If conventional alarms don’t work for you, then here are several Android and iOS alarm clock apps that will make sure you are up and awake at the right time.
Many come with creative (read: cruel) features to make sure you actually wake up. They are the next best thing to having someone pour a bucket of cold water on you every morning.
I’ve included both paid and free apps for both iOS and Android smartphones.
AMdroid Alarm Clock (Android)
Cost: Free with ads. $1.99 upgrade to remove ads.
AMdroid comes with all the basic features in your phone's native alarm clock app. These include ability to set multiple alarms, using music instead of a ringing tone and snooze time configuration.
But there are also a few extra features for those that find it harder to wake up.
One of the best is the pre-alarm. It works based on your sleep cycles. The pre-alarms wake you up gently during your light sleep phase. This prepares you to wake up fully by the time the main alarm goes off.
You can also set puzzles, Captcha, QR code and head-scratching math problems that you need to solve to dismiss the alarm.
Other features include a siesta countdown, sleep tracking, bedtime reminders, location-specific alarms and sleeping stats.
Loud Alarm Clock LOUDEST Night Stand for REM Sleep (iOS)
Cost: Free. $2.99 upgrade to remove ads, $0.99 to snooze for 10 minutes, $9.99 to unlock all sounds.
This alarm is annoyingly loud. Not even the heaviest sleeper can sleep through it. Even the sound it makes is designed to rouse you out of deep sleep. Options include danger, big horn, emergency and car alarm among others.
You can set multiple alarms and configure them to repeat every day or only on specific days.
Alarm Clock Xtreme & Timer (Android)
Cost: $2.99 But there is a free version.
The name should tell you something. With millions of downloads this is one of the most effective alarm clock apps for heavy sleepers.
You can set multiple alarms and customize them in different ways. You can decide whether you want a shrill ringing tone or your favorite song. If that’s not enough to get you going, set the alarm to give you a math problem that you have to solve to dismiss it.
You can also set the alarm to wake you up gently by gradually increasing the alarm volume.
If you must snooze, the app lets you configure the max number of snoozes. Each time the snooze period decreases.
Other features include a sleep tracker, an extra-large snooze button and a stopwatch.
Wake Alarm Clock (iOS)
This app has a sleek minimalist interface that's easy to use.
You can choose from the several alarm styles included with the app or set to be woken up by a song from iTunes.
If you have no trouble waking up you can set the alarm to turn off when you flip the phone and snooze when you slap it.
For those who have some trouble shaking the sleep off their system use the shake-to-wake option.
You shake the phone to turn off the alarm. There are five shake intensity levels depending on how heavy a sleeper you are.
Cost: Free but with optional upgrades
This one focuses a lot on customization. There are several themes to choose from and you can add stylish clock widgets to your home screen.
To wake you up, the app has several features. There’s the normal alarm for normal sleepers. You can even set your own music as an alarm.
There is also a gentle-wake option where the alarm starts off low and builds up over time until you are fully awake.
If you sleep like a log you can opt to either solve a math problem to get your brain going or shake the phone for a mini-workout.
Other features include a nightstand mode, brightness control, background support (no need to keep app open all night), bedtime reminder and sleep timer to turn off music or sleep sounds when you sleep.
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