We've officially passed the fall equinox, which means that for those of us living in the northern hemisphere, we're now experiencing more hours of darkness than sunlight throughout the day. For some folks, the decrease in sunlight can lead to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), causing symptoms such as low energy levels and mood changes.
Oversleeping is another common SAD symptom, so if you're looking to make your mornings a bit easier, it may be time to consider a light therapy alarm clock. They're an alternative to traditional alarms and use light instead of sound to gently wake you up while mimicking sunrise.
The Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light Therapy Alarm Clock is one of the most popular models, and it's currently on sale at Amazon Canada.
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How does a light alarm clock work?
Starting 30 minutes before your desired wakeup time, the Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light Therapy Alarm Clock begins slowly transitioning from soft to bright yellow light, just like a natural sunrise.
The Philips Wake-Up Light is ideal for anyone who finds it difficult to get up in the morning, especially in the dark winter months. Its gradual sunrise effect eases you awake, but if you're worried about missing your alarm, it also comes with a back-up beeper.
Studies have shown that the effects of a sunrise alarm clock can impact our circadian rhythm, reinforcing a normal pattern of waking. It's also a more gentle effect than a blaring alarm, which can be disorienting first thing in the morning.
What people are saying
According to Amazon reviewers, this Philips Wake-Up Light delivers "good value for a better wake-up" that shoppers say "really does feel like waking up with the sun."
It's received a 4.2-star average rating from shoppers who agree that this alarm is "worth every penny."
"Much better than a jarring alarm clock," reads one review.
"Such a gentle way to wake up," raved another, who added that this alarm has helped cut down on "knuckle dragging, frustrating mornings" with tired kids.
In addition to the gentle wake-ups, shoppers have also enjoyed using this alarm clock as a reading lamp. One reviewer shared that it "lights up the whole room" at the brightest setting and "and eliminates need for a bedside reading light."
While many users have fully converted to the sunlight alarm life, others found it difficult to wake up with just the light. Deep sleepers in particular shared that they "would roll over and fall back asleep" or "sleep through the waking sequence without even noticing it."
Luckily this alarm also has a beep at the end of the sunrise, but deep sleepers be warned: "Don't expect a miracle," some shoppers say.
While there have been thousands of positive reviews for this sunlight alarm clock, it may not work well for everyone. If you're a light sleeper, you may have better luck adjusting to the brightness as a way to start your day, but deep sleepers may still just seep straight through.
If you know that you'll likely be relying on the sound over the lights, you may be better off investing in a traditional alarm clock.
The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.