Screenshot from Amazon.com

It’s Tuesday, so today I am going to tell you about a game-changing alarm clock.

Sure, my iPhone was doing an okay job of playing the music I wanted to wake up to on time every morning, but the jolt of adrenaline was not doing me any favors.

Enter the Philips SmartSleep HF3500/60 Wake-Up Light Therapy Alarm Clock with Sunrise Simulation. As someone who deals with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), I use a “happy light” in the winter to make up for the lack of sunlight in my life, especially in my office, where the window overlooks a hallway rather than the outdoors. The “happy light” does its job, but when I read about the benefits of a Sunrise Simulation alarm, I decided to give it a try.

My preferred wake-up time is 5:30 AM (really, it’s 9:00 AM, but I have to actually accomplish things.) While I previously set my iPhone to play soft music at 5:15, 5:30, 6:00, and 6:15, I would eventually get up and begin to function. I set my sunrise alarm for 5:30 AM, and at 5:00 AM, a gentle light begins to glow, getting a bit brighter with time until it is at its full 215-lumen glory at 5:30. There is a soft beep tone as well, but after a few days, I hardly waited for it.

Waking up by light is much less jarring, and coupled with the incredible loud birds in my backyard, I feel much calmer in the morning and ready to take on the day.
Will this tool help my writing? That’s still a question I cannot answer, but I am much nicer to be around in the morning. At least my border collie thinks so.

Gratuitous pet photo. He also functions as an alarm clock.