Happiness upgrade: Lose the rude awakenings
Waking up in the dark every morning is hard enough without adding an angry ringing alarm clock to disturb your dreams and leaving you fumbling for the snooze button.
For a gentler start to the day, download the Sleep Cycle app on your phone.
Not only does it send you to sleep with the soothing sound of the ocean, but it also monitors your sleep during the night - you lie it on the mattress, so that it picks up your movements, which allows it to determine how deep a sleep you're in.
It can then wake you at your lightest sleep phase, which means you wake up more easily - and don't turn off the alarm in your sleep without realising! You set the alarm for a 20-minute time window, so it wakes you up at any point between, say 7am and 7.20am and it'll wake you during this window, when you're at your lightest sleep.
You can set it so that you wake up with your favourite song, or pick from different, gentle but stimulating melodies.
* Marianne Power is the author of helpmeblog.net