Light Therapy Part 2 – Dawn Simulator

“Got my dawn simulator last week and have found it to be a tremendous help. All week I have been up and fed the dogs by 8am. Poor dogs are in shock! Been feeling quite positive all week. I have even managed to do some house work.” – Sarah

Faking a sunrise

If you have to get up early in the morning you may find that by the time we are well into autumn your alarm is going off before the sun has comes up.  Being woken before sunrise by an alarm clock often means you are being shaken out of deep sleep and if you are anything like me this is not a good start to the day.

As I mentioned in Light Therapy Part 1 where I talk about classic light therapy, our wake/sleep cycle is connected to the sunrise and sunset times and how that affects the production of sleep hormones in our brain.  If our alarm goes off before sunrise we are often in deep sleep and are not prepared to wake up leaving us feeling groggy and bad tempered all day.

This problem can be resolved by using what is known as a dawn simulator light.  These lights are set just like an alarm clock but 30 minutes before that time a light starts to come on slowly faking the dawn sunrise in your bedroom.  Even though your eyes are still closed this slows the production of sleep hormones and by the time the alarm goes off you are ready to wake up.  Some people have even found they wake before the alarm.  You wake feeling refreshed and ready to face the day rather than groggy and still full of sleep resenting that it is morning already.

Although these lights aren’t promoted as much as the 10,000 lux lights I personally believe they are as important for anyone who has to get up before sunrise.