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When was the last time you didn’t wake up to the awful sound of an alarm clock?
Jolting awake to the jarring sounds could be preventing you from feeling rested, especially in the mornings, and can leave you feeling “like you just got hit by a truck,” Bill Fish, founder of sleep insight site Tuck tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
“Since the beginning of time, humans have woken with the rise of the sun and would go to bed when it gets dark outside,” Fish explains. “Now, people are working at different times.”
Sleep experts have long been touting the benefits of wake-up lights. The devices work by gradually lighting up the room until a specified time, and then a pre-set, soothing sound gently wakes you fully.
What it is
A wake-up light gradually brightens a room for a select period (usually 30 minutes) before you want to awake. The devices typically come with soothing noises to wake you up, rather than the sirens we’re all so used to.
There’s one brand that experts recommend (and that Fish uses every day) the Philips Wake-Up Light.
Users can choose from 20 brightness settings and five nature-inspired sounds to wake up in a kinder, gentler way.
How it works
It’s pretty simple to program the wake-up light—you just choose a time, and then the settings that fit your needs.
According to Philips research, 90 percent of users say they wake up more naturally, more energized and in a better mood when using the tool. Unlike the typical alarm clock, these wake-up lights rely heavily on human instinct, and the body’s pre-programmed sleep settings, Fish says.
He personally uses a Philips Wake-Up Alarm Clock, and says he feels much more awake in the early morning hours. What’s more, he says, there’s no long-term process to getting used to this alarm method. After day one, he was acclimated.
“Even within the first hour of being awake it’s a lot easier,” he says. “You’re eager to get your day started.”
To fit your needs, there are 10 light settings to choose from. And the light isn’t just for waking up— you can use the dim settings to simulate a sunset, which can help you ease into sleep.
And yes, there is a snooze feature! Touch anywhere on the light after the alarm and you’ll get nine more minutes of sleep.
Additionally, using these wake-up lights can help you cut out bad habits, like getting on your phone right before bed.
“One thing we preach against is charging your phone next to your bed, and the excuse a lot of people have is that they need their phone because it’s their alarm,” Fish says. “A dedicated alarm in your room helps you to keep your phone out of it.”
What customers are saying
More than 4,400 people reviewers are raving about this light alarm on Amazon, and the device has a 4 out of 5 stars.
“I did a few weeks of research before deciding whether to buy this product. It is rather expensive for an "alarm clock" if you choose to look at it that way. However - for me its much more than that. I struggle to wake up in the morning - especially in the winter months when the sun isn’t up yet when my alarm goes off,” one reviewer said. “At first i thought maybe it was a placebo effect - but i went a couple weeks without it because I let someone borrow it - and i could tell the diff when i woke up. I was a bit more groggy.”
Another wrote: “This was an amazing find! I live in an "English Basement" which means there's very little sunlight coming into my room, and this definitely helps me get up in the mornings. Being a natural night owl, this has helped me gradually adjust to being able to more naturally wake up in the mornings with out the usual grog and fog. Highly recommend for any of us that like to "bed late rise late."
“I will never use my iPhone as an alarm clock again,” says one enthusiastic review. “I sleep with the shades closed and usually wake up at 10am, so this perfectly solves the problem of not being able to wake up to pleasing sunlight at an unnaturally late hour. The light is really powerful and works great as a reading lamp or just to get more light in the room during the day. The sound selection is awesome and has a lot of different sounds for people with different tastes. Very easy to program. Would recommend to anybody who has ever lived.”
Shop it: Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock, $123, Amazon.com
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.
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