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alarm clock

If you wake up at the same time every day and never need to set another alarm, the stock option in Windows Phone probably does you just fine. If, however, you set a lot more and want more overall control, Realarm is where you need to look. It's probably the best alarm clock app you'll find in the Windows Phone Store already, but it just got a huge update that makes it even better.

An all new design, new voice commands and some nifty new features are all waiting for you with the bump to Version 1.0. Read on to find out more about it.

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We've been made aware of a super deal currently going on with Interval for Windows Phone. The app isĀ an alarm, stopwatch and timer all under one roof. Featuring live tile support, a clock view and a nice selection (all be it small) of alarm tones, Interval is well worth checking out should you require a way to perform all of the above tasks with minimal fuss. It has dropped its price tag and is available for free.

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ZBand (www.zband.biz) is a silent alarm wristband that's compatible with Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Android. The device is an interesting accessory as it connects and synchronises with a Windows Phone 8 smartphone running the ZBand app - there's no need for a PC or web service. So what does the wristband do? It essentially acts as a silent alarm clock, replacing that pesky mobile phone ringtone.

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The Lumia 1020 is a brand new smartphone from Nokia. Not just a different flavour of one that's already available on the market, this new Windows Phone sports a 41MP camera and some other goodies. It surely deserves a new ringtone, message tone and alarm clock sounds, right? Nokia also believes so, which is why we've got these sweet new tunes to share with you.

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Wake up to your favorite tunes with Music Alarm

Music Alarm is a Windows Phone app that, as the name suggests, allows you to wake up to your Windows Phone music library. The application is fairly simple and straight forward in that you choose the music you want to wake up to, set the alarm time and tap the check mark to set things in motion.

You do have the option to shuffle the music and set the duration of the snooze button. Speaking of which, Music Alarm has a nifty "shake to snooze" feature. You just need to make sure you have a firm grip on your Windows Phone so it doesn't sail across the bedroom.

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sleepPhaseAlarm helps you get the right Zzzzs

When not spending my time writing on this site, my real job is that of a medical sleep technologist (yes, an odd but fun career), so lets just say I have an unhealthy interest in the science of slumber.

Napping, while essential for healthy cognitive performance, can be done rightly or wrongly. In short, we have about 90-minute sleep cycles (varying with age), consisting of numerous stages of sleep N1, N2, N3 and REM. Waking up between the sleep cycles leaves you feeling alert and awake, while waking someone up in REM or N3 can be jarring--hence why it's avoided during sleep studies. In real life though, it's hard to know what stage of sleep you're in since no one is monitoring your EEGs (brain waves). A quick rule of thumb though is nap for 90-minute increments, plus add on X-minutes to fall asleep. While not perfect, it'll put you in the ballpark of a healthy, refreshing nap.

sleepPhaseAlarm is a Mango/7.5 app that basically calculates this for you and sets an alarm. With a simple interface, you tell it you want to go to sleep now (and then pick what time-frame works for you) or you set the time you need to get up (and it tells you what time to go to bed). The app is well designed and since it's Mangofied, the alarm is set and runs in the background (a true "set it and forget it" app). We gave it a quick spin and have to recommend it for those frequently needing catnaps during the day or a healthy night of full sleep.

There are two version: a free, fully functional trial (no settings) and $0.99, which allows you to set amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and choose from five-different alarms. You can pick it up here in the Marketplace (Zune) or the Web Marketplace here.

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One thing people love doing is turning their phones into virtual Swiss Army knives and one way of doing that is making it an bedside alarm clock.

Nite Buddy caught our attention because it's free (ad supported), automatically fetches weather (GPS), has adjustable brightness, colors and overall looks pretty nice. Plus it just works so well with the HD7 or Surround's kick-stand feature. Of course when running, it will keep the screen on, so make sure you're plugged in if you want to make it till morning.

Any of you have a go-to clock app that you swear by? Let us know in comments. Grab Nite Buddy here for free in the Marketplace.

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