Story

The developer Jarig Duval on why he developed the Sleep Crusher alarm clock:

“Ever since I moved from my parents and started to study Computer Science (major) and Psychology (minor) I struggled with getting up on time – hitting the snooze button more often than I should have.
I tried everything from putting the alarm clock at the other end of the room, drinking a full glass of water before night, bright wake-up lights, an alarm that was beeping like hell and rolling under my bed in the morning.

It was always the same story: I adjusted.
In the end I could walk across the room more asleep than awake, sleep in bright light, catch a beeping rolling ball literally in my sleep and had a well trained bladder.

In 2012 – the year after my degree – I gave independent app development a shot. Having no schedule left my sleeping habits became even more erratic.

In 2013 I decided to take the problem head on.
With the “Barcode Alarm Clock” I developed a solution that got me out of bed for sure.
Instead of going across the room to stop the alarm clock I now had to go to the bathroom to scan in the barcode of my toothpaste.
The optimal wake up trill frequency to trigger fight or flight instincts made sure I got up.

Having no way left to sleep through the beeping alarm I once again adapted.
More often than good for a healthy sleep schedule I set the alarm during the day when willpower was high just to cancel the alarm just before going to bed when willpower was low.

So after a month I added the lockable alarm feature.
I was now able to set and lock the alarm when willpower was high and had no way to cancel it when willpower was low.

Trying to adapt again I found myself in a situation where I was standing in my bathroom the toothpaste in one hand and my iPhone in the other hand barely awake.
I solved not falling back to sleep. I didn’t solve waking up.
I figgured that there had to be a way to speed up regaining alertness after physically waking up.

That’s when I developed the Mathe Alarm Clock.
Multiple choice math questions was all it needed to activate higher brain functions preventing falling back to sleep once the fight or flight instincts were triggered by that annoying ringtone.
Success on the App Store and overwhelming customer feedback from people alike proved a point.

Because math isn’t just for everyone I soon developed the Motion Alarm Clock, and the Memory Alarm Clock.

All things went well. Until I married. All of a sudden that infernal ringtone wasn’t so brilliant any more.

I quickly added the “Don’t wake my spouse” button – a 10 seconds snooze button.
Just a few seconds of beeping (until I could push that button) were enough to trigger the fight or flight instinct.
The math-puzzles made sure I wouldn’t fall back to sleep while my wife could easily fall back to sleep being not even completely awake.

I did it!
Nope. Kids.
When my first son was born I took the luxury of not using an alarm clock at all any more. I worked very little – Mathe Alarm Clock was going very well.
But success grows competition. What a lesson!
So I got back to work to catch up – my son already a toddler now.
To really get the best of me I got into Morning Routines. So I added that to my Alarm Clocks as well.

Now (2020) – having a newborn and a toddler sleeping in the same room – I cannot use fight or flight instinct triggering ringtones any more. I have to leave the room before anything happens.
I decided to merge the Barcode wake-up mission with the Math wake-up mission.
Forcing me to physicaly get up, to leave the room, and then doing a brain game does the trick brilliantly again.

While I was at it I added in the other wake-up missions from the Memory alarm clock and the Motion alarm clock as well to further boost the alarm clock’s efficiency.
The Sleep Crusher alarm clock was born.”