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How Do The Deaf Wake Up In The Morning?

Alarm Clock For The Deaf

Fun Facts

How Do The Deaf Wake Up In The Morning?

For the hearing impaired, the simple act of waking up at a specific time can be a challenge. With no annoying beeping or loud radio alarm clock to wake them up, getting up and ready for work on time could be a bit of a problem. But it doesn’t. So how do they do it?

3 Different Methods The Deaf Utilize

Instead of relying on an incredibly loud & annoying noise, the hearing impaired can utilize 3 different methods to wake up. Those who are deep sleepers often use all three at the same time. Alarm clocks for the hearing impaired aren’t that much different from regular alarm clocks, most even include everyone’s favorite feature, the snooze button.

The most foolproof and common method is a strong vibrating accessory attached to a regular alarm clock. The attachment is placed under a pillow, under a pillow, or attached directly to a person. Most cell phones come with a vibrate feature now and this is very similar to that, except much more powerful.

Another method, similar to a vibrating alarm clock, is bright flashing lights. A bright light is hooked up to a clock or a timer and will flash in the direction of the person to wake them up. Usually, the light feature is included with a vibrating alarm clock as those particular products are targeted towards the deaf.

The third option is simply to have someone else wake them up. A spouse, parent, child or roommate can often make a great alarm clock if they’re reliable. Though, the ‘snooze’ feature on this option can vary wildly depending on the personality of the person.

What about smoke detectors and doorbells?

deaf alarm clock

These usually work the same way. In the homes of the hearing impaired, flashing lights are strategically placed throughout the house with varying degrees of color and intensity depending on the type of alert.

New products are being designed all the time to assist in such cases. Just recently made available are watches or wristbands that can constrict or tighten which will also help the blind.

Another new product invented by the Japanese is a wasabi smoke alarm. It releases a chemical compound called allyl isothiocyanate, which is what gives horseradish, mustard, and wasabi their trademark ‘sting’. Not surprisingly, in tests on sleeping people with both normal or no hearing, the device woke all subjects up within two and a half minutes. The product is off to a great start.



  1. Sandy Kovach

    July 3, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    There’s a lot of stuff here I would have never thought about otherwise. This kind of content really does spark the imagination. I think the Wasabi fire/carbon monoxide detector for the deaf would work amazingly well. I’m a huge fan of wasabi (the fake kind, the real kind isn’t particularly hot) and it certainly will get your attention.

    I bet the deaf’s lives have been made easier with cell phones all having a vibration feature which also works as an alarm clock. I doubt it won’t be long until Japan has robots which gently wake you up so most of these devices will become obsolete in 40 or so years. They already have robots taking care of their elderly, it won’t be long until they’re acting as maids and nannies.

  2. Phil Tucker

    October 18, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    My wife, who is completely deaf, uses a vibrating alarm made by Sonic Alert. She hadn’t worked since before she became completely in both ears. When she started back to work I bought this alarm thinking the vibration would be mild and wake her without waking me. I was somewhat concerned after seeing it in action for the first time, it was strong enough to do much more than that. Let me tell you, that thing will wake you, it will stand you up and send you on your way.
    I love it and hate it at the same time. Every time it pulses I jump several inches off the mattress. It’s effectiveness is greatest return on any investment I have ever made.

  3. wolfe

    December 12, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    My mother started losing her hearing from the age of 12 due to a medical condition. While she can hear with the help of a hearing aid, she does not wear it when she sleeps. When I was young she worked nights as a nurse, and my father would wake her when it was time for her to get ready for work. He did the same any time she needed to be up for any reason. He was her alarm clock for all the years they were married. She use to joke the only time this method did not work, and my father was unable to wake her, was when we were babies and would cry in the middle of the night.

    • Jenny

      September 17, 2019 at 3:32 pm

      That’s adorable, they sound like they love each other very much.

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