These days, the connection between light and sleep quality is clear — and our mobile devices aren’t making things easier. Sunrise alarm clocks, however, are intentionally designed to mimic the natural, growing light of a sunrise, which makes them perfect for those who need to wake up at odd times or live in an area where natural light is at a premium.
In our research, we’ve come across several sunrise clocks that are sure to impress us. The first is the excellent Philips Wake-Up Light, which has been shown to treat a myriad of sleep issues, but be sure to take a look at the others as well.
Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520
The Philips Wake-Up Light may sport an odd, spotlight-like design, but its unique form helps it broadcast a gentle, natural light more easily. In fact, the Wake-Up light provides some of the best lighting and light progression of any sunrise clock we’ve seen. The program is designed to mimic a real sunrise as much as possible, and as such, it fills your room with light over the course of 30 minutes.
You can also choose from five different wake-up sounds — birds, waves, etc. — which will gradually get louder if you prefer. You can set the FM radio to turn on at a desired time, too, if there’s a channel you like to wake up to. If you need some help falling asleep, the Wake-Up Light comes with a sunset setting that will gradually power down as you settle down, and the display will naturally dim in a dark room so there’s little ambient light. The clock also includes an easily-accessible snooze button.
HeimVision Alarm Clock
This HeimVision model combines an affordable price tag with ample customization, which allows you to set sunrise and sunset light progression as you see fit. There are seven different colors available for the LED lights, as well as 20 different brightness levels. You can also program default wake-up times and a target light intensity (with four different alarms) so you get the exact sunrise experience you’re looking for. The clock naturally starts with redder colors and moves to brighter hues to mimic a real sunrise, and radio and wake-up tones are included by default. The alarm clock even includes a “sun” button, which lets you use the device as a nightlight when necessary.
Philips Somneo HF3650
Given Philips is a household name when it comes to lighting, it’s not surprising to see the manufacturer featured twice on our list. The Somneo is similar to the aforementioned Wake-Up Light, but includes a wealth of extra features. There are seven sounds to wake up to, USB and auxiliary connections for playing music and charging your phone, and a white noise setting if background sound helps you fall asleep.
If falling asleep is often difficult for you, you might also appreciate the RelaxBreathe setting, which helps you time your breath to a gentle pulse of light or sound so you can relax more quickly. There’s also a “PowerSnooze” option if you want to break your bad snoozing habit. It’s one of the most feature-rich clocks available, though, said features come at a price.
Totobay Wake Up Light 2n Gen
The Totobay clock is designed for ease of use. Simply set your alarm and, 30 minutes ahead of time, the clock will start to brighten, starting at 10% of its maximum brightness and increasing from there. There are seven different colors available for nighttime use, as well as 10 adjustable brightness settings. Six natural sounds — think birds, seashores, and piano — and an FM radio also give you plenty of audio options to choose from. A snooze button is included, and will automatically add five minutes to your alarm.
Northern Light’s Lumie Bodyclock
The Lumie allows you to set sunrise and sunset timers to last 15, 20, 30, 45, 60 or 90 minutes, depending on how long you want your light progression to last. The clock also includes an FM radio and a number of sound effects, spanning everything from a choir to a rooster, so there’s plenty of room to play around. White noise and wave modes can help you fall asleep, too, and you can turn the display off if you prefer no visible light. There’s even an away mode, which will keep the clock from turning on when you aren’t around.
The one downside to the Lumie is that, while different languages are supported, the clock only shows military time. We’re not sure why, but if you aren’t comfortable with 24-hour clocks, then you may want to avoid this model.
Homelabs Sunrise Alarm Clock
For those looking for a budget-based model, look no further than the Homelabs Sunrise clock. The basic, no-frills device offers a 30-minute timer and a similar timer designed to mimic sunsets. It also functions as a vibrant lamp with eight different color options, including purple, blue and green. There are a number of nature sound options to choose from, too, as well as an FM radio and snooze button. This inexpensive model even includes a backup battery and USB charger.