June 28, 2007 Waking at just the right moment can have a drastic effect on how well-rested a person feels, the trick is knowing exactly when that is. This is the principle behind the aXbo ‘sleep phase alarm clock’- a device that monitors phases of sleep and wakes the user at the optimum moment to maximize their feelings of well-being and vitality.

Developed from the findings of the Siesta Group, which draws on eight prominent European sleep research organizations, the aXbo works via sensors contained in a comfortable toweling wrist-strap worn during sleep. These monitor the movements of the wearer while they sleep and this information is then used to wake them at the most appropriate time of their sleep cycle.

The Siesta Group has made inroads into determining individual sleeping phases via their body movements and studies have shown that those woken by the aXbo device are "more alert," "more cheerful" and "less apathetic" on the mornings in which they were appropriately woken by the aXbo in comparison to the mornings in which they were randomly woken.

The aXbo – which appears to have been named from the first names of the inventors Boris Eis and Axel Ferro - will not allow you to oversleep, using the scroll menu one merely selects the time by which they must be awake and the device determines the optimal moment within 30 minutes before this time to awaken them. aXbo is even able to ‘learn’ about the behavioural patterns of individual, making automatic adjustments to the time it wakes them up. The user can also select from three soothing melodies to be played as they fall asleep, the sensors within aXbo automatically turn these melodies off when it determines the user is no longer awake.

The LCD display within aXbo does not interfere with the users sleep as it turns off automatically in ‘halfwaysleepmode’. This is easily reversed via easily accessible controls mounted within the comfortable wrist-strap. To ensure that wake-up times are never missed, the device continues to operate automatically on battery power if the mains are disconnected and can do so for a period of seven days. Perhaps its most impressive feature is aXbo’s ability to monitor and awaken two individuals at their own most suitable phase.

The aXbo alarm clock can be ordered online at www.axbo.com and costs €199 (US$270).

And if you still can’t wake-up feeling on top of the world and bounce out of bed with your body's biological clock in tune – there’s always the alarm clock that runs away.

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