I'm generally a morning person but back in November and December when the sun didn't rise until pushing 9am I was finding it so hard to get up for work. Living far North is great in the summer when the sun barely sets but it's so easy to start feeling symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder when winter starts to kick in and daylight is a distant memory. I'd had enough by my birthday and asked for a Lumie Bodyclock which is known as a dawn simulator. I've been putting it to the test for a couple of months and I'm happy to say winter mornings aren't the struggle they used to be.
Instead of a loud alarm shocking me awake each morning the Lumie Bodyclock uses an increasing natural light to ease me awake gently. The science behind it involves melatonin (sleep hormones) being slowly stopped and cortisol being increased (the get up and so hormones). Wake-up lights help your body adjust to waking up, keep your sleep cycle on track and in turn boost mood, energy and productivity levels. No more walking around half asleep, yawning my head off while trying to get organised for work.
I've got my alarm set and the light begins to gradually turn on 20minutes before hand, reaching full sunrise and then staying on for an extra 30 minutes (though you can turn it off when you wake up). There's lots of different options ranging from 15 to 90 minute sunrises. There's a few sound options too to match up with the sunrise alarm. You can choose a standard alarm beep, a dawn chorus, rooster calls or FM radio with digital tuning. You can also use the snooze function but I rather getting up and going instead of prolonging the agony. Alarm clocks using electricity always panic me a little through winter in case there's a power cut but the Lumie Bodyclock has power failure back up to put your mind at ease.
Some of the features that I've not really used much (mostly because I head off to sleep with no problems) is a 15-90 minute sunset to wind down for bed, white noise setting to mask sounds that keep you awake and wave sounds to lull you to sleep. These might be good for children or if you're having some sleep problems. There's also a nightlight feature, but for me I like complete darkness. You can also use the Bodyclock as a bedside light and boy can it go bright! And lastly, a feature that's quite good for people worried about safety and security you've got the option for the light to turn on randomly while you're away. That just makes me think of Home Alone!
Reaching nearly £100 for an alarm clock at first seemed mad but since using it and feeling the positive effects I would say it's worth the investment. You can remove the need to have a bedside table, while gaining a refreshing way to wake up each morning. This is also great for sports training - anyone thinking of heading to the gym before work? Replacement bulbs are only £5 so there's no maintenance costs to be worried about. Healthy sleep through light therapy is definitely worth looking into!