Groggy, sleep-deprived students at Brown University in Rhode Island have invented a new alarm clock that gently wakes snoozers during the lightest phase of their sleep cycle.

So instead of waking up grumpy and tired the clock goes off when people are more likely to get up feeling perky and alert.

"The clock, called SleepSmart, measures your sleep cycle and waits for you to be in your lightest phase of sleep before rousing you," New Scientist magazine said on Wednesday.

"It's makers say that should ensure you wake up feeling refreshed every morning."

The clock is the brainchild of Eric Shashoua, a recent graduate of the university, and his friends who have created a company to develop the idea. They have nearly finished a prototype and hope to market the product by next year.

"As sleep-deprived people ourselves, we started thinking of what to do about it," he said.

The clock records different brain waves made during each phase of the sleep cycle using a microprocessor and a headband equipped with electrodes. The information is wirelessly communicated to the clock.

"You program the clock with the latest time at which you want to be awakened, and it duly wakes you during the last light sleep phase before that," according to the magazine.


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