My wife likes to sleep.
Maybe "likes" is too weak a word to describe how much my wife likes to sleep. My wife sleeps the way Olympic athletes train - with dedication and often past the point of injury. My wife is so dedicated to sleeping that she has purchased actual equipment to improve her sleeping ability - and I'm not referring to the prerequisite bed or pillow. She has vitamins, special teas, orthopedic inserts and sheets with a thread count so high that you don't actually sleep on the bed - you instead quietly slide around like human sausages in a giant teflon skillet.
My wife is something more than a sleeper, something more than an athlete; she is a nap-lete.
Her latest piece of training equipment is circadian clock from the Sharper Image catalog. The inventors of this alarm clock/lamp have mounted a special light that begins shining dimly about thirty minutes prior to her scheduled wake up time and gradually brightens until the whole room is lit. This graduated lighting is meant to gently and naturally wake you in the same way that a sunrise does. This feature is kinda cool.
The clock also makes natural sounds that increase in volume; this feature kinda sucks. We tried the relaxing "Brook" sounds first. Bad idea. It turns out that thirty minutes of bubbling water sounds will not gently wake you; it will only make you urgently need to pee. I did point out that waking this way was both gentle and natural, but my wife seemed less than enthusiastic.
Next, we tried the "Wind" sounds. The only thing that could have made this setting more terrifying was if the clock makers had added actual moaning ghost sounds to the desolate haunting sounds of wind. Every day for a week, I woke up scared and depressed. And I needed to pee.
We are trying the "Birds" setting now and I have high hopes. If everything goes well, my wife will awake feeling energetic and refreshed. Plus, after a couple of weeks, my wife says I might be able to have a small drink before bedtime.
The only downside so far? None of this actually wakes my wife up. And I'm really, really starting to hate fricking birds.