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They’re designed to help you wake up feeling refreshed and alert, but do sunrise alarm clocks actually make waking up any easier? Stylist’s Lauren Geall put one to the test. 

No matter how hard I try, I have never been a morning person. It’s a concept that feels foreign to me. The idea of waking up with lots of energy and feeling motivated enough to take part in a highly orchestrated morning routine feels more like a pipe dream than an achievable reality.

So, when winter arrives and the mornings get dark, I tend to struggle. A lot. Getting up goes from an annoying occurrence to a dreaded event, and the sound of my alarm blaring through the darkness is enough to send shivers down my spine. Then, when I do manage to make it out of bed (after snoozing my alarm multiple times, of course), I tend to feel pretty tired and spaced out for the first couple of hours.  

It’s no fun, to say the least. So when the mornings started to get darker this year, I decided to take matters into my own hands with the help of a sunrise alarm clock.

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Designed to help users wake up feeling more refreshed and ready to face the day, sunrise alarm clocks light up slowly over the course of a 30- or 45-minute period, releasing light into the room and waking you up gradually in the process.

As the name suggests, they’re designed to mimic the sun rising, which helps to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm during the darker months when we’re not exposed to as much natural light.

Intrigued, I got my hands on Lumie’s Bodyclock Glow 150, and put it through its paces over two weeks to see whether it would help me to get out of bed more easily (and feel more awake while doing so).      

My initial thoughts

The Lumie Bodyclock Glow 150 comes with 10 different alarm sounds and a variety of sunrise durations.

The Lumie Bodyclock Glow 150 is one of the brand’s mid-range alarm clocks (it costs £119), and as such comes with a variety of options to customise your experience. As well as offering a 20-, 30- and 45-minute wake-up period, the alarm clock can also be used as a sunset clock which gradually fades to darkness. 

It also has 10 different alarm sounds which go off once the sunrise sequence is over – these range from singing birds to a thunderstorm and white noise – and it can also be used as a lamp when you’re not using the alarm function.

To start with, I opted for the 30-minute sunrise option accompanied by some birdsong and set the alarm for 6.30am the next morning ready for my first gentle wake-up. To be honest, I was a little dubious it would actually work, and also set a slightly later alarm on my phone just in case. 

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However, when the next morning arrived, I realised my phone alarm hadn’t been necessary. Despite going to bed at the same time I always do (between 10:30pm-11:30pm), I woke up before my alarm at 6:20am, all thanks to the glow of the lamp. 

I also felt surprisingly alert for 6.20am – and while it still took me 20 minutes to pull myself out from under the covers, I definitely felt sprightlier than I usually do when I made my way to the bathroom for a shower. 

Do sunrise alarm clocks really make waking up easier?

While I was pleasantly surprised by my initial experience with a sunrise alarm clock, I was still unsure about how big a difference the clock could make. Maybe that first morning was just a fluke?

However, as I continued to use the sunrise alarm clock every morning, I was proven wrong. Day after day, I woke up feeling more rested and alert – a difference I actually felt more as the mornings went on. In previous years, I’d become used to feeling sleepy and lethargic for the first few hours of the day – but when I was using the sunrise alarm clock, I found it easier to shake off that heavy feeling and dive straight into the day.

What I will say is that feeling more awake didn’t really make getting out of bed any easier (much to my dismay). After all, your bed is still just as comfy when you’re wide awake as it is when you’re asleep – and I think I’ll always find it difficult to swap the warmth of my bed for the cold of the outside world. 

My final verdict

Using a sunrise alarm clock has made waking up less stressful.

While I’ll never be one of those people who jumps out of bed at the crack of dawn, using a sunrise alarm clock has made a big difference to how I feel in the morning.

I now feel a lot calmer and more refreshed when the morning arrives, compared to how worn out and often anxious I felt when I was using the alarm on my phone.

If you find it hard to wake up in the morning when its dark outside – and struggle with feelings of lethargy and brain fog throughout the day – I’d definitely recommend giving a sunrise alarm clock a try. It may not solve all your problems, but experiencing a more natural, relaxed wake-up can make a surprisingly big difference to your day.  

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    Lumie Bodyclock Glow 150

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Images: Lumie/Getty

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