Product Review: Philips Wake-up Light

Confession time: I am a snooze button abuser.  At my worst, I can need up six or seven snoozes to wake-up enough to actually get out of bed. Yes, that’s an hour or more. An hour I could use doing almost anything and it would be a better use of my time. Six times I roll over and realize I just. can’t. wake. up. Hit the alarm. Repeat. Ugh.

Philips Hf3470 Wake-up Light

Maybe a year and a half ago or so, my friend Amanda told me about her new alarm clock she had purchased after she moved into a basement bedroom and had no natural light coming into her room in the morning. This magical clock was one of the best things she’d found to help her get up in the morning. I looked into this mythical, morning-saving wonder, and soon enough I had my own Philips Hf3470 Wake-up Light gracing my nightstand. I’ve never looked back.

Basically, the concept is simple. We naturally want to wake up as the sun slowly rises and gently eases us out of sleep. But, we’re almost never on the same schedule as the sun. The “wake-up light” or sunrise alarm is basically an alarm clock with a ambient lamp that slowly begins the “sun” rising in your room about 30 minutes before you have your alarm set to truly wake you up. The light gradually increases over that time, helping to ease you out of your sleep and into your day.

Think for a moment about how much waking up to pitch blackness sucks in early mornings and then imagine waking up to a gentle, not-too-bright, light instead. And, instead of a blaring alarm jarring you out of sleep, my Philips Wake-up Light also has birds that chirp slowly with more joining in over time in a somehow-not-annoying chorus of chirping! Are you convinced yet? Another benefit I’ve only very recently realized is that if/when I wake up in the middle of the night, I have fallen out of the habit of checking the time. If I wake up and it’s still completely dark in my room, I know it’s the middle of the night and not close to time to wake up and I simply roll back over and go to sleep. No focusing on how frustrating it is to be awake at X hour or habitually checking my phone; I just go back to sleep.

I will give you fair warning, though, these are not cheap clocks. I think I spent about $80 on this (just looked it up and the price has increased to $100!) and I got the one with the fewest features. But, the amount of pain and suffering it has saved me this year is well worth the cost. It’s not the most attractive bedside lamp, but it’s not ugly either. You can use it as a lamp at any time if you want, though it’s not very bright. Lately, I have also been using the radio as I get ready in the morning. Gotta keep up with those traffic reports! There are other versions or similar concept clocks that include iPod docks, CD players, and even aroma therapy. Mine is just a clock radio with a [optional] bird chirp alarm, and a light. You can set the alarm to go off without the light, too, if you want.

Overall, I cannot recommend this clock enough. I’ve never had any problems with it and it truly does make my mornings less painful. I’m hardly skipping and dancing out of bed, but I’m at least in a better mental place and that’s the most I’ll ever hope for out of my mornings. 🙂  The only downside is the price, but like I said, it’s well worth it. I did see on Amazon today that someone has released a SunRise Traveler Clock that is only $50, so that might be worth trying if the full-size Philips clock is beyond your reach and you really like the concept.

I think this wraps up my first product review! If you know me in real life, it’s possible I’ve already talked your ear off on this subject, but I wanted to share it with you blog readers as something that’s helped me make a bit of a refinement to my routine, if you will.

To sunnier mornings,