- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Getty Images / Rachel Murray / FlyIntoSpace
These days, Katie Couric is now known for her podcast, her pegan diet challenges and one rapidly-growing media empire. But back in her TODAY days, the TV anchor invested 15 years waking up far before dawn to keep Americans up to date on the latest news.
With a decade and a half of experience as an early riser, we trust that Couric has some savvy tips and tricks to look and feel fresh and well-rested, no matter what time she wakes up these days.
But back in 2019, Couric told PureWow about her morning routine at the time, admitting that "Alexa wakes me up with this very annoying sound. Then, I usually tell her to wake me up 15 minutes later. Today, I got up at 6:45 a.m. Some days I sleep until 7:30; others, I'm up by 6 a.m. It all depends on what I'm doing that day and how late I stayed up the night before. I try to get seven or eight hours of sleep. I do wonder if I'd feel better if I got up at the same time every day. Don't they say that's a good idea? Whatever. There's so much to feel guilty about."
It seems the past couple years have inspired her—or at least someone on her media team—to break up with Alexa's alarm function and turn to a brighter, calmer and more natural way to start the day. One of her latest "18 Amazon Finds You Didn't Know You Needed" is the Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock (which just so happens to be 33% off for a limited time, by the way!).
Available at Amazon
"This handy gadget functions as a sleep aid, an alarm clock, and a night light all in one," Couric and co. say on their Amazon faves list. "The light brightens gradually over 10, 20 or 30 minutes, making it perfect for anyone whose room doesn't get much natural light in the mornings. The clock has seven soothing alarm sounds, including birds chirping, running water, and soft music, to further improve your wakeup experience. To top it off, the light can be turned to different colors and it has an FM radio built in. Ditch your phone alarm for this clock—you won't regret it."
We were inspired to dive deeper into the product after that rave review, and discovered a few more brilliant settings that are designed to work in tandem with your body's circadian rhythm to promote more restful sleep. Just like a normal sunrise, the light's brightness builds gradually by 10%, working up to 100% power, 30 minutes before the alarm is set to ring. It can also act as an adjustable-brightness reading lamp or lamp night light that comes.
And while it has USB ports to charge your gadgets as you recharge your own batteries, one of the benefits of investing in a separate alarm clock is that you can leave your phone in a different room. (ICYMI, blue lights, like the ones found in many smartphones, might be messing with your sleep quality and your metabolism, research suggests.)
"This alarm clock is one of the most innovative alarm clocks I have ever seen," one five-star reviewer says. "Ever since I purchased it a few weeks ago, my night and morning routine have improved dramatically. I no longer need my iPhone for an alarm in my room at night which improves my sleep and relaxation…I feel like this product improves my sleep cycle and makes me feel like I am waking up more energized."
Another user suffers from mild insomnia, and used to turn to sleep aids for an assist, "which is fine but not ideal for every night," she says. "This👏🏼Little👏🏼Alarm👏🏼Clock👏🏼 Has changed my life and I've only had it for like three weeks. The sleepy time setting has the ability to KNOCK me out without the use of sleep aids! What?! My brain totally responds to the way the light functions. I wake up much more naturally rather than to the blaring honk or passive aggressive chiming of a traditional alarm."
After reporting about what *really* happens to our bodies after a good night of sleep—and, TBH, scrolling through Instagram far past our bedtimes because our phones are right there to act as our alarms—we're definitely in agreement with Couric that this affordable alarm could be worth a shot. (Buy it: $39.98 (originally $59.99), Amazon)