As a deep sleeper and vivid dreamer, I've always been a little suspicious of morning people. I just don't get what's so great about leaving a warm, comfortable space and interrupting dreams about zapping people with my psionic power rays to step onto a cold floor, brush my teeth and go to (gulp) work.
If you're like me and find it just a little too hard to get out of bed in the morning, this collection of gear and gadgets should help. I've included seven oddball wake-up calls -- one for each day of the week.
After all, when you can blast your alarm clock off by shooting a replica of James Bond's standard-issue sidearm at the wall (like you can with the pistol alarm clock pictured from ThinkGeek), how bad can the morning really be?
Better with bacon
Everything's better with bacon. This publicity stunt from Oscar Mayer involved a small, USB-powered case that blasted out the aroma of bacon when an accompanying alarm app on your iPhone sounded.
While it's too late to get the bacon-blasting gizmo, you can still get your hands on the free app, which wakes you up to the sound of sizzling bacon. "Rotate the skillet to select your wake-up time," Oscar Mayer says, "then get ready for a bacon awakening beyond your wildest imagination."
The free Wakie app lets you get your very own wake-up call from people around the world. Just download the app and set an alarm, and at the appointed time someone else who's using the app will call you to wake you up. Calls are limited to 60 seconds, so things can't get too personal, and your phone number is never shared.
To repay the favor, just tell the app that you're available to wake someone up and, when the opportunity arises, you'll have the chance to call someone through the app to cajole them out of bed.
The Hackaball, a computer in the shape of a kid's ball, is wrapping up a successful run on Kickstarter. While the main idea behind the device is programming it to play games, you can also have it act as an alarm clock. Just use the accompanying iPad app to program it and, when it's time to wake up, it'll buzz and glow.
Thanks to its silicone enclosure, it's pretty tough, so you can also program it to turn off when you hurl it against the wall on the far side of your room. Can you think of any better way to tell the morning to take a hike?
Carrot is certainly one of the more humorous alarm clocks out there. An app for your iOS device, it acts like a slightly deranged robot that challenges you to complete different tasks each morning in order to turn it off, such as double-tapping the screen to release a deadly neurotoxin and shaking to dispose of the resulting dead body.
As you complete each task, you get points that unlock further features, like new songs such as "Won't You Be My Minion?" Warning though: set the snooze button and Carrot won't be too happy with you the next time it goes off (as you can see in this image).
These two little guys are for those of us who really have a hard time swinging our feet over the edge of the bed in the morning.
Both Tocky and Clocky are runaway alarm clocks from Nanda Home. They both will jump off your nightstand -- which they can safely do from a height of 3 feet -- and roll around the floor if you hit your snooze button. The only way to turn them off is to get up and chase after them.
The difference between the two is that Tocky (shown) only makes an "R2D2-like" robotic sound to wake you up, while Clocky can be programmed with up to two hours of MP3 songs. Better load it up with music you hate though, or else it'll just serenade you back to sleep.
This unique alarm clock, called SnūzNLūz, makes you wake up the first time your alarm goes off, because if you don't, it'll donate money to a charity you hate.
"Basically it's human nature to wish harm upon your enemies," says ThinkGeek, creator of the twisted device. "Similarly, it's human nature not to give your enemies gobs of cash so that they can grow big and dominate the world with their totally wrong, stupid and invalid point of view. ThinkGeek realized that. That's why every time you hit the snooze button, the SnūzNLūz will donate a specified amount of your real money to a nonprofit you hate. The problem of sleeping in is solved."
The alarm clock connects to your Wi-Fi and you can set up your bank account information and choose your least favorite charity through a Web portal. So if you're a fur-coat maker, for example, you might want to pick PETA as the recipient of some of your cash. Now get out of bed!
(OK, so you might have figured out by now that this one's not real -- it was an April Fools' gag. Being that this gallery was published a few days after April 1 though, we thought we'd throw it in just to see if we could "get" you. Did we?)