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I suffer awfully from 'Seasonal Affective Disorder'. I am sparky bright from about mid March, but the dark clouds start to dull my edge in late October. December, January, February are the worst months, and a 12 hour a day sleepfest is not unusual.
SAD lights DO help! They are not a total answer for me (working outdoors is the best thing), but they help spark me up so that I can face the day. This type of alarm does help - but it isn't the total answer. Please be aware, that for me, this device helped, but did not entirely remove the problem. I have a couple of lightboxes at home and in the office to supplement this device. They HELP, but do not entirely cure the problem.
This is a reasonably pleasant way of waking gently and 'getting into gear' to face the coming day.
This is a constant frustration for me. Why oh why do the programming experts (who can make devices do so many wonderful things), make them so 'User - hostile'? Unless you are a whizz at such things, expect to spend a good 30 minutes working out the controls, how to set the device etc. Even after using it for 2 years, I still get confused as to how to set it, how to turn it off for the weekend etc etc. Frankly, this is the device's big downer.
Interesting 'white noise' audio feature that allegedly helps people. Sounds like an untuned radio to me (and a blddy racket), but may help some.
The light 'shade' on top is more fragile than an eggshell. Look at ebay and you are likely to see one for sale with smashed 'lightshade'. My falling phone caught it a glancing blow and left the 'shade' in smithereens! Luckily, the replacements are a reasonable £10.
Lumie Bodyclock Advanced
Description: AM/FM clock radio / Dimmable bedside light / Back-up beeper / Advanced Sunrise Natural Alarm Clock to reduce SAD symptoms.
This clock costs between £95 and £100 which does seem shockingly expensive. Having said that, if you are one of the many people who struggle to get out of bed and feel tired and sluggish through the winter months, then I cannot recommend it highly enough.
I was actually given this clock as a gift from my parents. They have a friend who suffers from SAD and who had raved about the benefits. Since then, they bought themselves one and were so impressed that they bought me one too.
The idea behind these clocks is that they simulate dawn by gradually getting lighter and lighter until it is time to wake up. If you have not woken naturally, then the alarm beeps (this is quite subtle and not at all jarring like some alarms can be - but still more than enough to wake you up so that you don't sleep through it!) to let you know that it is time to get up.
There is a timer that alllows you to alter the settings and dictate how long you want the light to go on for before waking you, ranging from 15 to 90 minutes. I like the 30 minute version which gets lighter and lighter for half an hour before simulating full daylight at the 30 minute mark.
There is also a sunset option, which basically does the same thing as the morning one but the other way round. This means that you can relax with the light getting dimmer and dimmer until it finally reaches darkness. I wasn't sure that I would use this setting but have surprised myself by finding it a really relaxing way of dropping off to sleep.
I have really noticed a difference in the way that I feel when I wake up each day. Instead of it feeling like the middle of the night because it is still dark, my body seems to believe that it is time to awake because it has been fooled into thinking that the sun has risen. This makes a real difference and I find that I feel less tired, and also more full of energy. This, in turn has a very positive impact upon my mood for the whole day so the benefits of a good nights sleep are greatly increased.
Yes these are expensive, but it can make such a difference that it honestly is worth the money. I would recommend that if you know someone who has one of these, ask them if you can borrow it (I have lent a couple of friends my one and had really great feedback) for a couple of weeks and see if you can feel the benefits for yourself. Be warned though, you may not want to give it back!
In winter I struggle to get up in the mornings, I wake up feeling fatigued and low in mood. Then in 2008 I heard about dawn simulators. These are not like conventional alarm clocks, they use light to wake you up. It starts off very dim and slowly increases gradually until you wake naturally. I was put off initially by the price of them, but I could not face another winter feeling so bad and decided it was worth a try. I looked around and felt the Lumie Advanced Bodyclock had the best features. You can set the dawn simulation to last 15, 30, 60 or 90 minutes. Personally I prefer the 15 minute option but I think it comes down to personal preference. It does have a backup beeper so that if at the end of the cycle you are still asleep this will gently beep, however I have never had to make use of this as I find I wake up fine with the light. I feel it is such a gentle way to wake up, there is no straining of the eyes like with conventional alarm clocks when u turn the light on after you wake, as the gentle light of the bodyclock slowly penetrates ure lids and once ure awake ure eyes are already adjusted. I feel like I've woken of my own accord, have much more energy and dont have that horrible gut feeling of "its dark, feels like the early hours, just want to sleep". I have since introduced a friend and my boyfriend to this clock and they both agree that after having woken to one of these there is no way you can go back to using a normal alarm. Other features I like are that you can dim the display with the time on so it doesnt light the room, a sunset facility which again can be set to 15, 30, 60 or 90 minutes, white noise setting to mask sounds and dimmable bedside lighting.
