Four nights in, I think I love my Lark

My sleep is like my kid’s report cards. “Not bad, but a lot of room for improvement”.

That improvement is on it’s way. Over the past few nights, my sleep quality is OK but my total sleep time, my number of awakenings in the night and my time to get to sleep could all be improved.

How do I know?

I just bought an “unalarm” Lark in the Apple Store and so far, it’s impressing me a lot.

The Lark is an App, a little wrist “un-alarm” and a stylish recharger. I’ll explain each of them.

The App is a clock, a link to the unalarm device and to a webpage which analyses my sleep pattern and coaches me on a better night’s sleep. Doing some reorganising after Christmas I decided my iPhone charger/clock radio was always going to bug me with it’s too bright time that couldn’t be dimmed enough and two alarms with such small writing I was never certain I had turned the right one on. With lots of early flights as part of my job, these crappy design features made me (1) feel like I was in a spotlight if looked at the clock at night and (2) had me waking way too early because I was nervous my alarm wasn’t set.

The “unalarm” device is a like a watch you wear to bed. Instead of making a noice to wake you up, it gives you a little vibration on the wrist. It only wakes you and not your partner so hence the “unalarm” tag. At first I was worried it wouldn’t wake me up or would be uncomfortable in bed but no problems on either score. You can set a snooze time like any clock radio.

The charge device is stylish looking; like it might be an actual Apple product. The designers got the measurements exactly right for sliding the unalarm device onto the mini-USB charger, but didn’t quite count the wristband, so it takes a tiny bit more fiddling than it should. The “charger” for the iPhone is actually just a stand and you have to plug in the USB cable from the back to actually charge the phone. So the whole arrangement doesn’t look nearly as slick on the bedside table as it does in the sales pictures (this one from the Apple Store). The stand also doesn’t accommodate a Mophie case, which I need to ever have enough juice in an iPhone. These are minor irritants, but I would have thought a proper charger was a no-brainer for this device.

At bedtime, you just turn put on the unalarm and fire up the App, setting the wake up time. In the morning, you get woken by an easy vibration and, true to the Lark’s claim, your partner can keep sleeping. Well at least mine has so far. She’s very impressed (and normally she deems me the techno-optimistic, doomed to be disappointed by gadgets that don’t fulfil their promise).

I’ve overcome the bright light of my previous clock, which was my original issue . I’ve given my wife hours of extra sleep. I have three more days of the 7-day sleep analysis provided and, so far, I reckon I’ll have lots of data to improve my own sleep pattern.

Pretty good for a little over a $100. If you get up at different times to a partner, I’d recommend it. Even if you just want to improve your sleep, it’d be worth it.