Since I moved back to the West Coast, waking up hasn’t been easy. I feel bad letting my East Coast readers wake up with nothing to read, and that means waking up pretty early. To make matters worse, I moved into a small apartment with very little natural light, affectionately known to friends as “the jack-off cave.”
That’s when I discovered natural light alarm clocks. It’s pretty simple, really. It’s a normal clock-radio alarm clock — some of them come with options for white noise or other fancy alarms — but the selling point is that it’s connected to a bright light bulb with a dimmer control that you can set to brighten naturally to coincide with whenever you want to wake up, mimicking a natural sunrise. Ever notice it’s hard to sleep in an east-facing room with no blinds? Yeah, it’s like that. I’ll find myself waking up and not knowing why, and when I get my bearings a few minutes later, I realize it’s because the room is suddenly light and the alarm goes off a few minutes later.
Anyway, if you’ve got friends or family with dark bedrooms or odd-hours work arrangements, it makes a great gift. Trust me, it’s a lot easier to wake up when your room isn’t pitch black. It helps when it actually feels like morning.