Hate the sound of your alarm clock in the morning? A new bedside contraption promises to wake you not with a shrill but a waft of aromatherapy and gradual release of light. Candice Pool puts it to the test
There’s a new alarm clock on the block. Lumie, purveyors of light therapy boxes that help prevent the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in the winter have released a new wake-up light that merges the benefits of aromatherapy and a simulated sunrise. The new Lumie Bodyclock Iris even simulates a sunset before bedtime too. The idea is to help set our circadian rhythms – our internal body clock set by natural light – to natural and healthy patterns. I tried it out.
The Lumie Bodyclock perched upon on my bedside table, I was dubious to begin with and set my harsh iPhone siren alarm (like a sound effect in a horror film) for 10 minutes later than the Lumie Body clock, just in case it didn’t work. The next morning the panicky jolt that usually kickstarts my day was replaced by a peaceful Lumie sunrise. I was surprised to wake up naturally and even before opening my eyes could appreciate the bright light. But the experience didn’t end there, because of the essential oils you put inside the clock, a gradual awakening to the uplifting scent of citrusy lemon replaced my usual wrestle with the snooze button.
At night, the Lumie Bodyclock Iris became a part of my bedtime ritual that I looked forward to. Being multi-functional I could use it as a bed side light. It was soothing to have the gentle glow of the clock lighting the way for my night time read. Even better was drifting off to sleep with the smell of lavender in the air.
There are two oil chambers fitted inside the light chamber, one for the aroma you would like be woken up with, and the other for your night time scent. There are a range of scents to choose from, meaning you can customise the clock even further to make your experience all the more personal. I opted for the lemon for its uplifting citrusy-ness, and the traditional lavender to relax me later on.
In fact, at bedtime, curled up like a foetus; the light gradually fading and the delicate scent of lavender filling the room, the only thing missing was the hushed tones of lullaby music. I wouldn’t have been able to stay awake even if I wanted to.
There’s also a cutesy compact remote that means when you’re ready to nod off you can simply point it at the clock and request your sunset with the press of a button. I was able to choose between a daily or weekly alarm, whether I wanted to supplement the sunrise with a beeping alarm (the sound of which was a mild beeping, not too offensive), the duration of my sunset and sunrise, and how bright I would like them to be. Not only can you also alter the light intensity, you can adjust the intensity at which you want your fragrance to be released too.
Even though I don’t suffer from SAD I think being woken up gently had a positive effect on my mood – I didn’t get that twinge of agitation that accompanies the rude awakening of my alarm. In the mornings, I felt more refreshed and balanced because my body had told me to wake up instead of suddenly being shocked into consciousness by a screaming phone. I’d like to see over time if I feel more energised due to waking up naturally with light instead of sound, because I certainly feel as though the edge has been taken off of any daytime grogginess I felt before. It’s safe to say, I eagerly anticipate my cosy date tonight with the Lumie Bodyclock Iris.