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This App Gives Me Precious Extra Time Every Morning

I turned myself into a morning person and you can too!

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I would not consider myself a natural morning person by any means, but yet I have managed to slap an extra hour onto the front of my day for the past two months by waking up at 6 AM every single day even though working from home means I don’t have to commute. Even on the weekends. I wouldn’t say it’s been easy or pleasant — especially not for those first few minutes — but I’ve been able to stick to it without fail thanks to the help of a simple app.

Sleep As Android, which comes in free and premium flavors, has a whole wealth of tracking features from sleep cycle analysis to ultrasonic capabilities that let it analyze your sleep patterns from its perch on your nightstand. But the one and only feature I use it for is its CAPTCHA alarms.

Every night, before I go to bed, I take a deep breath and set the irrevocable alarm that will make sure I get my feet on the floor. Instead of being snoozable, or even having the option to turn off at all, this alarm is paired with an NFC sticker that lives in my kitchen on the other side of the apartment. When it goes off in the morning, it starts softly, but slowly gains volume and absolutely will not stop until I go touch my phone to that sticker. By then, I have mustered just enough willpower to have a coffee and read for a bit instead of stumbling back to bed.

While my solution is Android-specific and relies on buying some special stickers, there are alternatives for iPhone users and the sticker-averse. Barcode Alarm on iOS functions the same, and requires you to simply scan a printed QR code — an option that Sleep As Android has as well.

Some willpower is still required, of course. You could probably figure out a way to force-cancel the app, or turn off your phone, or decide against setting the alarm in the first place. But, if you’re anything like me, you’ll develop such an affection for your newfound morning hours that it will get easier and easier to resist the temptation to sleep them away, especially on the weekends. Even though those getting through those first few minutes is still a real drag.

Sleep As Android (Android) Barcode Alarm (iOS) NFC Tags: $7

Today in Gear
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