You absolutely have, have, have to get up at 6 a.m. — for a meeting at work, a flight to Paris, a casting call for your dog to be in a Fido's Faves commercial. But you worry. You don't trust yourself. You've snored through alarms before.
Fear not. There are gadgeteers out there who've got your back. Some examples:
Math Alarm Clock: An Android app that plays music you've chosen to wake up to. That might sound a tad sleep-through-able for a hard-core zzz-ster, except that it plays and plays and plays the music until you come up with the right answer to a math problem. Only you know how long that might be. You can choose from four levels of difficulty, choose to torture yourself with more than one problem or choose to snooze awhile before you start. ($1.99 from wherever you can buy Android apps.)
The Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock: No pretense of civility here. You can set the volume for up to 113 decibels (13 more than a jackhammer), and it comes with an under-the-mattress bed shaker if you want a really rude awakening. This one sets off alarm bells for Dr. Clete Kushida, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at the Sleep Medicine Center at Stanford University: "If it wakes you up out of a deep sleep, you could be dazed and confused. You could fall out of bed. You could be a danger to yourself or others." (Various outlets, prices in the $20s and $30s.)
Clocky, Tocky, Flying Alarm clock: Your alarm is beeping at you. But there must be some mistake, because surely your head just barely touched the pillow. You mutter a few remarks to that effect and reach out to shut the blankety-blank thing up — but it's not there! Clocky has jumped off your nightstand and rolled away. Still beeping, naturally. In fact, it's not about to stop running and beeping, running and beeping, until you drag yourself out of bed and chase it down. Clocky has a sibling, Tocky, that uploads MP3s and has a microphone so you can personalize your morning greeting. (Various outlets; Clocky in the $30-$50 range; Tocky somewhat more.)
Oh — and if you'd rather have your alarm take to the air and shriek at you, the Flying Alarm Clock could be a delightful option. It won't shut up until you return the propeller to the base. (Various outlets, prices in the $12-$20 range.)