The Most Effective Wake-Up Lights From People Who Actually Use Them

Perhaps I've been living (or should I say sleeping?) under a rock for the past couple of years, but up until about a month ago, I had never heard of the majestic contraptions known as wake-up lights. Yes, I knew the importance of circadian rhythm and that my morning habit of hitting snooze was detrimental (and pretty pointless) from a scientific perspective. However, I didn't know there were sunrise-esque alarm clocks on the market specifically invented to make the morning struggle easier, healthier, and less abrupt all around. Cool, right?

So with exciting intentions to break up with my jarring iPhone alarm routine, I did some research. And though reviews are mixed on their efficacy (some people swear by wake-up lights and some people, well, don't) for the most part, the internet—and science—thinks they're a good idea. In fact, if you condition your body to wake up via light (and not your current Spotify addiction) you might just be more alert and physically productive for the rest of your day. (Studies say so.)

So how do they work? Well, just as you would with your normal alarm system, you'll set the wake-up light's alarm tone (yes, it still has one) for right when you want to get up. The catch: up to 30 minutes prior to the audible alarm, the device will slowly start to brighten, stimulating the natural, relaxation-inducing feel of a sunrise. The end goal being that you'll *hopefully* wake up the way nature intended you to—via light versus buzzer. And though it might take awhile to wake naturally wake up alongside the mock sunrise (versus the eventual buzzer), the gradual brightening of your sleep space creates a healthier wake-up environment to begin with. In other words, when your eyes open, your body has already had 30 minutes to process the idea that it needs to wake up soon.

Intrigued, and since an increase in quality sleep and a decrease in morning stress sounded like a win-win in our sleep-deprived book, we perused the internet to hunt down the most promising wake-up lights technology has to offer. Keep reading for the five options currently at the top of our wish lists.