Switch to a Sunrise Alarm to Improve Your Sleep

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A sunrise alarm helps you wake up gently by simulating the light and color of sunrise. The goal of these devices is to let you naturally and peacefully transition from sleep to awake, without the sudden buzz of a standard alarm. Many brands also have features that help you unwind before bed.

So, let’s explore how sunrise alarms work and why you may want to try one in your home. Then, we’ll look at some available brands to start you on your sunrise alarm journey. 

What Is a Sunrise Alarm Clock? 

Sunrise alarms simulate the gradually brightening light of a sunrise. Some sunrise alarms have a variety of light colors, while others produce soft yellow light. Depending on the product, the gradual brightening can take from 15 minutes to an hour. Instead of a loud buzzer and besides the light, a sunrise alarm may wake you up with nature sounds such as birds chirping.

When it’s time to go to bed, many sunrise alarm clocks also simulate sunset with slowly dimming light. Some models even include soothing sounds or white noise to help you fall asleep.

What Are the Benefits of a Sunrise Alarm Clock?

A sunrise alarm lets you wake up naturally and gradually without jarring noise and bright lights. Our bodies are hardwired to wake up to gradual light in the morning and wind down to gradual darkness at night. This internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, regulates sleeping and waking patterns.  

This means the wrong amount of light at the wrong time, such as a computer or TV screen at bedtime, can cause insomnia at night and grogginess in the morning. But a sunrise alarm clock mimics the natural light of sunrise, which progresses from orange to gold. And at night, the process reverses and ends with a reddish sunset.  

The result is a restful sleep and a gentle, gradual wake-up closer to what our bodies are designed to respond to.

What To Look For in a Sunrise Alarm

Before shopping for a sunrise alarm, decide which features are important to you and how much you want to spend. Do you prefer light only or would you like to wake up to gentle nature sounds, too? Or, would you like to wake up to your favorite radio station or streaming service? 

Here are a variety of factors to consider when choosing a sunrise alarm:

Light & Sound Options 

Depending on the brand, a sunrise alarm clock has various light and sound settings. Some come with nature-based sounds, while others offer music or white noise. Meanwhile, others have FM radio or Bluetooth capability for streaming music. Be sure to look for a sunrise alarm that offers your favorite types of sounds. 

Ease of Use 

When you wake up in the morning, you don’t want to fumble around to turn off your alarm. Some sunrise alarms have a top button that makes it easy to turn on snooze and turn off sound and light. If the alarm is app-controlled, look for an app that’s intuitive and easy to use. 

Display Size & Lighting 

The ideal sunrise alarm display should be large enough to see clearly, with dimmable light that won’t keep you awake. Helpfully, some brands even hide the display at bedtime to help you fall asleep. If you tend to watch the clock when you’re trying to fall asleep, a hidden display is a helpful feature. 

Works Without Wi-Fi 

When your Wi-Fi is down, you still need to get a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed. Especially if you have Wi-Fi issues at home, look for models that work without a Wi-Fi connection while you’re shopping for a sunrise alarm.

Science-Backed Features  

Some sunrise alarms include features such as soothing recordings or light intensity that have scientifically proven benefits. When reading product information, check for terms such as “science-backed” or “clinically proven.”

Sunrise Alarm Clocks To Wake You up Peacefully 

Now that you know what to look for in a sunrise alarm, let’s look at some options. In the following sections, we’ll discuss various sunrise alarm clock brands.

Wake Up to Natural Sunrise Colors

Your internal clock responds to the colors and brightness of the morning light. The Phillips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light produces light that simulates the natural colors of the morning and evening sky. In the morning, it takes 30 minutes to reach full brightness. 

A variety of natural sounds are also available, along with other features: 

  • Simulated sunrise that gradually brightens from reddish-orange to bright yellow 
  • Simulated sunset gradually dims
  • Choice of 5 natural wake-up sounds
  • FM radio 
  • Tap anywhere on the light to snooze
  • Display automatically adjusts to the brightness of room 

Customize Light & Sound Settings 

Meanwhile, the Phillips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light operates from your smartphone. The SleepMapper App lets you customize your light and sound settings, and even offers suggestions on how to improve your sleep space. You can also personalize your sunrise and sunset light intensity and length, and you can choose your favorite wake-up or relaxation sounds. Plus, there is a louder alarm option if you need to wake up at a certain time.

