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Hands on ... Alarming Clock

What is it?

A handsome device that not only rouses you in the morning but also reminds you when it's time to hit the hay.

How will it change my life? Developing good sleep habits is a necessity for babies and children to help them understand that night time is for sleeping and daytime for play. Somewhere along the way most adults seem to have forgotten this most basic rule. I don't know how many times I tell myself I must get to bed by a decent hour only to get waylaid by distractions such as watching TV.

But the importance of a good night's sleep can't be underestimated. According to a steady stream of scientific journals, losing even a few hours can lead to cellular damage in the brain and make us potentially more susceptible to a raft of conditions including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

The Alarming Clock from Alarming Industries founded in 2012 by Natalie Duckett and Lee Murray both product design graduates from the University of Dundee, provides a solution and actively encourages you to get at least eight hours sleep by issuing an evening alarm or bed call when it's time to meet the sandman. This call is then followed by a wake-up nine hours later.

Good points? The instructions are easy to follow, implement and take no more than 30 seconds. Even the most sleep deprived can operate the Alarming Clock, which has minimal buttons underneath to set the clock timer. And with its kooky resemblance to a small wooden birdhouse, it wouldn't look out of place in any Scandi chic-inspired home.

The alarm itself is provided by a little wooden beak protruding from the front of the device which, when activated, rattles against the base, producing a woodpecker-type noise. The audible output can be altered by orientating the beak so it's within touching distance of another surface. I found it worked best when resting against another denser wooden object such as a fireplace. Like most alarm clocks you turn off the alarm by tapping the top of the unit.

Bad points? The Alarming Clock only displays the time on the underside of the unit so it's not visible unless turned upside down (though the makers say this is to deter clockwatching through the night). The idea behind the Alarming Clock is simple and works well but relies on you being in a position to hear the evening alarm, which can be difficult in a large home, especially if your bedroom is a fair distance from your living area.

Best for … Those requiring a gentle nudge to retire at a reasonable hour.

Avoid if … Your recreational living space is outwith earshot of the bedroom, as the evening alarm can be otherwise difficult to hear. On occasion, I found myself setting an alarm on my phone to remind me of the Alarming Clock call, which defeats the purpose.

Score: 8/10. The clock's makers have come up with a brilliantly simple idea with smart functionality and quirky looks.

l The Alarming Clock, £220 via Kickstarter pledge (alarmingindustries.co.uk)

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