SAD Alarm Clocks are used to simulate the sun coming up in the morning thereby awakening you in a natural manner that allows you to gradually ease into your day. It is less disruptive to biorhythm cycles than waking to an alarm clock or instant on radio. They are used by people who have a seasonal affective disorder also known as SAD. SAD is recognized by a feeling of depression and lethargy from not having enough natural light in your life. It usually occurs in people who work indoors without natural lighting, or work a night shift then sleep during the day. It is more prevalent in winter and latitudes where the sun rises later and sets sooner. Exposure to full spectrum light can be the perfect antidote. Natural light lamps provide that light and alarm clocks are sometimes used to facilitate exposure to that light.
The effectiveness of the sun lamp is directly proportional to the distance from the light to the subject. For best effect the light should be aimed directly at you. The object is to get as many lumens as possible for maximum effect but never put the lamp closer than two feet away from you for safety reasons.
There are many natural light lamps available on the market and several incorporate timers, but be certain of what you are buying. Some timers just turn the light on or off. If this is what you really want then you are set. In this case however, a cheaper alternative would be to take a regular floor lamp and equip it with a full spectrum light bulb and using a regular timer that plugs into any outlet you would have what you need. If time is critical to you this may be the better option as you get full treatment from beginning to end of the light cycle.
If you are after a natural light lamp with the ability to gradually turn on or off to mimic the sun in the morning or evening, then you will want to consider the following items when buying. These are general things to keep in mind and you need to determine which, if any, are important to you.
- Be sure your alarm clock lamp has a radio or generates sounds. If it generates sounds check a few out to be sure you do not notice any pattern or repeat point. Some people pick this out and then find it annoying. Also if it used to go to sleep, listening to the repeat can keep you awake.
- If your alarm clock lamp has sounds, be check whether they come on at the set volume, or start out low and slowly increase in volume.
- Be sure the cord length is adequate for your situation.
- If it has a lighted control panel be sure it is not so bright you will have trouble sleeping.
- Be sure it is solid and stable enough so that if you have to adjust the controls it will not fall over or slide away from you.
- If SAD is a serious issue for you, you may want a lamp as high as 10,000 lux for an intense treatment. The higher the lux the more distant the lamp can be and still be effective for you.
There are many choices out there and with the internet you can read reviews and determine which one is right for you. Happy hunting.