For as long as I have been covering personal technology, I have failed to arise to the daylight-simulating wake-up bedside lamps by Cambridge-based light therapy specialist Lumie. The idea has seemed too alternative, plus I am a fairly sound sleeper and easy waker.
For much of the most recent run of dark winter nights, though, I thought I would try out this – Lumie’s latest product, the Bodyclock Luxe 700. And lo, I’m a convert to the Lumie way. As I discovered, light therapy is not a fringe thing. These products are certified medical devices, and there’s proper science behind the principle that being woken at an appropriate time by a dawn simulator boosts cortisol, and hence alertness, during the ensuing day. Over a few weeks, I found my winter sleep pattern – and, accordingly, my daytime energy levels – improved perceptibly thanks to the bedroom filling with golden light around 5am, while it was still dark outside.
The Bodyclock Luxe 700 is also good for falling asleep to: variable colour LED bulbs, which didn’t exist when Lumie was set up in 1991, mean the company has been able to fine-tune the light output. So at bedtime it can be set to an option with low levels of blue light – the sleep-destructive element we get too much of these days from phone and computer screens. It has decent speakers, too, so you can Bluetooth music or talk radio to it. And it has a variety of onboard wake-up and sleep sounds, including white noise.