Upgrade Your Alarm Clock

Apps to help get you out of bed more effectively.

Get your day off to the right start with these alarm clocks that do more than emit a digital chirp.

Wake in tune with nature

‣ With Dawn Chorus, create your own alarm sounds by blending recordings of actual birdsong sourced from the Macaulay Library at Cornell University. Fancy a blue jay, a yellow-bellied sapsucker, or a wood thrush? Select up to five feathered friends (from the 20 available in the app) to squawk, warble, and trill you awake.

Dawn Chorus chirps its alarm: Birds appear in trees and create a singing chorus.

    Dawn Chorus



Challenge yourself to wake up

‣ Are you a chronic abuser of the snooze button? Rocket Alarm fights back. Turning off this alarm requires more than a tap. Each morning, the app presents you with a mini-game to complete—blow into the microphone to propel a spacecraft, for example, or solve a simple math problem. You’ll have to be at least semiconscious to succeed.

You’ll have to complete a task to turn off Rocket Alarm.

    Rocket Alarm



Follow the (circadian) rhythm

Sleep Cycle analyzes your sleep patterns, waking you up at the optimal time so you feel refreshed.

Launch the app as you get into bed, place your iPhone facedown on your nightstand, and Sleep Cycle will listen for minute variances in your breathing pattern to figure out if you’re in light or deep sleep. Come morning, it’ll gently wake you within a half hour of when you set your alarm, starting when it senses you’re in a light phase of sleep. The result is a less shocking start to the day.

Use Sleep Cycle to wake up when your body is ready.

    Sleep Cycle: smart alarm clock

    Sleep tracker to better health