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We Tried It: An Alarm Clock Light That’s Supposed to Make it Easier to Wake Up

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Courtesy Philips

What Is It: The Philips Wake-up Light, an alarm clock with a built-in light that gradually gets brighter 30 minutes before you wake up, mimicking a sunrise and make getting out of bed easier.

Who Tried It: Diana Pearl, Features writer/reporter

Level of Difficulty: 5 — This isn’t a workout, but waking up when you’re really cozy is hard!

We all have those little things that we’re constantly wishing we could do, but seem completely impossible. For me, that thing is waking up earlier. I’ve tried a few sleep tracker apps. I’ve set multiple alarms. I’ve put my phone across the room so I have to get out of bed to shut off the alarm (I just get back into bed afterwards!) Nothing has really helped.

I have no excuse for my perpetual morning tiredness. My roommate is a teacher who gets up as early as 5:30 in the morning for work, and she seems to be able to do so with more ease than I can when my alarm goes off three hours later. Now that the temperatures have dropped, it’s even worse. Who can get out bed when it’s cold and you’re just so comfortable?

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So when Philips emailed about their new Wake-up Light, I was eager to try it. In order to wake you up ~naturally~, the light turns on 30 minutes before your set alarm time. It’s dim at first and gets gradually brighter. When your 30 minutes is up, one of a number of tranquil noises (think the sort of music that would accompany a trip to the spa) or the radio sounds to finish the job of luring you from your slumber.

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My room stays pretty dark, so usually the dim light wakes me and I get to have that brilliant moment where I realize I still have 20 minutes before I actually have to get out of bed. I usually use this time to check my email and Instagram, which makes the whole waking up process a little less jarring.

I felt like I was being lulled awake rather than thrust out of sleep by a blaring alarm. I’m usually dragging my feet when my last alarm goes off, but using the light definitely helped. It even got me to wake up especially early to go to the gym before work — something that I’d previously found nearly impossible.

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The Verdict: If you have trouble getting up in the morning, the Philips Wake-up Light will probably help — though it’s not a cure-all. Another lesson? There are things that can make getting up in the morning easier, but nothing will make waking up at 4:30 for a 6 a.m. flight anything but painful.