Waking up can be a stressful experience, especially when you're getting up to the sound of a blaring alarm. When you're all warm and cozy in the sheets and that clock goes off, jolting you out of sweet slumber, it's only natural to want to smash that snooze button and go back to sleep. Or perhaps you get up feeling groggy from a rude awakening.
Even for the graceful morning people among us, getting out of bed is pretty intense on the body, according to Dr. Kin Yuen, M.D., M.S., a sleep medicine specialist at the University of California San Francisco. When we are asleep, our blood pressure is lower, which is normal when we are lying down for hours sleeping. But when we start to open our eyes, "the brain has to adapt by speeding up our heart rate and constricting blood vessels [to wake up]," says Dr. Yuen. "Cortisol, a stress induced hormone, helps with that process."
So instead of adding to that stress with loud, triggering bells and ringtones, some people are choosing to wake up with sunrise alarm clocks — a.k.a. wake-up lights or dawn simulators.
How do sunrise alarm clocks work?
Unlike your classic alarms, these clocks are designed to help you wake up more naturally to your biological rhythm. They contain a light that mimics sunlight as it gradually increases in intensity until your desired wake up time.
When the light is bright enough, it can stimulate the sensors at the back of your eye to tell your brain it's time to get up, according to Yuen. The brain then suppresses melatonin — the sleep inducing hormone — and bumps up the release of cortisol and neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and histamine to stir you awake.
So these clocks can come in handy to sync your sleep/wake patterns with the cycle of the sun, attune your body to a different time zone or daylight savings, as well as help make waking at least a bit more pleasurable.
But they may not work for everyone, says Dr. Yuen. For example, if your head often ends up buried under the covers in the a.m., or you like to punch on the snooze button all morning, the light would have no effect. Conditions like cataracts can also impair your eye's reactivity to light, she adds. In situations like those, sunrise alarm clocks would not be very useful.
If you're looking try one out, though, we've combed through reviews of some of the best products available to help make your shopping easier. Look through our list, choose your favorite, and if you can, test out the light at a store near you, says Dr. Yuen. Then you'll get an idea of the light has the right intensity for you and if the clock fits all of your needs. If you don't find one, don't worry, we've got also got a list of the best regular alarm clocks that can help.
Best Overall Sunrise Alarm Clock
Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock
Philips makes some of the best electronics around and this clock does not fall short. The light emanates from a multi-colored LED that shifts from red to a bright yellow-y white for the sunrise setting. You can adjust the duration of the sunrise from 20 to 40 minutes, and tweak the maximum brightness to your desire. This clock also has a sunset setting, which is great for settling down at night. As for sound settings: there's an FM radio as well as gentle alarm sounds. It was also suggested by our experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute.
Best Budget Sunrise Alarm Clock
Wake-Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock
Now 28% off
$43 AT AMAZON $73 AT WALMART
If you're on a budget, this clock is one of the more affordable of the bunch and it comes with all the basic features most people are looking for in a sunrise alarm clock: you have your pick of seven different colors and 20 brightness levels to customize your sunrise. The light brightens from 10% to 100% within 30 minutes, but if you find that's too long, you can shorten the duration to 20 or 10 minutes. You can even select different sounds to accompany the light, such as a piano tune or a birdsong, or wake up to your favorite FM radio station. By the way, the sound volume is adjustable, but it's not going to gradually intensify like the light. If you love reading at night, this clock doubles as a night light that you can dim or brighten to your preferences. Many buyers love the fact that it is super kid-friendly and easy to use.
Best Sunrise Alarm Clock With Alexa
Sunrise Alarm Clock
HeimVision's model is another pocket friendly buy that is incredibly popular online. Unlike some other clocks that offer your rainbow colors, this one has a light that is simple and more so copies the shades the sun glows in the morning. First it starts with a warm red hue and then brightens to white. If you'd like to add an alarm sound, HeimVision has that for you too. The features that make this clock stand out, though, is that it comes with Alexa voice control and a white noise machine to help soothe you to sleep. Not a bad purchase for under $50.
Best Smart Sunrise Alarm Clock
Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light
Now 10% off
This one is just like the regular SmartSleep clock except it has a bunch of fun add-ons like: Bluetooth connectivity, a USB charging port, multiple alarm settings, and their SleepMapper app, which is an "advanced alarm scheduler," according to the makers. The clock also has soothing sounds and a RelaxBreathe function, which has guided breathing exercises to help you fall asleep. The light on this one is brighter than most lights at 315 lux with 5 additional brightness settings. So if you want something a little fancy, this is the one to go for.
