I Used a Sunrise Alarm Clock for 60 Days and This Is What Happened
If you’ve never heard of a sunrise alarm clock, this is a great place to start! A sunrise clock uses gradual introduction of light in the morning to slowly wake you up, as if to mimic the effects of the sun rising (more on that later)! I used a sunrise alarm clock for 60 days (and continue to use it after!) after knowing nothing about them, and now I’m sharing with you which clock I used, what it does, and how it worked for me over the past two months!
Related Post: 10 Ways to Ensure You Get the Best Sleep Ever
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What A SunRise Alarm Clock Is
A sunrise alarm clock is a clock that uses gradual introduction of light to slowly wake you up! The idea behind it is that it’s supposed to wake you up gently, as opposed to being jolted awake from a loud, blaring alarm. Sunrise alarm clocks are designed to recreate the effect of a sunrise. Read below to understand how light wakes you up!
How It Works
Light can greatly affect your circadian rhythm and sleep wake cycle. Your circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock that is in charge of your sleep/wake cycle. This internal clock is influenced by several cues (one of them being light!) (source). Being exposed to bright light before going to bed can make it harder to fall asleep, while being exposed to bright light in the morning can help to wake you up!
When you’re exposed to bright light, it suppresses secretion of the hormone melatonin (in charge of making you sleepy) and helps to wake you up (source). The clock mimics the idea of the rising sun (goes from minimal light to brighter and brighter!), which signals that it’s time for your body to wake up!
Background on My Sleep Pattern
Since everyone’s lifestyle and environment is different, everyone has different things that will affect the way they sleep. I personally work shift work (meaning I do 12 hour day shifts and 12 hour night shifts – aka sleeping throughout the day). Depending on the time of year, I often wake up in the dark – whether it’s before a day shift or before a night shift. I often wake up well before the sun rises, and on those days natural light isn’t an option.
I also live in Canada, which means during the winter months it gets dark as early as 4-4:30 pm, and often doesn’t rise until after 6am. Again, because I work 12 hour shifts this often means I don’t see the sun before my day shifts, or when I wake up before a night shift!
Which Clock I Went With
There are so many sunrise alarm clock models out there, all ranging in different prices, styles and functions. I did quite a bit of researching at the start – I didn’t want to drop a bunch of money on something I wasn’t convinced that even worked (plain and simple). I researched everything from the Phillips SmartSleep (literally had me drooling, but the price tag was high for something I wasn’t 100% set on yet) to almost every sunrise alarm clock known to Amazon. I was skeptical, but also in need of a new alarm clock, so I decided to go with this model:
After reading several positive reviews (probably the most research I’ve ever done on a product to be honest) I went with the LATME sunrise alarm clock (it got a 4/5 star rating, and for $45 it was actually a steal)! In addition to buttons on the side, the clock is compatible with both Alexa or Google home, and also is compatible with the Smart Life app for Iphone (I use this app to program my alarms and change the settings, as I find it easier than using the buttons on the side of the clock!)
Some other key features of the clock include the option to set 4 different alarms (all with individual labels, alarm sounds, and volume and brightness settings), a nighttime wind-down feature (for 30 minutes the clock will go from dim light and gradually decreases until it’s dark with soothing background noises, and completely customizable brightness and volume settings.
I used a Sunrise Clock for 60 Days and This is What Happened
Trial and Error
So, naturally a little skeptical but full of promise from all the research I had done, I decided to give this type of alarm clock a try. I played around with the app and figured out how to set an alarm (quite easy to do, connecting the clock to the app was the hardest part. There are instructions that come with the clock however). I went to sleep and immediately tried the nighttime wind down feature – I set mine for 30 mins and chose the cricket sound, and to this day this is my favourite feature of the clock.
My first few days I decided to try while I was at home on my days off, and set a back up phone alarm. The first time I tried it, I slept through it – I had set the sound volume a little too low and didn’t realize how much I still relied on sound to wake up. It took a lot of playing around with the sound volume (and actually trying the alarm while I was awake and at home in the afternoon to see which volume worked best).
After using the LATME sunrise alarm clock for 60 days (both to wake up in the morning and in the dark before a night shift), I honestly can say it’s a keeper. Although I still use the sound feature to wake me up (I don’t trust myself to not sleep through an alarm), I notice a huge difference when I’m waking up.
Not only is it less alarming (haha) when my alarm goes off, I feel like I’ve transitioned into a lighter sleep before the actual alarm goes off. I have my sunlight setting at the max – 60 minutes before my alarm goes off and I find that’s made a huge difference in how I feel when I wake up. I no longer feel like I’m being scared awake, and sometimes I’ll even wake up before my alarm goes off because of the light!
Whether I’m waking up before a day shift, or waking up in the dark evening before a night, the sunrise alarm clock has the same effect. I still feel like I’m being gently woken up, and I feel less groggy and grumpy when I do hear my alarm go off!
Functionality & Ease of Use
Setting up the clock was a dream – I truly had no issues once I was able to connect the clock to the app. I was able to figure out how to easily set four different alarms (which is great when you have many different wake-up times, aka shift workers!). I still find the clock easy to use App wise, I typically don’t try and set the clock through the buttons (although some reviews expressed frustration with trying to do this).
The clock actually does what it’s supposed to do. I’ve had an easier time waking up since I started using it, and find I’m way less groggy and grumpy in the mornings!
For $45, the LATME sunrise alarm clock is a steal. Although I haven’t compared it to/nor have used the Phillips SmartSleep (one day maybe!), for the price you can’t go wrong. It goes above and beyond what I expected out of a sunrise alarm clock for that price!
Nighttime Wind Down Feature
Honestly this is my favourite part of the clock. Like I mentioned earlier, you can set the wind down feature to go from a dim, warm almost orange light with soothing sounds (I chose crickets, it reminds me of summertime!). I use this feature every night and almost always fall asleep before the light turns off. It is one of the most soothing ways I’ve been able to fall asleep, and look forward to the 30 minutes before bed where I climb in, turn on the wind-down feature and just drift off to sleep!
Some of the sounds on the clock could use some work. I don’t love all of the sounds used to wake up or wind down (the crickets is great though, just the other sounds). It would be nicer if they sounded a little more legit, but this is not enough of a reason for me to return. There’s at least one sound I like for the wake up and sleep feature and that’s personally good enough for me.
Too Many Buttons
Like I said above, I use the app to set my alarm, however when I’m turning off the alarm in the morning or hitting snooze, it gets a little confusing because there are so many. Several times I’ve gotten confused trying to turn off my alarm after just having woken up.
Would I repurchase the LATME sunrise alarm clock? Absolutely! This clock is functional, effective and easy to use. Would I try the Phillips SmartSleep if I had the chance? Probably (for the sake of comparison). This clock received 4/5 stars and was highly praised in the product reviews. For the price, you can’t go wrong with this clock. There are several options and alarm settings to make this clock completely customizable to your needs. The nighttime wind down function is something I can’t believe I have been missing all of my life! With only a few minor details worth changing, this clock is a definite must have if you’re in the market for a new alarm clock!
Have you tried a sunrise alarm clock before? Let me know in the comments!