I got an unexpected present this Valentine’s day. Yasmina bought me a new alarm clock, and it’s unlike any I’ve had before. It works on the principle that simulating sunrise by gradually fading up a light until the alarm goes off helps to reduce production of melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone. So recently, I’ve been waking up less likely to get out of bed on the wrong side.
You set your alarm time, the light intensity and the sound to a comfortable level, and around about 30 minutes before you wake up the light will begin to fade up. At your regular alarm time, the sound of birdsong (you can select a sort of echo laden zen beeping too) fades up over 90 seconds, giving you a zen moment before you open your eyes and reach to switch it off.
It works very well, waking me up less violently than the previous sudden intrusion into my slumbers of some random snippet of morning radio inanity. It’s rare that I have to hit “snooze” as often as before. Perhaps some of the effect is psychological, since it’s quite a luxury item, but I certainly feel better in the mornings. Philips say that it is medically proven, which has a nice logic behind it… combining artificial sunrise with zen birdsong while working somatically to reduce levels of sleep-inducing hormones. Highly recommended.
On a technical note (I’d hardly like to bore you with a post uniquely about this) I’ve upgraded to FeedBurner for my RSS delivery. This will allow me to find out how many of you are reading me via RSS and should make it easier to subscribe especially if you’re new to RSS. The BBC describe RSS it in some detail – you can create your own page with news from various sources and your favourite blogs thanks to RSS. Email subscribers, if anything looks funny when you receive this post, please let me know.