Best No-Fuss Sunrise Clock
Sunrise Alarm Clock
You'll look at the price tag and think we're joking for including it on the list, many customers love what hOmeLabs has put on the market. The sunrise and sunset settings are pretty standard with the light gradually intensifying over the course of 30 minutes. You get the nature sounds to go with the alarm plus the FM radio. It also comes with eight decorative color options to set the mood in your room. Some people thought that the sound quality for the nature sounds wasn't great and that the light's brightening wasn't gradual enough for them. But if you just want the light function and aren't picky about the rest, we think this is a good pick for how much it costs.
Best Sunrise Clock with Sound Therapy
Bedside Sleep Therapy Machine
While the light on this clock isn't the brightest, it has a lot of awesome nature sound options (16 to be exact) and voice-guided breathing exercises. iHome Zenegy's model has both sunrise and sunset options, and with the Bluetooth audio function, you can connect your phone and play music from your favorite streaming platforms. In case the power were to ever go out, this clock even has a backup battery so you don't have to worry about your alarm going conking out when you need it.
Best Sunrise Clock With Dimmable Lamp
Northern Light Technology
Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock
Lumie has been designing light therapy products and working with medical specialists for over 30-years, so they know a thing or two about making sunrise alarm clocks. This particular model has both sunrise and sunset options with customizable time durations (from 15 to 90 minutes). It comes with various alarm sounds, and can even work as a dimmable night light for when you're settling down with a good read. This clock covers the basics well, but may be on the pricier side for a product that's fairly simple in the realm of features.
Best Sunrise Clock with FM Radio
Wake-up Light Alarm Clock with Radio
This is a slight upgrade to the Bodyclock Active above. It comes with 15 different sounds and the option to adjust the maximum brightness intensity for your sunrise or sunset. The biggest add, though, is that FM radio. So if tunes are important to you, that extra $20 might be worth it.
Best Sunrise Clock With Sleek Design
Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock
This clock has the most unique design of the ones we've seen and it's pretty inexpensive. It's a sunrise simulator as well as a night lamp that can change colors. There are only three brightness settings, and the sunrise duration is 30 minutes without options to adjust. You can choose from five different alarm sounds if you need a little extra stimulation to get you up. And it has a USB port for charging your phone. We think this is great for people who want something that can be a bit more of a statement piece (say, like a lava lamp) by their bedside without breaking the bank.
Best Sunrise Clock With Subscription Content
Smart Bedside Reading Lamp
Another popular buy on the web, this is a clock that you can operate from your phone using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. But if bedtime is no-phone time, there are also buttons for touch control as well. On their app, you can customize your sunrise with various colors and sounds, and you can even scroll through their guided meditations, relaxation exercises, and sleep stories to help you get to sleep. We think the best part of this clock is all of the content the company provides. But be aware: to get premium access to it, you're going to have to pay to subscribe once your free-trail ends. Worth it? Perhaps.
Adele Jackson-GibsonSenior EditorAdele Jackson-Gibson is a certified fitness coach, model, and writer.
Can sunrise alarms work? The use of timed light, such as that emitted by a sunrise alarm clock, has been shown to be an effective, noninvasive tool for improving the quality of sleep, mood, and well-being.What is the difference between lumie 100 and 150? ›
Lumie 150 has sleep/wake sounds, and allows you to adjust the duration of the sunrise light feature. On Lumie 100, the only sound option is an alarm “beep,” and the sunrise feature is fixed at 30 minutes, no more and no less.Are Lumie alarm clocks good? ›
Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750 DAB
The sound quality was far better than any other wake-up alarm. My only criticism is the very dim clock, designed to be unobtrusive at night but hard to read in practice. There is a setting to make it brighter, but I couldn't work it out.
- Best Overall: Sonic Alert SBB500SS Sonic Bomb Loud Dual Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker. ...
- Best Value: Peakeep Twin Bell Alarm Clock. ...
- Best Bed Shaker Alarm Clock: Roxicosly Extra Loud Alarm Clock. ...
- Best Musical Alarm Clock: Peakeep Loud Melody Alarm Clock. ...
- Best Travel Alarm Clock: Screaming Meanie TZ-120 Alarm Timer.
In a September survey from Each Night, a sleep health content blog, people who woke up without alarms were more likely to feel more well-rested, feel less rushed, be more motivated, and have a better mood and outlook.Which clock is the most accurate? ›
Atomic clocks are the most precise timekeepers in the world. These exquisite instruments use lasers to measure the vibrations of atoms, which oscillate at a constant frequency, like many microscopic pendulums swinging in sync.What color is best for an alarm clock? ›
If you want to have a clock immediately readable at all times or if you need a small night-light (for instance, to illuminate the way to the bathroom), use a clock that emits red light…or use a red bulb in your night light. It's a simple enough thing to try…and you might just start feeling better because of it!Is it unhealthy to wake up before sunrise? ›
Getting out of bed at or before sunrise can reset your circadian clock and help lower and stabilize blood sugar. One of the most reliable measures of healthy blood sugar is a fasting glucose test taken in the morning.Is it healthy to wake up with sunrise? ›
In addition to sunrise being a great way to set the tone for your mental health, it's also good for your physical well-being. The benefits of waking up at sunrise include better sleep and less stress throughout the day. In addition, when you wake up early, your body has time to adjust and get ready for the day.Is it healthy to wake up to an alarm? ›
Waking up abruptly can cause higher blood pressure and heart rate. Besides increasing your blood pressure, an alarm can add to your stress levels by getting your adrenaline rushing. The solution to this health-harming problem is to instead try gradually waking up to natural light.
