The study of sleep cycles at Harvard University sheds some light on why some of us have a hard time getting up in the morning. Interestingly, the best alarm clocks for waking up feeling refreshed were built on the knowledge gathered through sleep cycle studies. Today’s sophisticated alarm clocks go well past sounding a raucous buzz that’s loud enough to wake the dead. With an eye to our biological clocks and natural evolution, the best alarm clocks for waking up feeling refreshed mimic mother nature to cradle us out of our dreams. Let’s look at the different alarm clock technologies out there. You may then decide to select one of them for waking up in the morning, or you can look for alarm clocks that combine several technologies in one.
Sunrise Alarm Clocks
Considered one of the best alarm clocks for waking up refreshed, sunrise alarm clocks utilize a light technology to mimic nature’s natural alarm clock. Sometimes called Progressive Alarm Clocks for their slow progression from darkness to light, sunrise alarm clocks literally mimic the increase in daylight you would experience when sleeping out of doors. Simple sunrise alarm clocks make no sound at all but spend 30 minutes waking you up by creating a slow sunrise effect. By the time the hour strikes for your wake up call, your room will be awash with light. The best sunrise alarm clocks blend the sunrise effect with the best light spectrum to wake you up feeling refreshed. Such lights (also referred to as Happy lights or SAD lights) are typically white, combining all the color spectrums into one.
Sleep Phase Alarm Clocks
Yet another of the best alarm clocks for waking up refreshed, the sleep phase alarm clock goes a step further in utilizing nature. Tuning in directly to your own biological clock, the sleep phase alarm clock comes with a wrist band that you wear when you go to sleep. When your alarm clock turns on 30 minutes before you are due to wake, the wrist band will begin to record your sleep cycle then pick the ideal moment to wake you up. Studies have shown that there are moments in our sleep which are ideal for waking up refreshed, while others will tear us forcefully out of a dream or heavy sleep and leave us feeling dazed and tired. This best alarm clock for waking up refreshed selects the best waking time for you. When combined with the sunrise alarm clock technology, sleep phase truly becomes the best alarm clock for waking up refreshed.
SAD Light Alarm Clocks
The best alarm clocks for waking up refreshed typically incorporate SAD light technology into their design. SAD, which stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder, is a condition prevalent in humans and animals in the fall and winter when days are short. The absence of daylight leads to fatigue and depression among other things, and SAD light technology utilizes a specific light spectrum to bolster the body’s exposure to rejuvenating light. SAD light alarm clocks wake you up refreshed by exposing you to this light at the time you need it most. When combined with Sunrise Alarm clocks, SAD Light technology truly becomes one of the best alarm clocks for waking up refreshed. (Learn more about Seasonal Affective Disorder.)
Aroma Therapy Alarm Clocks
Some of the best alarm clocks for waking up refreshed add aroma therapy to the wake up technology. Studies have shown that our sense of smell is potent mood setter. By surrounding you with faint alluring smells of flowers and morning, aroma therapy alarm clocks seek to sooth your thoughts and mood and help you wake up feeling refreshed.
Nature Sounds Alarm Clocks
Perhaps the cheapest of the best alarm clocks for waking up feeling refreshed, nature sound alarm clocks do not affect your sleep cycle but rather seek to sooth you out of sleep with soft nature sounds. When used on low volume, nature sound alarm clocks will wake you slowly and only at the point when your brain is most receptive to waking up. For light sleepers nature sound technology offers excellent alarm clocks for waking up feeling refreshed.
Harvard Healthy Sleep: “The Science of Sleep“