One of the more clever types of alarm clocks is the sunrise alarm, which turns on a light in the morning and gradually gets brighter to help wake you up. You can even make your own with a Raspberry Pi.
The build, as featured by hardware hacking blog Adafruit, is relatively simple, consisting of an LED strip, a Raspberry Pi and a few requisite adaptors. A small amount of soldering is required, but it's otherwise fairly straightforward. For those with a programming slant, it can even be connected to the internet and set to respond to customised commands.
LED Light Sunrise Alarm Clock [Adafruit]