Founded in 1991 in Cambridge, Great Britain, Lumie's been researching, designing and developing light therapy lamps for over 30 years. We even invented the world's first ever wake-up light back in 1992!Is the Lumie worth it? ›
As a night light for adults with additional wellbeing benefits, it's a gadget that is well worth the money for it's beautiful design and it's functionality.How Long Does the Lumie sunset last? ›
Wind down gradually with the sunset feature that lasts 30 minutes. Fading light is a signal for the body to produce melatonin ready for sleep, so the sunset makes you naturally drowsy.What is the loudest alarm clock on the market? ›
Sonic Bomb Dual Extra Loud Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker, Black | Sonic Alert Vibrating Alarm Clock Heavy Sleepers, Battery Backup | Wake with a Shake.How many Lux is Lumie? ›
Lumie Brazil, our most powerful lightbox easily provides 10,000lux at 35cm; smaller lights are less bright and to receive 10,000lux you'd need to have them closer; since that's not always practical or comfortable you simply use them for longer instead.What should I look for in a wake light? ›
In addition to sunrise settings, some wake-up lights include sunset simulation. By dimming gradually and changing colors, this function helps users wind down before falling asleep. Wind down features may also include soothing, natural sounds or meditations. Many wake-up lights are AC- or USB-powered.Which is better digital or analog alarm clock? ›
Digital alarm clocks are more accurate than analog ones. They also have a snooze function, which is great for those who need to get up early but don't want to be woken by the sound of an alarm clock every time they hit the snooze button.What's the number one alarm company in the world? ›
|4||Booz Allen Hamilton||USA|
Our pick for best overall home security company is Vivint. Their wide assortment of available, high-quality equipment and affordable monitoring options allow their customers to experience highly customizable security that can be optimized for individual needs.Which is better wireless or wired alarm system? ›
A wireless system can work out more cost-effective than wired systems, as you save on installation and maintenance costs. If there's a power outage, a wireless system can still function, as it has a backup battery. Indoor cameras, outdoor cameras and doorbells can all be connected and benefit a home security system.
Overall, it's best to go to bed earlier in the night and wake up early each day. Still, this type of sleep schedule may not work for everyone. It's far more important to make sure you get enough sleep and that it's good quality sleep. You can ensure this happens by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.Why you shouldn't use your phone as an alarm clock? ›
Experts say you should stop using your smartphone as an alarm clock. Not only do smartphones emit radiation, “sleeping with your phone next to you changes your mood — specifically, it may increase how much anxiety you experience,” Physician Dr. Elroy Vojdani tells MarketWatch.Should you sleep till you wake up? ›
Research shows it's better to simply sleep until your final wake-up time, instead. You'll feel more refreshed and well-rested. If you like hitting snooze, what you may really need is a gentle wake-up call rather than the jolt of a blaring alarm.What are the two most accurate clocks? ›
Both optical and atomic clocks are incredibly precise. Atomic clocks are so accurate that they will lose one second approximately every 100 million years; for reference, the average quartz clock will lose one second every couple of years.What is the most popular clock? ›
1. Big Ben, London. Probably the world's most famous clock, Big Ben is instantly recognisable and a symbol of Britain to the world.Where is the master clock of the world? ›
It may not look like much, but this little display outside the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. is the Master Clock, an incredibly important but little-known cyber system that's maintained by the USNO's Time Service Department.What is the quietest alarm? ›
- Best silent alarm clock overall: Philips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light, $179.95 at Amazon. ...
- Best wearable silent alarm clock: Fitbit Charge 5, $128.11 at Amazon.
Blue. Blue is perhaps the best color for your bedroom. Not only is it more muted, but blue tones also tend to have more calming effects on the brain, as shown in a 2018 study of blue walls in a university residence hall.Is it better to have a loud or quiet alarm? ›
Silent alarms make waking up easier, healthier, and less disruptive. Overall, they're much better for your health.Is red or blue better at night? ›
Blue light and bright lights promote alertness, wakefulness, and inhibit the secretion of melatonin. Ideally before bedtime, you should not turn on all the lights in your house. Instead utilize red light and amber light bulbs and lamps to create the best atmosphere and light setting before going to sleep.
