Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Room Mate Problems: Never-ending Alarm Clock

I think one of my favorite things when having break fast in the kitchen is hearing all the alarm clocks go off. It's almost like a morning bird song.

However, this becomes a lot less enjoyable when it's coming from your roommate's alarm clock when you want to sleep. Some people forget about their alarm clocks, leaving the alarm blaring while they're at class. Others simply struggle to wake up, snoozing for hours without considering the effect of their alarm on others.

Whatever the reason, if your roommate's alarms is impacting your morning ZZZs, here are some ways to approach your roommate so both of you can rest and wake up well.

Talk to your roommate

My first suggestion would be talking to your roommate about the problem. I'm always amazed by the way freshmen expect their roommate to magically know what they want. Take the time to talk to your roommate about your concern. Instead of getting directly at your needs, try to be a little friendlier about it. Pose it as a benefit to them.

For example:
"Hey, I noticed that you seem to be having trouble waking up in the morning. Is everything alright? Is it hell week for you?"
"I'm taking a stress management class and there's a section on sleeping. Sometimes your alarm clock goes off more than once. Would you want to read the section on relaxing wake up routines? "
"I'm trying this new alarm clock app on my phone; it does a gradient of sound to wake you up slowly. Do you want to try it? I hear you struggling to wake up sometimes and this might be worth a shot.

Comments like these are generally enough to draw attention to irritating behavior. Most considerate roommates would try out your advice, making an effort not to wake you up with their alarm.

In the case that talking to your room mate doesn't work, there's still a few things you can do.

Alarm after leaving

If the problem is that your roommate leaves their alarm on after leaving, suggest that they invest in an alarm that stops snoozes after an hour. Try reminding them the night before to turn off their alarm rather than just snoozing them. If it seems clear that your roommate isn't going to break their rude habit, ask your roommate to show you how to turn off their alarm.

Do not unplug their alarm. Unplugging their alarm will only irritate them and make them dislike you.

Can't wake up alarm

If your roommate just doesn't wake up, suggest a bed time for the room. With a set time that both of you are expected to be asleep, the roommate will likely be better rested and more easily woken.

Suggest trying a different alarm. I've noticed that having the same alarm for too long means that I learn how to turn it off or ignore it while still asleep. If you feel comfortable, offer to wake up your roommate.

No solution?

Try getting ear plugs if the problem persists.

Maybe your roommate has ignored all of your suggestions. It may suck to have to "give in" to your roommate on your extra minutes of sleep, but the alarm clock problem is fairly trivial. There are far worse roommate problems to have; stealing, for example.

If it really is bothering you and you absolutely can't abide ear plug, talk to your floor's RA or GRT. They can probably talk to your roommate to help them understand why this is so important to you.