this thing's incredible

This Wake-Up Light Is Like My Own Private Sunrise

While pretty much everyone hates the sudden shift in daytime light this time of year, I feel acutely bereft — all winter long. I’m almost unhealthily attached to daylight as an energy source. Sun comes up? I’m happy to get up. Sun goes down? I crave powering down, PJs, and my pillow.

The trouble with this, of course, becomes most obvious from November to March, when it’s dark until 7 a.m. or later, and again at just before 5 p.m. I can’t be a functioning adult if I’m only open for business during those hours. Thankfully, I’ve found something that helps: the sunrise-simulating Philips Wake-Up Light. While light boxes and melatonin are decent remedies for some of this seasonal malaise, this floodlight-to-your-face has transformed my morning.

The light was initially recommended to me while researching a story on sleep, by a sleep expert, so I felt like it had a doctor’s seal of approval, and I chose this model because of the way it mimics the sunrise: providing a slow, gentle progression from a barely-there golden glow to a bright, everything’s-gonna-be-all-right white light, steadfastly streaming just a few inches away from my head every morning, no matter what’s happening outside my window. (If you set it for 6:30, it will start lighting up shortly before that time, reaching its peak brightness at the designated wake-up time.) The fact that it also has a built-in radio allows me to go to bed listening to NPR (most other models don’t have a radio). Also, I like how the actual time is totally unobtrusive — instead of being centered in the middle, it’s displayed down towards the bottom of the minimalist, orb-like gizmo.

Finally, yes, you will be shedding light on your bedmate — so if you’re on opposite schedules, go ahead and get them this eye mask.

(Note: If you’ve already gifted someone a Fitbit or some other wellness gadget, you’ll be a hero for getting them this light.)

Philips Morning Wake-Up Light

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This Wake-Up Light Is Like My Own Private Sunrise