The only thing about the lamp is I dont feel they are very durable, I dropped it from a very small hight, about a foot off the floor and the glass broke. Then another time it slipped off my bedside cabinet and would not come on at all. I paid about £100 for my bodyclock so I was pretty gutted. However on both occasions I contacted Lumie and the after sales service was brilliant. for a cost of about £15 they sent me a new glass and the second incident they reparied the unit for £12. Bulbs for the bodyclock are about £5 each, however I find I usually only replace the bulb once a year.
I'm one of those people who hates dark winter mornings and finds it difficult to wake up. I really miss the daylight! Last winter I started looking for something to make winter mornings a bit brighter and did my research on the web. Lumie came up as the best makers of sunrise alarm clocks and I chose this one as having the most useful features. It also looks quite funky and modern, and the frosted glass shade is nice, although be warned the silvery base is only plastic.
I've got to say, it's absolutely great and just what I needed. I can use it as a reading light at night. There's a plus button and a minus button that I can press to select a brighter or dimmer light so it's comfortable for reading.
I've got the sunrise set to start 30 minutes before wake up time. It will gently start increasing the light until after half an hour it's at full brightness. If I haven't woken up and switched it off by then, it will start to beep. Believe me, it always wakes me up before the beep, usually about ten minutes before full brightness! It's a much more gentle way to wake up as it wakes you gradually and naturally like the sun shining in on a summer morning. I definitely feel more alert and ready to start the day.
It has fade up speeds of 15, 60 or 90 minutes so you can choose the one that suits you best. It also has a nine minute snooze function, although I find I rarely use it. If you find you don't want the beeper function at all you can disable it altogether, which is useful if it's likely to disturb someone else in the room.
Another nice function this clock has, is a sunset sequence. As with the sunrise you can set this to different speeds. Mine is set at 15 minutes, which means when I press the sunrise/sunset button it will gradually dim to a lovely rosy glow before switching off altogether. It's a relaxing way to fall asleep and apparently it all helps to regulate your circadian rhythm. Another option with this is you can set it to stay on as a nightlight at 10% of its light intensity.
The clock also has a sleepsound feature, which is a white noise hiss, that masks outside noises when you want to sleep. It's not a function I use, but it might be useful for shift workers who are trying to cut out noise so they can nod off during the day. You can set this to continuous, or to fade out with the sunset light.
You can also use this clock as a security light. If you enable the security setting it will switch on and off at random between 4pm and 11pm to make it look as if the house is occupied.
There are a few little things I'm not keen on with this clock. The buttons are fiddly to find in the dark. As there's a row of four buttons, it's not always easy to find the right one the first time. Also, although you can set the clock to automatically dim the time display to a more comfortable level at night, it still glows quite bright. On the one hand this is really good for my shortsighted vision as it means I can see the time clearly, but on the other hand it's quite disturbing. The only ways I've found around that are to make sure it's not on eye level, turn the clock away from me, or to put something in front of it.
Overall I would say these are minor things and although this is not the cheapest of a alarm clocks, it makes waking up much more pleasant. It's fairly simple to operate and the manual is user friendly. I've had my clock nearly a year, and I've had no problems. Also I'm still on the first bulb, which came with it. Bear in mind the new bulbs are around £5 each though!
I have trouble getting out of bed in dark mornings and I believe this was one of the triggers for the migraines I was getting last winter. I had read about this Lumie Bodyclock so I decided I would get one. I was saving up for one myself but my parents surprised me by buying me one for my birthday this year!
