa4863 (author)2010-02-21

 I set my my digital 15 min a head and crank it so when i look at it im like "oh crap ima be late" and about time i get ready its the same time on my cell then it just said on my alarm clock...LOL

ChaosFromAbove (author)2010-02-17

 hahaha...this is great...would be TORMENT for a roomate XD

What do you about people who just ignore the alarm and keep in bed?

Okok (author)2010-02-21

Great idea. I'll mail it to a friend of mine who has serious trouble in waking up and even more trouble with neighbours, sick of decibel-based tricks.

I don't need it now, as I wake up, get my son up and get to work with a number (5, actually) of different alarms on my mobile. One is half an hour before getting up, one is when I should get up, one is ten minutes before getting my son up nd have breakfast ready, one is when he must leave to be at school on time and one (happy, dane song) when I must leave the flat to get to work. By a combnation of 10 - 15 minute warning (for breakfast, school and work, as we walk to school/ work) and the 9-minute snooze on my first alarm, I go through my first hour and a half like a zombie, according to different sounds!

5 stars!

jinjaboy (author)2010-02-21

well done on getting your first instructable featured!
this will be really helpful for me

modcap (author)2010-02-21

I like your idea, but it seems frustrating.
Here's my idea, and also how i wake up completely rested:

Buy an electric timer and connect it to a bright lamp.
If you normally (without alarm clock would wake up at
theese times (below) Set the timer like this:

6 am; timer at 4 am
7 am; timer at 4:30 am
8 am; timer at 4;45 am
9 am, timer at 5 am

Put a blue lightbulb in the lamp. Blue light is the light humans gets most awaken of. (excuse my English, i'm Norwegian)

Just in case, use an alarm clock and set it to ten minutes before you want to get up.

modcap (author)modcap2010-02-21

BTW the reason the timer is set like that is becouse the sun is getting up, and in theese eco times i'm sure you want to save power ;D

moosish (author)2010-02-21

Wonderful idea! Thanks! 

mr monoply33 (author)2010-02-21

I thought it was kind of a dumb idea.... At first.

I also am a heavy sleeper. I generally tune out my alarm after a while, especially steady ones. The ones that are just "beep beep beep" or a steady bell. And trying to wake to music is just useless. My solution was, I bought an alarm clock that would play a CD to wake up to, logic behind it is so you can "Wake to your favorite song!"

I found a website of royalty free sound effects, pulled every alarm noise I could find, burned it to a CD and set the radio to blast a random track.

'Gratz on your project.

SeaLion (author)2010-02-21

The idea is there...but...I don't see it working since you'll just be frustrated or cheat by keeping the key right next to you.
My morning waking up solution is to se the alarm 1 hour before when I really want to wake up just so I will slowly start waking up 1 hour beforehand...don't get me wrong, I don't get out of bed...the snoozing action goes on for an hour before I get tired of it and actually get out of bed...worked for more than 3 months already.

chrwei (author)2010-02-21

 nice idea, but months later is it still working out for you?

chefguru (author)2010-02-21

I found a much simpler way...

Years ago, while traveling, I bought myself a trucker alarm at a truck stop.

120 dB (but it does have a "low" setting of only 70 dB.)  It's like a fire alarm going off.  If it didn't wake me up, it would wake up someone else in the house, and they'd wake me up to turn it off.

Plus, if you put that beside your bed, and it goes off at 120 dB 2 feet from your head, you're GOING to wake up!

laci37 (author)chefguru2010-02-21

I guess that will damage your ears...

PaHalloweenFreak (author)2010-02-21

EXCELLENT Idea!!  I too am a heavy sleeper!  I will either sleep right through it or manage to shut off the alarm in my sleep even with the clock across the room.  This would probably be my best bet, if I could actually hear it! 

Dzakovich000 (author)2010-02-21

Even after doing all that, I'm still gonna just go back to bed...

rjwarpath (author)2010-02-17

Haha. This would work great as a "Bon Jovi Bomb" (might be a future instructable). Basically it consists of  a CD player boombox, locked in a crate, blasting Bon Jovi on repeat.

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