Every day, I need to wake up at 7, and my girlfriend has to wake up at 8. This is all part of a carefully scheduled day plan and a compromise of both standing up sometime in between is not an option. How would I wake up without waking her up? I tried a couple of things:

  • Sleeping with earphones for a personal alarm. But sleeping among a bunch of cables is uncomfortable enough when you're sleeping alone, and doesn't get better with more people in the bed.
  • Earplugs for her. Doesn't work, since sometimes she's not woken up by her own alarm at 8.
  • An alarm starting at low volume, increasing slowly. As a bonus, the phone is also near me on the bed, so sometimes the vibrations accompanying the alarm wake me up before the alarm is loud enough. This is what we use right now, since I'm a lighter sleeper. It works sometimes, but I don't know of any better option.
  • 2
    If your girlfriend is this touchy about waking up an hour early, imagine what she'll be like if you have a baby with her and she'd have to wake up 5 hours early to feed the baby! May 10, 2016 at 11:41

12 Answers 12

  1. There are "vibrating watches" for this. They're wristwatches that vibrate when your alarm goes off.
  2. Or take wireless headphone (earplug) for using it with your phone.

Good luck for that :)

  • 7
    Bought a watch, let's see if it works, I'll get back in a week. :-)
    – Pope Alert
    Apr 10, 2015 at 8:45
  • 1
    The Pebble smartwatches are also ideal for this, since they can vibrate but do not produce an audible alarm (besides the buzzing of the vibration).
    – zovits
    Apr 14, 2015 at 7:36
  • @zovits I have a Pebble, and it's ideal for this
    – fredley
    Jan 21, 2016 at 11:04
  • 4
    @PopeAlert Has it been a week yet? How did it go?
    – Kyralessa
    Jul 2, 2021 at 10:56

this will sound ridiculous, but bear with me.When I have a specific time that I HAVE to wake up at (say for a flight or train), before I go to bed I will repeat to myself "I need to wake up at 6:30" about ten or fifteen times and it may not wake me up right at that time, but I will generally wake up within about +/- 15 minutes of the intended time.

I learned to do this in high school when I did not have an alarm clock. After doing it for a few months, I was able to wake up at 7:12 every morning without an alarm. Downvote/flag this if you want and I'll delete it because I realize how ridiculous it sounds but it can't hurt to try, and it definitely helps me every day.

  • 5
    Works for me. I've never gone to the lengths of doing it for quite as long, but the more I do it, the more effective it is. Apr 27, 2015 at 21:05
  • 1
    cool! Im glad that this is useful for someone besides me :)
    – celeriko
    Apr 27, 2015 at 23:52
  • This is the best way to wake up May 11, 2016 at 6:34

There are light alarm clocks, which you could use selectively. Essentially a light slowly turns on rather than making noise. Selective placement of the light-alarm or standard sleep blindfold mask would prevent your significant other from being awakened.

In essence combine the following two:

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Another option I thought of was to use your cell phone alarm on vibrate mode and put it under your pillow; you might need to put it in the pillow case (underside of pillow) so it doesn't get lost. Sleep well...

  • 1
    Please switch the phone into flight mode before sleeping ;-)
    – Biber
    May 5, 2015 at 10:43

Drink lot of water before sleep, so you could wake u on the morning by call of natural (biological ). It won't disturb any one but you. Water is good for everything.

  • 3
    lolz. That's actually funny Oct 10, 2016 at 9:56
  • Works for me most of the time but not all the time.
    – Willeke
    Aug 30, 2017 at 18:47
  • After a certain age, this doesn't just wake you up in the morning, but also in the middle of the night. 😖
    – Kyralessa
    Jul 2, 2021 at 10:57

To fill some of the gaps of the already proposed headphones solution, I would suggest SleepPhones. They're a comfortable headband with headphone speakers built in for the purpose of use while sleeping.

I use them to listen to music while falling asleep and find that, a lot of the time, I wake the next day still wearing them, and the sound from the headphones doesn't disturb my sleep-mate. This seems like it would be a convenient way to keep an alarm exclusive.

They come in wired (single cloth wrapped cable) or Bluetooth wireless version. The Bluetooth is listed as having an 18-20 hour battery life which should be enough to still be active for alarm time in the morning.

Source: I use them (the wired ones; gray if you're curious; I bought them on Amazon)

Note: No, I don't sell them, nor do I get any commission. They just work well for me so I thought I'd share.


It might work setting a phone alarm to only vibrate and place in under the pillow, or maybe inside the backside of the pillow.

IMPORTANT Please keep in mind that your phone creates an electromagnetic field so having it close to your head while sleeping might be unhealthy.


I just keep my phone on the bed by my pillow. If you're a light sleeper you can probably turn off the phone before the sound gets really obnoxious.


Some people are lighter sleepers than others. Just getting out of bed may actually wake her - regardless of how you're woken up. Everytime there's movement in my bed, it wakes me, so you're probably not going to find something that will not wake her.

Help her start her own business that she can do whilst she has an extra hour out of bed.


I have an under pillow alarm (like this one) which vibrates and may not wake her. Another option is a pillow speaker, these are good as they are very quiet unless you have your head on the pillow.


The best way is - you can download a vibration only clock from playstore and before sleeping place your phone inside your pillow cover and i guarantee that you will wake up at right time without disturbing anyone.


Instead of keeping the mobile phone on the bed, you can try keeping it on the ground at your side of the bed, in reachable distance. Even if you take a little longer to wake up, the loud part of the alarm won't bother your gf that much. Also, you can dismiss the alarm just by swiping the finger, instead of picking the phone and stopping the alarm.

I am also a very light sleeper with the same situation. It works for my wife.


(This may not work out for everyone) if you have wireless headphones you could connect them to your phone. So when you alarm goes off you will be the only one to hear it. The only problem is they probably have to have a long battery life.

  • I doubt it anyone could sleep through a night without the headphones falling off.
    – Chenmunka
    Jan 6 at 21:09

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