Waking up in the early hours when you know a busy commute and a long day awaits you can be tough, especially in the winter months. I often find it hard to pull myself out from under my warm, cosy duvet to brace the cold that lies beyond – even if that chill only lasts a few seconds before I reach my dressing gown! Well, that’s where the Lumie Bodyclock comes in, helping you to wake up happy and ready to start your day…
It’s essentially a light alarm clock, waking you with a gradually brightening lamp and alarm sound if you like. You can set the light to come on either 20, 30 or 45 minutes before you want to wake up and there are various alarm tones to choose from.
I was a little skeptical at first, thinking ‘will this actually make a difference?’, ‘is it worth it?’, ‘will it even wake me up? – but now I’m a believer! I often wake up just a couple of minutes before the soothing noise of birds (my chosen alarm tone) tells me that it’s time to get out of bed. It honestly makes such a difference to the mechanical drill alarm on my phone I used to continually snooze. I feel calm, content and ready for the day ahead. Most importantly, I no longer have to drag myself out of bed – even on cold, rainy days!
So how exactly does it work? What’s the science?
- Light travels from the optic nerve in your eye to the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SCN), a group of cells in the brain that respond to light and dark signals
- The SCN then signals to parts of the brain that control your hormones, temperature and other bodily functions
- Exposure to light results in suppression of melatonin production, the hormone associated with sleep onset. It also causes the SCN to send signals to raise body temperature and produce hormones like cortisol, associated with waking up
- So effectively, the gradually brightening light from a Lumie Bodyclock helps to trigger a reduction in melatonin levels and increase in cortisol levels that would normally occur when you wake up
Leproult et al. (2001) found the transition from dim to bright light in the morning resulted in an immediate elevation of cortisol levels. Patients studied experienced limited deterioration of alertness that would usually be experienced with sleep deprivation.
Van de Werken et al. (2010) similarly found 30 minutes of artificial dawn lighting prior to wake-up time increased subjective alertness and was more efficient in alleviating sleep inertia.
Gabel et al. (2013) also had significantly fewer complaints of sleep inertia, as well as improvements in subjective wellbeing, mood and cognitive function with artificial dawn lighting.
Lumie works closely with the scientific community, making sure their products are aligned to the latest published research. Their devices are certified to the Medical Devices Directive (93/42/EEC) and are supplied to the NHS.
So whether you suffer from morning moodiness, find it hard to pull yourself out of bed, or simply want to enhance your health, wellbeing and productivity, a Lumie Bodyclock is a worthy investment!