- Checking social media. ...
- Forgetting about breakfast. ...
- Anything you could have done the night before. ...
- Hitting snooze. ...
- Waking up at inconsistent times. ...
- Checking your email. ...
- Drinking coffee right away. ...
- Making your bed immediately.
|Wake-up time||Bedtime: 7.5 hours of sleep (5 cycles)||Bedtime: 9 hours of sleep (6 cycles)|
|5 a.m.||9:15 p.m.||7:45 p.m.|
|5:15 a.m.||9:30 p.m.||8 p.m.|
|5:30 a.m.||9:45 p.m.||8:15 p.m.|
|5:45 a.m.||10 p.m.||8:30 p.m.|
Contrary to most night owls' beliefs, an early wake-up call can be good for your mind, body, and overall wellness. According to the academic journal Nature Communications, early risers are less likely to develop mental health problems.What is the healthiest thing to do right when you wake up? ›
Drink a Glass of Water as Soon as You Wake Up
Your body essentially shuts down while you're sleeping, so it's easy to become dehydrated overnight. Drinking water will get you ready to start your day. It also re-hydrates your body and creates an easier digestive flow throughout the day.
In addition to that, some studies recommend that early bedtimes are preferable for a healthy body clock and some argue that 8 am is the best time to wake up.What is scientifically the best time to wake up? ›
There is no ideal wake-up time that will work for everybody. The most important thing is keeping your wake-up time (and bedtime!) consistent. Once you do, falling asleep at night and waking up with energy in the morning should become more second nature.Why do I wake up at 4am and can't get back to sleep? ›
Anxiety or depression
Stress can make it hard to get to sleep in the first place (that's called sleep-onset insomnia). But anxiety can also cause you to wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble getting back to sleep (called middle insomnia, or sleep-maintenance insomnia).
A recent Australian study found that certain alarm noises can decrease morning grogginess, so you wake up faster and feeling more alert. Study participants who woke up to a melodic song had lower levels of morning grogginess than those who chose a beeping sound, according to the study findings.Why do I sleep 12 hours without an alarm? ›
Oversleeping is called hypersomnia or “long sleeping.” This condition affects about 2 percent of people. People with hypersomnia might require as many as 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night to feel their best.Are sunrise alarm clocks bright enough? ›
It's still plenty bright to help wake you up, though. You can dim or turn off the LED display. For people like me, who have always hated seeing glowing numbers in an otherwise dark room, the latter is a great option. I'll never understand why more alarms don't offer it.
The sunrise alarm clock uses the power of light to wake you up more naturally, and even works for heavy sleepers. If you're a really deep sleeper, don't fret, there's an alarm built in, too.How many lux of light do I need in the morning? ›
Lux for Light Therapy Lamp
The answer here is clear cut: 10,000 lux for 30 minutes is the standard prescription for post-awakening light therapy. This is typically for treating seasonal depression shortly after waking up in the morning.
Contrary to most night owls' beliefs, an early wake-up call can be good for your mind, body, and overall wellness. According to the academic journal Nature Communications, early risers are less likely to develop mental health problems.Is waking up at 3am healthy? ›
Waking up at 3 a.m. can be bothersome, but it's not always a sign of a larger problem. Temporary stress could prompt you to wake up in the middle of the night every so often. More frequent wake-ups at 3 a.m. that keep you up for a significant amount of time could be a sign of insomnia or another health condition.Which alarm is the best? ›
- Vivint. : Best overall.
- SimpliSafe. : Budget pick.
- Frontpoint. : Quality DIY pick.
- ADT. : Trusted brand name.
- Abode. : Best DIY automation security system.
- Cove. : Best customer experience.
- Ring Alarm. : Best outdoor cameras.
- Blue by ADT. : Best optional monitoring system.
In my opinion, the Lumie is a great gadget, especially for early risers. I definitely felt my mood and energy levels lifted while using it.What type of alarm tone is best? ›
A growing body of evidence suggests different alarm sounds can positively influence human performance after waking. Our systematic review published in 2020 showed temporal frequencies (the pitch of the sound as measured in Hertz) around 500 Hz are better at arousing young children than 2000+ Hz varieties.Is it better to wake up naturally or with an alarm? ›
In a September survey from Each Night, a sleep health content blog, people who woke up without alarms were more likely to feel more well-rested, feel less rushed, be more motivated, and have a better mood and outlook.Is there a better way to wake up than an alarm? ›
How to wake up without an alarm? The best way to make sure you're able to get up naturally is to get plenty of sleep so that your body is well-rested enough to awake on its own. Planning your sleep-wake schedule to allow for enough rest and following good sleep hygiene habits should help you wake up naturally.