I tend to be quite an early riser and I like to go for a run before work in the morning, but in the winter months it gets harder and harder to wake up when it is dark outside and I often feel groggy when getting up. So when I was asked to review the Lumie Bodyclock Active 250 I was quite excited.
Bodyclock is the original wake-up light, also called a dawn simulator. It wakes you gradually with increasing natural light. This is a signal for your body to ease production of sleep hormones (e.g. melatonin) and increase those that help you get up and go (e.g. cortisol). Wake-up lights help to keep your sleep cycle on track, boosting mood, energy and productivity levels all day.
Lumie products are one of the few manufacturers that are recommended by sad.org.uk which is a UK National Voluntary Organisation dedicated to supporting people who are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder. While you may find alternative products cheaper they often don't use the correct strength light to be affective for SAD and therefore it is recommended that you stick with the manufacturers recommended by sad.org.uk.
I should also point out that while the Lumie Bodyclock Active 250 is recommended by Sad.org.uk it doesn't actually treat Seasonal Effectiveness Disorder but just one of the sleep related symptoms of SAD.
The actual clock itself it pretty boring looking and quite plasticy, but it is no different than most alarm clocks. Setting up the clock is quite straight forward it takes seconds to put it together, then you just need to set the time and set your alarm. The alarm will automatically give you a 30-minute “sunrise” to wake you up gradually before the alarm goes off at the end of the 30 minutes. The reverse is also possible with a 30 minute sunset. You can alter the times to 15, 20, 45, 60 or 90 minutes if you prefer.
The alarm also tries to be less harsh than most alarms with a choice of either a beep, tweeting birds, a rooster crowing, waves lapping at the shore and white noise. Alternatively there is a FM radio option if you prefer
Over the past few weeks of using the clock I have found it to be really effective. The council in all there wisdom have put ultra bright street lights just outside my bedroom window so I have had to invest in black out blinds which has made waking up even harder. Having the room light up in a natural way has really helped me wake up in the morning with a clearer head.
At £99.95 it is a pretty expensive clock, but all other wake up lights are also expensive and it would be unfair to compare this to a standard alarm. If you are having trouble waking in the morning then this is an excellent option.