Everyone, certainly in the northern hemisphere, knows the struggle it can be getting out of bed in the winter. Then the commute to work in the dark, and coming home in the dark. Not seeing even a glimpse of sunlight. It can make you feel de-motivated, tired and melancholy
But we all remember at least once in our lives when we woke up feeling great. Refreshed and energised, the dawn was breaking, and the dawn chorus was just beginning. What a start to the day. There is something slightly magical; naturally waking at sun-rise. Not jolted awake by conventional alarm or mobile ringtone.
Well we now have the possibility to experience that every day. Well most of it at least. The great nights sleep is not entirely guaranteed. But the dawn light and the birdsong, that can be done!!
How? By a Dawn Simulator Alarm clock, that’s how.
Dawn Simulator Alarms create a light that comes on slowly in the early morning, to mimic a natural sunrise. Our body clocks respond to this light stimulus by stopping the body’s production of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that helps to send us to sleep, and keeps us sleeping throughout the night. As the light brightens we are naturally awoken.
In recent years Dawn Simulator Alarm manufacturers have made increasingly sophisticated units that allows the user to choose not only length of sunrise but also the intensity of the sunrise. Users can now experience warm light color temperatures for a gentler sunrise or for a more aggressive wake up they can choose a cooler blue 6,000k+ spectrum. It goes without saying that many of the more feature rich units allow the user to choose from a variety of early morning bird songs too.
For Seasonal Affected Disorder sufferers
If the Dawn simulator device is being used for Seasonal Affected Disorder then they do have some advantages over traditional bright light therapy. Dawn simulation requires less intrusion into normal daily routines.
So a user may be more likely to use it consistently. Dawn simulation does actually feel more natural as well. For many people, dawn simulation may be an excellent alternative to Seasonal Affected Disorder sufferers if the bright light therapy has un-desired effects such as eyestrain or agitation.
Dawn Simulator Alarms are pretty much a win, win purchase. But If the users expectation is for the simulators to work like a traditional alarm clock then they will be disappointed because these devices work on a more biochemical way by stopping the secretion of night time melatonin.
So a fast wake up it is not. But then that is not really the point in using one of these devices anyway. Of course you will wake up when your set alarm time sounds, but normally as in my experience sometime before, during the daylight phase of the light cycle, this is the most normal. It is pretty blissful to listen to the dawn chorus before getting up.
Remember the he same as all alarm clocks everyone in the room normally must wake wake up at the same time. However careful placement of the alarm, and adjustment of the wake up light intensity can often be overcome.
Because of the more naturalistic awakening provided by dawn simulators they appear to improve both mood and sleep quality.
Which Dawn light Simulator to choose?
There are quite a few on the market to choose from. The two top manufacturers are Phillips and Lumie. Between these two brands you will surely find a model that suits both your pocket and what you want your early morning wake up experience to be.
The positive effects on children and adolescents cannot be underestimated.
Imagine your teenage son arriving at the breakfast table looking like a member of the human race, instead of a Neanderthal man. A pleasure to take to school in fact. It worked for me; and him, by using a Dawn Simulation alarm.
A pretty good investment I’d say!!! The snooze button has become a thing of the past in our house at least.
1) Philips Morning Wake-Up Light With Coloured Sunrise Simulation HF3520
Phillips has produced a range of four Dawn Simulator Alarm Clocks. This model HF3520 represents the top of the range. As you would expect it comes with everything you are ever going to need from a Dawn Light Simulator. In fact the only thing it doesn’t do is brew your coffee for you after you waking you up. Continue reading
2) Lumie Bodyclock Active 250 Wake-Up Alarm Clock
Established in 1989 Northern Light Technologies are active members of the Circadian Lighting Association. They have grown into one of the largest manufacturers of bright light devices and specialty lighting products in the world.
They produce the Lumie Body Clock Active 250 a mid range dawn simulator alarm, that has been packed with features that are only normally found in more expensive devices. Continue reading
3) Philips Morning Wake-Up Light With Sunrise Simulation HF3505
This is one of the most economical models in the Phillips range. But the HF3505 still has plenty of features packed in. Phillips pretty much dominate the Dawn simulator alarm clock arena, so even from one of their low end products you can expect a lot. Continue reading
4) Philips Morning Wake-Up Light With Sunrise Simulation HF3510
The Phillips HF3510 is one of four dawn simulator alarm clocks that Phillips manufacture.This HF3510 represents one of the mid priced models. From the outside it is identical to the HF3520, but It is not quite as feature rich as its more expensive stable mate. We found it still offers a really great user experience though. Continue reading