Lumie, Light Of My Life


Ah yes, after what feels like the longest winter in living memory there's finally a grand stretch in the evenings and the mornings are starting to brighten up. Sing hosannas! But if you're still finding it difficult to peel yourself out of the leaba in the AM, you could do worse than invest in a dawn simulator. Which I was inadvertantly calling "dawn stimulators" for ages, ehem. These are essentially alarm clocks that wake you with a daylight simulation bulb that becomes gradually brighter, rather than alarm clocks that wake you with the usual infernal "beep beep beep beep. Beep Beep Beep Beep. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP!"

So they're a nicer way to wake up, but how do they actually work? Well, as the light level increases, the body's wake-up cycle is triggered: the light helps to inhibit the production of sleep hormones like melatonin and encourage the production of get-up-an'-go hormones like cortisol. This helps to regulate your circadian rhythm (basically, your bodyclock), and means that by the time the time the light has reached it's maximum brightness, you should be just about ready to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed. Ideal for shift workers, people with blackout blinds, or anyone who just doesn't do mornings, a dawn simulator should help you feel less knackered on waking - I've been using one made by a crowd called Lumie since Christmas and have definitely noticed the difference.


Philips do a range of these gizmos too, and you can choose from ones that also mimic sunset if you have trouble nodding off, are completely silent, have an optional alarm, or even clock/radio versions. Larger Boots stores probably carry the best in-store range of these dawn stimu-, er, simulator alarms, starting from about €74, and Argos carry a Philips one.

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