When it comes to absolutely waking up for an important date, taking a chance on missing your alarm clock is not an option. But by setting up multiple alarms and customizing the alarms themselves, you can wake up in stages and make it to that appointment that just can't be missed.
1. Skip the Traditional Alarm Clock
Foregoing a stand-alone alarm clock for the convenience of using your cell phone has a number of advantages that can easily be measured in the amount of features you get in return; one being the ability to set nearly an unlimited amount of alarms.
2. Setting Alarms at Increments of 10 - 15 Minutes
Set multiples alarms divided by time increments of 10 - 15 minutes each, and set them up from 30 mins. to an hour from when you'd like to wake up. To illustrate, let's say you have to wake up at 7:30AM. Rather than set up one single alarm at 7:30, why not set up a couple of fail safes prior to your desired wake-up time.
Maybe something like: 6:30AM, 6:50AM, 7:10AM, 7:20AM, 7:25AM, and finally 7:30AM.
3. Using Custom Alarms
A few traditional alarm clocks offer these, but the smartphone crowd will have an easier time with this since they have the liberty of purchasing or creating their very own ringtones. By selecting the most calmest and gentlest of alarms first, and then having them rise in volume and intensity with each passing alarm, you'll be able to wake up more gently and not be surprised when it's time for you to get up.
Images: brenderous - (Flickr)