Once I am set in motion for the day I’m on a productive auto-pilot. However, I do have a confession.
Getting to that point is a challenge. I cannot get out of bed for the life of me!
Seriously. If pure laziness and debilitating lethargy aren’t enough of challenges I also have my dreams working against me. I will literally dream of scenarios where I am trying to be woken up but I’m being briefed by some important person or organization that I need to stay in the dream where important business is required for me to accomplish. Sometimes my dreams will incorporate the sound of my alarm clock (s) into my dream and make them something else so I cannot wake up to them. One time I was so concerned about waking up on time I strapped my phone to my ear before I went to bed.
Frankly, it’s a little embarrassing how hard it is for me to rise for the morning. I’m a little envious of friends who wake up bright-eyed and bushy tailed at whatever time they’ve set out for themselves.
Phillip’s HF3470 / HF3471 Wake-Up Light
About a year ago I was researching products and scouring Amazon (which happens to be one of my all-time favorite hobbies) for light therapy boxes and stumbled upon the Phillips Wake-Up Light with Dusk feature. The features seemed very promising and were built on principles that seemed natural.
For hundreds of thousands of years human beings have been waking up to the gradual light increase of the sun during dawn. Our bodies have a natural biological architecture that recognizes this gradual light increase and prepares the body to rise from sleep in a way that leaves us feeling more refreshed.
Sleep Cycles – Did you know that there are different sleep cycles that you rifle through while you sleep such as light sleep, REM sleep and deep sleep. If you are suddenly pulled out of sleep during the wrong cycle you can feel groggy the entire day despite how much rest you actually got.
Jolted – Do you really like waking up in a panic? I know I was either used to waking up in a frantic jolt or my subconscious was finding ways to disguise my alarm sounds as other sounds logical to my dreams.
So this Phillips wake-up light seemed to address a two-fold problem I was having. Waking up in a panic from abrupt loud noises or not responding to sound at all as a cue to wake up. The addition of a light source to help me wake up was a brilliant concept and so I got it. It had great reviews by users and Phillips went so far as to have endorsed by the National Sleep Foundation.
It functions as an alarm clock. It still has a “sound” portion of the alarm that you can choose (radio station, birds chirping, steel drums playing, wind chimes blowing) but before that sound component goes off there is the light component. Let’s say you set the alarm for 6:00am. At 5:30am the faintest amount of light is emitted from this little device and ever-so-gradually gets brighter and brighter until it reaches the full brightness specified. You start to naturally kind of “stir” in bed. At 6:00 am the alarm sound then goes off and completes the full wake-up procedure. A lot of the times I will wake up long before the sound alarm goes off. The genius of mimicking a sunrise becomes very obvious.
There is a snooze button. Don’t worry folks, I know what it’s like to be a chronic “snoozer,” this product still allows you that feature but honestly, you will feel like getting out of bed and that’s the greatest part. I wake up feeling WAY better than I usually do. Now, depending on how much sleep I get (sometimes only 3 hours) my results will vary. It’s not a complete miracle worker. You got to work with it. I can tell you I’m feeling better waking up than I ever have before… even on 3 hours sleep.
The dusk feature of the HF3741 model, which I personally purchased was just as helpful and surprisingly effect as the wake-up feature. Once again we’re using a simulation of nature’s cues to help us achieve our sleeping goals. The dusk feature allows you to basically have a light-box countdown to darkness. In increments of 15 minutes (all the way up to an hour and fifteen minutes) you can set the dusk feature. Once activated the light is at the full illumination or brightness ( that you specify ) and over that course of time the light will slowly decrease in brightness until it completely turns off.
If you are trying to have better sleep hygiene you should also try to come up with a before-bed-routine that includes relaxing activities (such as showering, brushing teeth, liesurely reading, etc). This pattern will cue your brain that it needs to prepare for sleep. I started using the dusk feature of the Phillip’s light box and will read until the time the light becomes too dim. At this point I start feeling naturally sleepy and will just close my eyes and relax/ meditate until the light completely turns off and then I slide under the covers and call it a night.
It works beautifully. I have been very happy with this product and fully endorse it. If you have had problems with waking up or falling asleep I encourage you to check out reviews and read up more on this product the Phillip’s HF3470 / HF3471 Wake-Up Light and you can read Amazon.com reviews on it here. I love this cool little device and couldn’t recommend it more for you fellow night owls and lingering sleepers.
Video Review and Demonstration
I created a video demonstrating some of the features and how the wake-up light / fall asleep light works.