Let me enlighten you!

I am not a morning person, but comp prep has forced me to become one!

So I can fit in my cardio and weight training it’s not unusual for me to be up at 5.30am these days and any help I can get at making that a more ‘enjoyable’ experience is much appreciated.

So, I’ve been trying out the Lumie Bodyclock Starter 30 – an alarm clock which creates a gradual sunrise to wake you up.

No one likes being jolted awake by a blaring alarm while you open your eyes to a pitch black room and start banging about trying to hit the snooze button.

Lumie, however, are the people behind the original ‘dawn simulator’ alarm clock, which has scientifically been proven to be a far healthier way to wake up.

But how?!

Well, this clock turns on and gradually grows brighter in the last 30 minutes of sleep before your alarm is due to sound.

‘So,’ I hear you say. ‘What’s so special about that?!’

As this light slowly increases in brightness it sends signals to the body that it’s time to slow production of sleep hormones, such as melatonin, and start increasing levels of those that help us rise and shine, such as cortisol.

Waking up naturally this way has been proven to help keep sleep/wake cycles on track and boost your mood, productivity and energy levels for the rest of the day – great for those of us hitting the gym before work, going for that pre-dawn run or doing shift work.

In fact, Lumie’s products are certified by the Medical Devices Directive and supplied to the NHS.

I’ve been using mine for a month now, so let’s run through what you get and what I think of it so far…

Lumie Bodyclock Starter 30 – RRP £59.95

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This is a compact little alarm clock that weighs just 760g and measures 15H x 19W x 12cmD.

It’s fully plastic but feels solid for its size and comes boxed with an instruction manual and light bulb. You have to fit the bulb yourself, but this took all of 30 seconds – just pop off the alarm’s dome for access.

This is the starter model and offers the following specifications:

  • 24hr clock display
  • Dimmable bedside light
  • Dimmable display
  • 30 minute sunrise/sunset
  • Snooze feature
  • Optional beep alarm

Set up was so simple, the user guide is clear and easy to follow. It took my less than five minutes to set the time and an alarm.

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That evening I decided to use the Bodyclock Starter 30 as my bedside light. I love to read in bed, but sometimes I find it hard to make myself put my book down. This light was great because over the course of the next 30 minutes, it gradually dimmed until I couldn’t read any more. I felt relaxed, soothed and ready for sleep, plus I didn’t have to reach over and turn it off, just let it dim to nothing all on its own.

I knew the light alone wouldn’t wake me up in the morning, so you can either set your phone’s alarm or the one on the clock – I chose the one on the clock.

Waking up the next morning was bliss! Opening my eyes to a soft, warm light filling the room was so refreshing. The design of the clock also means it creates the effect of a sun’s rays.

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I’ll say the beep is rather shrill and high-pitched, but it woke me up!

To be honest, I only have two cons:

Firstly, each day you have to press the central button to reset the alarm – so if you forget, the alarm won’t go off the next morning.

Secondly, I wish there were more alarm sound options. On more expensive models you can chose between a dawn chorus, drum beat, windchimes, Big Ben, a rooster call, waves and rain. Others also have built in radios and the top of the range model doubles as an aromatherapy diffuser.

The Bodyclock Starter 30, however, is a great basic model if you want to see how a dawn simulation alarm clock could work for you.

What made me realise it was working for me came a few days into using it. Normally I find that by around 4pm I am really tired. I’ve been up since 5.30am, done 35mins fasted cardio, a two hour commute to work, over half a day in the office and two hours in the gym. But in the weeks since I’ve been using the Lumie Bodyclock Starter 30, I haven’t felt as tired.

Now I enjoy waking up its soft glow – in fact, I’ve got my eye on a higher-spec model already!!

Until next time, stay happy and healthy…

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