Ah, late fall/winter. That lovely time when the sun forgets to show up except for a few measly hours in the day. Don’t you think it’s SO hard to get up when it is dark out? You are nestled warm and cozy under your covers and then suddenly “BEEP BEEP BEEP” goes your alarm clock. Talk about a rude awakening!
About a year ago my husband and I decided to buy one of those light alarm clocks to see if they would help with the agony of getting out of our warm cocoon of a bed in the morning. Have you heard of these? They are essentially a big light that starts to glow approximately 30 min before you need to get up, simulating the sunrise. It keeps getting brighter and brighter until the time you set for the alarm, at which point it plays gentle music.
After using it now for about a year I have found that in the dark months it is so much easier to wake up than it used to be. This type of alarm clock delivers a much less rude, jolting awake than a regular alarm does. It’s a much more soothing way to be awakened. I notice that I very gradually come to alertness and by the time the music plays I am much more apt to get out of bed than if I just hear a loud blaring noise in the dark. I mean, I don’t exactly WANT to get out of bed, but at least I’m awake 🙂
The other advantage to this alarm clock is that it gradually eases your cortisol levels to the morning high that it needs to be, as nature intended. Cortisol is the stress hormone but it also naturally occurs each day to help up get through our days. It’s typically highest in the morning and then tails off as the day goes on, letting serotonin take over to help guide us to sleep at night. But when we are deep asleep at 6 am and our super loud annoying alarms go off, it causes an extra spike of adrenaline and cortisol levels go up even more. If there is one thing we do NOT need, it’s for our cortisol levels to spike more than they already do. We have plenty upon plenty of opportunities to have that happen throughout the day between our commutes, jobs, family duties, and so on. So gradually awakening each morning is the way we are supposed to get up, and this alarm helps with that process.
The type of alarm we use is this Philips one. (Note: I am in no way affiliated with Philips nor is that an affiliate link. I just love that alarm clock that much….)