How to Get More Light?
July 30, 2013 2:51 PM   Subscribe

I recently moved into a new apartment on short notice. One thing I didn't realize when kicking the tires was that there is no natural light in my bedroom during the morning. This tends to make waking up an unpleasant and lengthy event—it's dark, and often I just fall asleep again. I don't want this to happen, and I've noticed that when I sleep in a room with good morning light exposure I wake up earlier and happier. So: how can I replicate a rising sun in my room? Full spectrum light (like for SAD) hooked up to a dimmer hooked up to a timer? Clever arrangements of mirrors?
posted by Maecenas to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I use a Wake Up Light in our (exceedingly dark) bedroom.
posted by scody at 2:53 PM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

I use a sunrise alarm clock and it works very well, albeit a little expensive for what it is.
posted by grouse at 2:58 PM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Suffering from this very problem in my new apartment, I bought the very same light scody links to. Works pretty well.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:16 PM on July 30, 2013

3rd the Philips. I think I bought mine after seeing a recommendation on here for it. I like that it has a back-up alarm too in case you worry the light won't wake you - but it does, very gently and naturally.
posted by atlantica at 3:26 PM on July 30, 2013

I use the Philips Wake Up Light, too. It's great.
posted by The World Famous at 3:28 PM on July 30, 2013

Another vote for some sort of sunrise alarm clock. I've been using one for years, and I don't think I've slept through the light and needed the sound alarm since the first week.
posted by amelioration at 3:39 PM on July 30, 2013

Do you live alone? If yes, here's a totally off-the-wall suggestion: Move your bedroom.

Wait, wait, hear me out! There is absolutely NO rule that says you MUST put your bed in the official bedroom and nowhere else...... make the bedroom your office/library, and put your bed in the living room where you can get that natural light. Maybe use a daybed or futon instead of a regular bed, to disguise it a little if you have guests; no need to close it up every day, you can leave it unfolded until you need to hide it a bit.
posted by easily confused at 3:50 PM on July 30, 2013

What has worked reasonably well for me is a ridiculously cheap (Ikea?) timer plug connected to a lamp with a fairly low-end CFL bulb. I have a bedroom with a south-facing window, but about half the year I have to get up before the sun. So I set the timer to about 15 min ahead of my alarm clock, and with the cheap bulb, it takes about that long to get really bright. Kinda mimics an expensive wake-up light, but like $10 instead of $70-150.
posted by epersonae at 4:25 PM on July 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I bought a Philips on MeFi's recommendation too, and I don't have it with me in my dark, dark sublet bedroom this summer and it is killing me.
posted by deludingmyself at 4:26 PM on July 30, 2013

Sunrise alarm clocks, FTW! For whatever reason, I read somewhere that it's recommended that you put it somewhere near the foot of your bed. I've done that with ours and it's been fantastic. Waking up in the dead of winter no longer feels like being violently ripped up from the bottom of the dream ocean. Instead it's gentle and almost pleasant.
posted by purple_bird at 4:31 PM on July 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

Yes, some type of sunrise light.

Epersona nailed it--you don't have to spend big bucks. Even if you put three cheap bed table lamps attached to five dollar timers set to go off five minutes apart--one 25w; two, 40w; and three, 60w, you'll be much happier. You can hack the sunrise!
posted by BlueHorse at 5:10 PM on July 30, 2013

For those of us in grad school that might not want to spend $75 on a lamp right now, might I also suggest hooking up a standing lamp with 72 watt halogen lightbulbs to an appliance timer.

Actually I have an extra three-bulb capacity white standing lamp. If you want it, memail me to make arrangements.
posted by oceanjesse at 10:37 PM on July 30, 2013

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