A gradual light alarm clock is not your typical alarm clock. In many ways, you'll use your wake up light alarm clock just like you would a normal alarm clock but there are some special things to consider. This guide will help you understand how to use your gradual light alarm clock for best results.
It can take a bit of experimentation to find the right settings for you. Most of these alarm clocks will give you an option to set the length of the simulated sunrise. Some clocks will let you choose from 15-90 minutes while others will only give you a few options. The perfect length of time will vary for each individual. The only way you can figure out the right window for you is to experiment.
See how you feel when waking up to a shorter “sunrise” versus a longer one. For most people, the standard 30-minute window will be fine. Many clocks, like the Philips HF3505 Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock won't give you an option and you'll be stuck with the 30-minute window.
If you want a little more control, the Lumie Body Clock Active 250 gives maximal control. If you do go with this or another clock with timing options, it's a really good idea to experiment to see how you feel with different intervals.
Try to Avoid the Alarm Backup
Not every gradual light alarm clock has the option, but many of them do have optional backup alarm sounds. In some cases, this will be that typical blaring alarm beep.
However, most of these clocks give you the option to use gentle sounds like waves or the sounds of the rainforest.
It's understandable to be worried about waking up without sound but it's a good idea to try to avoid using the alarm sounds, especially at first. This helps to train your body to get used to rising with the simulated sunlight.
You can, of course, use the backup alarm sounds when it's particularly vital that you're up in time just for that peace of mind.
Use the Other Features
These days, most people use their cell phones as their alarm clocks. A gradual light alarm clock not only gives you a healthier, more natural and gradual way to wake up but most of them also offer some other features worth using.
The Lumie Body Clock Active 250 and the Philips HF3520 can simulate the sunset as well as the sunrise. This is a great way to wind down before bed. It helps to further retrain the body to a more natural and healthy pattern of sleep.
Many clocks can also be used as adjustable brightness bedside reading lamps. Unlike the flashlight on your cell phone, this light isn't disruptive to the body's internal clock. Some of these clocks can also serve as a sound system, letting you play the radio or music from your phone or mp3 player.
The Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 700 Wake-up Light Alarm Clock is an example of one clock that works well as a bedroom sound system in addition to being a great alarm clock.
Try for Consistency
Especially at first, it's a good idea to use your wake up light alarm clock consistently. This helps your body adjust. Some people will respond to and get used to the clock right away but for others, it might take a bit of time.
Being as consistent as possible and waking up to the simulated sunrise daily is the best way to get your body trained. Many people find that the waking up experience is so much better with a sunrise alarm clock that they naturally want to use it all the time.
Gradual light alarm clocks are easy to use. When you see how effective they can be, you'll wonder how you ever used to wake up in another way!