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The Wake-up Light by Phillips (stock photo)
The Wake-up Light by Phillips (stock photo)

How to cope with time shifts Add to ...

You slept for an extra hour on Sunday; now mornings are brighter. So what's with the snooze button imprint on your hand?

"People are chronically sleep deprived, so they use the weekend to catch up," says Jon Fleming, co-director of the sleep disorders program at UBC Hospital in Vancouver. "However, that comes at a cost."

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The following tips and alarm clocks can help you get into gear.

Respect your get-up time

If you felt sluggish this morning, those extra Zs after the switch to daylight time may be to blame. Waking up "sleep saturated" can lead to a later bedtime that you pay for the next day.

Instead, trade your weekend lie-in for a 20-minute nap, Dr. Fleming suggests.

"The time we get up in the morning is the most important thing. Keep it as constant as possible."

Retire the snooze button

Dr. Fleming's feet hit the floor shortly after he's awoken by CBC Radio. "The snooze button is a bad idea," he says. "Once the alarm goes off, you're only getting very light sleep."

Nanda Home's Tocky alarm clock (as well as the wheeled Clocky and the analog Ticky) evades habitual snoozers by leaping from the nightstand, forcing you out of bed to turn it off. You can also enlist the resident nag to record a personalized wake-up message.

Wake up (sort of) naturally

Sunrise clocks, such as Philips' Wake-up Light, simulate dawn by gradually filling a room with light. Dr. Fleming says they can gently rouse people in their 30s and older, because we need less stimulus to wake up as we age.

"For some people, especially young adolescents, it may not be sufficient," he says. "The physiology of the adolescent is that their circadian clocks want to go to bed later and get up later."

Go gentle

Vibrating alarm clocks shake you awake from underneath your pillow without disturbing your bedmate.

Sleep monitoring devices, such as iPhone's Sleep Cycle app, use movement sensors to track your activity throughout the night and assert they wake you up during the lightest sleep phase. "The theory is that during the deep, rapid eye movement phase we move less or not at all," Dr. Fleming says. "But no one has done a study to see if it works."

Go loud

The Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock detonates with vibrations, flashing lights and a buzzer that can reach 113 decibels.

Dr. Fleming says that, while it probably won't send you into cardiac arrest, "the bigger issue is that you've arrived at this stage where you need so much stimulus. You don't want to get here."

Boss your clock

Can't summon the energy to press a button? The Moshi Voice Control Alarm Clock uses voice-activated commands to turn off the alarm, set the clock and turn on a nightlight.

*And don't do this: Rely on others. You'll turn them into human snooze machines.

Special to The Globe and Mail

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