There are three Bodyclocks to suit different needs. I have the middle of the range one. This is the Bodyclock classic with radio. I haven't used the radio yet but I think I might in the future.
~ What is the Lumie Bodyclock? ~
The Bodyclock is an alarm clock, which stimulates natural sleep patterns by sunset and sunrise. The clock has a large cover, which sits over the bulb. It helps you have a regular sleep pattern by allowing your body to go to sleep during a 30-minute sunset and wake up during a 30-minute sunrise.
Despite being summer and light mornings, when I first got it, I decided to start using it so that I have a regular sleep pattern by the time the dark mornings arrived. As it was light outside in the mornings, I could hardly tell it was on, so I bought a black out blind for my room to get the full effect.
I have been using this for several months now, and I have felt a difference. I've never had trouble sleeping but I do use the sunset and find this helps to relax me. However, I don't always put it on full brightness at the start, as this tends to keep me awake. I put it on about half way and it just takes about 15minutes to sunset.
I've been getting up at 6.15am to get to university for 9am lectures and I honestly don't think I would have been able to get out of bed at this time in the dark, without my lumie bodyclock.
The clock is easy to set up, you just need to lift the globe cover off the clock and screw the bulb in. Once it is plugged in you are ready to go.
The instruction manual comes in 6 languages and is easy to follow (the English part that is!!) There are 10 sections including safety, getting started and setting the time and sunrise etc. There is a section on problem solving which has two common problems with solutions and a contact telephone number . One of the problems is that the light will not come on but the clock still works - the manual advices that you check the bulb is screwed correctly in the socket. The instructions only span 9 pages in English so there is not much reading involved.
The instruction manual also contains a section of sleep advice where it outlines 4 things which you can do to get a good night's sleep. There are; using a Bodyclock, having curtains which block out the light, not eating late at night and having a warm milky drink before going to bed.
The controls took a little bit of getting used to and I found that I had to keep adjusting the position of my Bodyclock each day before I got it somewhere I was properly satisfied with. As my bed is a cabin bed I found it was better if I stood my Bodyclock on top of the box it came in as it was higher up so appeared brighter.
~ What I like ~
* I like both the sunset and the sunrise options. However, the sunrise on its own is not enough to get me out of bed because I just turn over and face the wall so I can hardly see that the light is on.
* The clock face glows orange if you turn this on. I think this looks really nice but it is a bit bright so I don't leave it on all night.
* The hands on the clock glow in the dark when the light first goes out, this doesn't last all night though.
* I like the fact that when the light has come on via sunrise if I press the dim button, the light does dim right down but as soon as I remove my finger it goes straight back to full brightness unless I turn the alarm off first. This is good as I'm more likely to get out of bed, but when I'm still half-asleep and trying to dim the light I'm not so impressed! Lol
~ What I dislike ~
* The clock is analogue so it is difficult to set a precise time for the alarm, so I use my digital one as a back up.
* When I first got it I thought the clock ticked quite loud. It didn't really affect me though and I can honestly say I don't notice it at all now! This bodyclock is analogue though and you can get digital ones, which I presume wouldn't tick!
* The clock runs off electric so if you unplug the clock you need to set the time again when you plug it back in.
* The light from the Bodyclock is bright but it doesn't feel like natural sunlight. It just looks like the room is lamplit.
~ Would I recommend it? ~
Yes, I would definitely recommend this Bodyclock. Although, it hasn't worked miracles for me, I do feel I have more energy once I am up and about. I still found it really difficult to get out of bed when I first got it but it is much easier now. The Bodyclock definitely helps me get up.
The light on the clock actually turns itself off after an hour, so if you turned over and went back to sleep it would not still be on. I think this is good in case you forget to turn it off though, as it wouldn't be on all day (this is good as it gets quite hot) I think this really works when I know I have to get up but when I don't it is not as effective, as I know another 10 minutes in bed won't matter.
~ Where can I get one? ~
My parents got mine from Boots and I believe it costs around £80. If you buy online from Boots.com you get extra points on your advantage cards (1000 I think). I don't know which other Highstreet shops it is available from but its available from other Internet shops.
Thanks for reading! xx
AM/FM clock radio / Dimmable bedside light / Back-up beeper