Wake-up Light

Let me start off by saying I LOVE waking up early. If I wake up early I am much more productive, I tend to be in a better mood, and I am more likely to have time and motivation to exercise and eat a good breakfast (a big part of trying to be healthier…more on that in another post). However, waking up early is definitely easier said than done. I used to be great at it. College and grad school I would get up at the first rays of sunlight. I couldn’t sleep past 9:00 AM at the latest even if I wanted to because I would wake up with a headache from “over sleeping”. But somehow since moving in with my husband four and a half years ago, he converted me into someone who hits the snooze button, sleeps in, and struggles to get out of  bed. Sam is a computer programmer, so he has an excuse because he is a night owl basically by trade. I don’t have that excuse. It was just really laziness (childish thoughts of “why do I have to get out of bed if he still is in bed”) and over time became a bad habit that was very hard to break.

Over the past 6 months or so it is something I decided I wanted to work on seriously though. Now a big part of it is definitely getting to bed at a consistent and reasonable time, which is more do-able than getting yourself up in the morning. I did have a few restless nights at first of lying in bed wide awake, but this goes away quickly (especially if you avoid watching television or playing on your phone before bed…definitely doesn’t help. And I should have known better.). I have been slowly…okay, very slowly…pushing the wake-up time earlier and earlier. I can now consistently get up at 7:45 AM without issue, although I still have a long way to go (6:00 AM is my goal). Last week I even made it to 7:15 AM one morning. Woo hoo! But really why I wanted to write this post because there is a product that has made this all that. much. easier.

The Wake-Up Light*

When I lived with my parents, I had this room with FOUR windows that got morning sun. Now, I have one window that faces west (i.e. no morning sun). So to have a product to help simulate the sun for me and help to wake me (especially during the dark New England mornings) has been amazing. I have been using this product (specifically the one shown and linked to–the Philips HF3510. My husband liked it so much he also got one. He got a different model though–HF3500) for almost a year now and I absolutely love it. It was given to me as a gift for Christmas by my sister (Thanks, Sara!). My model has two alarms so I have one set for weekdays and one for weekends. I also can set the brightness I want it to gradually wake me to. Then in the morning (30 minutes prior to when I set the alarm) it starts simulating a sunrise. Going from a very deep orange to a very bright white depending on how bright I set it. And let’s say I am being “bad” one day (trying really hard not to do this, but it still happens as I am working on it) and the light wakes me and I ignore it or I shut off the light part…then when it hits the time I actually set the alarm to it will go off like a normal alarm clock. I have it set to the radio, which is why I picked this version (I think you can also have a nature sound or two also–side story: my roommate had an alarm in college that played nature sounds to wake her. She particularly liked the babbling brook sound. I always used to wake up thinking someone was urinating in our room. Ugh! So I stay away from nature sounds now…). My husband’s version is a soft beeping that also gradually gets louder. On my model I also have a sunset version when I want to go to sleep. Super calming. I would have to say in the winter the Wake-Up Light wakes me before the alarm part 100% of the time. It’s just so dark in the winter when I have to get up that the light does it every time. I would say it still usually wakes me in the summer, but occasionally if I’m facing my window instead of the clock and I am really out cold it might get all the way to the alarm, but this still does the job.

And because I am waking to gradual light I wake up much more naturally than I would to an alarm going off all of a sudden. So then why don’t I just set it for my goal time for 6:00 AM and be done with it? Sadly as well as it works I still fight it. There still is some laziness/self-control issues that I have to work on. It’s obviously not physically getting me out of bed (that would be kind of creepy now that I’m thinking about it). I still need to do that part. But ideally I should be getting out of bed as soon as it wakes me. So as I continue to work toward that I will keep everyone posted! If you are not a morning person and you want to become one though, I highly suggest checking out the product. It is a little on the pricey side for an alarm clock, but it was worth it for me and there are less expensive models as well. If you have one or if you end up getting one post in the comments and let me know what you think about it! Love to hear other reviews and maybe some other tips/tricks to getting up early!

*Disclaimer: I bought this product on my own and am not being paid or even asked to write a review on this. I just have never loved an alarm clock so much that I had to share!