I’m one of those persons that always had big problem waking up in the morning. Only time in year when these problems are not so bad are short periods of time in spring and summer when sun wakes me up naturally. It can even be very early in the morning and I would still feel fresh and well rested. Unfortunately, rest of the year it is completely different story. I love to sleep and I love to sleep very long in the morning and it is something I really hate about myself. I regularly found myself hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock for hour and half before I was able to get out of bed and even after that I did not feel very well rested. I said myself that it has to end and started my internet quest for finding solution to my problem.
I have read few dozens different articles about different methods how to wake up easier and earlier. I have tried various apps that monitors your sleep cycles, different special ringtones and various life hacks like:
- placing your alarm clock on the other side of the room – this should make you go out of your bed and turn it off. Well, not in my case! It worked few times, but most of the time I would lay in my bed listening to ringtone I absolutely hate for whole hour or I would just get out of my bed, turn it off and come back to sleep.
- develop a regular sleeping pattern – this works great in theory, but its kinda harder to achieve in reality. If you will go to bed at same time every night and your alarm is set to same time even at weekends, you should be getting easier out of bed every morning, because your body will get used to it.
- use natural light – if you wake in dark room than you have big problem, because it is just not natural for humans to wake up in dark. Consider adjusting the blinds in your bedroom so more natural light can get in the morning. This is in my opinion possible only in some rural areas, because at night you need to sleep in as dark room as possible. It has huge negative impact on your health if you sleep in room that is not dark. There is solution to this paradox and that is natural light alarm clock. With these you can sleep in dark room, but still wake up to “natural” light.
- sleep in cycles – if you wake before your alarm goes off, try to get up immediately, because it is most likely that you reached end of sleep cycle when it is best to wake up.
- sleep well – if you want to wake up early and feel refreshed and full of energy, it is essential to get good sleep. Try to go to bed early, do not stare into your phone or tablet or watch TV just before you go to sleep. The blue light emitted from these screens prevents melatonin being released (which triggers natural tiredness). This effect lasts for pretty long time, so do not use these devices at least half an hour before you want to sleep. For the same reason do not use LED lights in your bedroom. Try to read a book before sleep using tradition light bulbs or listen to e-book or radio (with automatic turn-off timer). Make your bedroom as sound and light isolated as you can, so you will sleep in dark quiet place. This is really very important and will help you wake up in the morning. I can confirm that these things helped me.
- find alarm clock you will like – most people I know hates their alarm clock or morning alarm melody on their phone and i was no different, so it is really good idea to invest in something that will help you wake up in the morning. For me the first step was using digital radio alarm clock with radio station I like, but everyone is different.
- practice – this sounds kinda stupid, but apparently works for some people. Setup your bedroom during day as if it is morning and you have to get up. Set your alarm for a few minutes from now and wait when it goes off. When it does, get up immediately. Repeat it until it will become absolutely automatic move.
I have tried all these things and I’m sure all of them can have little or even pretty big impact on the way how you wake up, but because I have had so good experience waking up to natural light I have decided to try Philips HF3520 Wake Up Light.
I have decided to try this particular model because it has many positive customer reviews and as far as I know, it is the only wake up light that is clinically proven to work. If you want to get deeper info about this whole topic, check out this paper from Philips scientists.
So I ordered the light and set it up on my bedside table. Some people in internet discussions said they had problems with setup, but I found it pretty easy and straightforward. I have to admit that I set it first just to see how it work even it was not morning yet. I really like that the light comes on slowly, subtly, and with no obvious steps between brightness levels which you could see. Se I set it up again on 6:20 am when I usually wake-up.
The first morning I woke up to the sound of chirping birds (I set up the nature sounds alarm) and even the wake-up was pretty good and I could get out of bed with no problem I woke to the sound BEFORE the light. That is something I did not like much, so I decided to use it as silent alarm, only with the light and see how that goes.
The second morning I had to wake-up slightly earlier than I usually do, around 5:50 so I set up the wake-up light to 5:45 and my phone alarm to 5:50. I woke up in the morning, feeling quite ok and when I checked the phone I saw I woke up at 5:43, seven minutes before my phone alarm goes off. This was really very pleasant surprise and it was the moment when I realised that I’m gonna like this product.
I use it now with my phone usually and at weekends I use the radio function since I do not care so much about waking-up with sound, because I wake-up at 8 am, but I still wake up most of the time with light before the radio would wake me up. Even at normal week days I’m not in 100% of cases waken-up just by the light, but even when its my alarm that wakes me up, it is still much better than it was before in “dark ages”. I started using the wake up light about two months ago and even I cannot say that I had become morning person, it helps me a lot, especially now when mornings are dark and grey it makes me wake up smoothly. I love camping and this reminds me of waking up in nature, in summer and that is exactly what I need for winter months.
If you are interested in this product, check out the reviews here (they also have it right now for very good price).
Check out also this video where you can get the idea of how it looks working. (The steps between light levels in start of the video are caused by the video, not the wake-up light itself).