SAD Lights

Your guide to Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD Alarm Clocks

Posted on | May 22, 2007 | Comments Off

Persons suffering from seasonal affective disorder are at a greater risk of having a very difficult time of waking in the morning. Many SAD sufferers have reported that increased light in their bedroom that appears just before their alarm goes off can help a great deal in waking them smoothly and more effectively.

Devices that are typically used for the treatment of seasonal affective disorder such as light boxes can be set to timers so that they are turned on just before the alarm sounds, but this method can provide for a jolting experience at times, particularly for a spouse who doesn’t suffer from SAD.

A more gentle method improvised for seasonal affective disorder sufferers is one of an alarm clock with a built in “dawn simulation lamp.” The simulation lamp is built right into the alarm clock. At a set time before the alarm is to sound, the light turns itself on gently and begins to brighten slowly, simulating a sunrise. At a certain point, which is preset by the SAD-sufferer the night before, the alarm will then sound. This method has been proven to be extremely successful at waking even the groggiest of seasonal affective disorder suffers in the morning and it makes for a more peaceful morning for their spouses as well.

The seasonal affective disorder sunrise alarm clock method works so well because it performs in conjunction with the body’s natural biorhythmic patterns. For centuries, humans have awakened with the sun and not by the measurement of time. The human body continues to be instinctively acclimated to this behavior. While most modern humans have adapted to overcome this instinctual habit, it is often much more difficult for sufferers of seasonal affective disorder to do so. If the body’s surroundings are still very dark at the time when the SAD sufferers wishes to wake up, their body will continue to believe that it is time to sleep. Since the sun rises much later in winter months than in the summer, it is really no surprise that people with seasonal affective disorder can have such a hard time adjusting.

The human eye can detect light even when the eyelids are shut. The seasonal affective disorder sunrise alarm clock method of waking works so well because the afflicted person’s eyes sense that the “sun” is rising when the light comes on. This causes the brain to send signals to the rest of the body which begins the chain reaction that results in a natural, peaceful wake from sleep as opposed to just a jarring alarm noise.

The sunrise alarm clock method overcomes the biorhythmic confusion by allowing the seasonal affective disorder sufferers body to “think” that it is really daylight, even when it is still very dark outside.

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