Here are some top features of the SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light: 

  • 8 wake-up sounds
  • 4 relaxation sounds
  • FM radio
  • AmbiTrack room temperature, humidity, light, and noise monitoring
  • Advanced Alarm Scheduler with 20 sound, light, and intensity settings
  • PowerWake alarm option with louder sound and flashing light
  • Wind-down function with light-guided breathing  

Phillips claims on their website that the SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light is clinically proven to make waking up easier.

Start the Day Without an Alarm Sound

If you’re sure you don’t want the option of a traditional alarm sound, then the Casper Glow Light may be the sunrise alarm clock for you. The Casper Glow Light doesn’t produce sounds and doesn’t have a visible clock. It blends a sleek, modern style with intuitive design and slowly and quietly fills the room with light for a gentle wake-up.

Then at night, just flip it over to relax with a simulated sunset. Users say the warm light is great for reading in bed while you unwind. 

You’ll find these top features on the Casper Glow Light:

  • Warm yellow light
  • Flip the light to reset
  • Twist the light to adjust its brightness 
  • Wireless recharge pad
  • App-controlled sunset and sunrise schedules
  • Multiple lamps in different rooms sync together  

If you need to hear a beep or or other sound to wake up on time, you may want to consider another sunrise alarm or have an additional alarm clock besides this one to make sure you wake up on time.

Press a Button To Adjust Settings 

Sometimes it’s easier to press a button on your clock than search through an app. That’s why we like the design of the Wiim Wake-Up Light. The light includes physical buttons for brightness, volume, mute, and other settings. 

The Wiim Wake-Up Light offers many features, including: 

  • Personalized morning and night routines
  • App-controlled sound and light settings 
  • Internet music and radio streaming
  • Hundred of free soothing sounds for falling asleep
  • Natural sounds or music to wake you up
  • Multiple room connectivity
  • Physical buttons to control light
  • Multi-color LED lights 
  • Stereo speakers 

The Wiim Wake-Up Light even works with Alexa, so you can use Alexa to turn the alarm on and off and control settings. 

Wind Down Or Wake Up With 30 Minutes of Natural Light

The Lumie Bodyclock Rise 100 makes bedtime so soothing and relaxing that you may forget about scrolling through your smartphone. Fall asleep to the dimming colors of sunset and wake up to a gradual, simulated sunrise.  

The Bodyclock Rise 100 has the features you need for optimal sleep habits: 

  • 30-minute sunrise or sunset
  • Optional beep with push-button setting 
  • LED build simulates colors of sunrise or sunset
  • Light-sensitive display with auto-dimming
  • Top-controlled snooze option  

With its diffuse light, the Bodyclock Rise 100 provides ample but gentle light for your wake-up and wind-down. 

Fall Asleep To Gentle Sounds

Simple to use, the Hatch Restore 2 sunrise alarm wakes you up and soothes you to sleep with app-controlled light and calming sounds. The gradual, simulated sunrise lets you wake up as nature intended, without jarring, startling buzzers.  

You’ll find the following features in the Hatch Restore 2: 

  • Gentle alarm sounds such as birds and singing bowls
  • Soft bedside light in your choice of colors
  • Science-backed sounds to drown out background noise
  • Physical button for stopping and starting alarm and bedtime routine
  • Attractive, minimalist design 

After a free trial, you can choose to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee for Hatch Membership, which gives you access to a premium library of music, customized routines, and more. But if you prefer, you can continue using Hatch Restore 2 for free.

Turn Your Existing Lights Into a Sunrise Alarm

Maybe you’d rather use your existing lamps to create sunrise and sunset effects. If so, the Phillips Hue Bridge lets you turn any light fixture into a sunrise alarm. An app controls the settings, from scheduling to light duration. 

Here are some main features of the Phillips Hue Bridge: 

  • Works with up to 50 lights
  • Syncs to simulate sunrise or sunset in multiple rooms
  • Voice control
  • Automated recurring settings
  • Control even when away from home
  • Automatic updates 
  • Keeps working even when Wi-Fi is down

Just note you’ll have to install smart bulbs in your light fixtures to use the Bridge.

Sunrise Alarm: Sleep & Wake Up as Nature Intended  

A sunrise alarm helps take the stress out of waking up and falling asleep. From the peaceful colors of sunrise to a dimming light on your nightstand, a sunrise alarm can bring a better start and end to your day.