Confession: I'm a chronic snooze button-pusher. I've tried setting alarms on multiple devices, forcing myself to get up to turn off my alarm, various sleep apps, and setting my alarm earlier than I need to wake up in the hopes that I could trick myself out of bed on time. Spoiler alert: none of it worked, and getting out of bed in the morning without hitting snooze enough times to lose count before ultimately crawling into my living room in a sleepy fog felt near-impossible. But in the end, I figured it out—and the answer was on my ceiling, hanging above me the whole time. The thing that saved my mornings was actually the smart bulb in my bedroom.
The only thing you need for this trick to work? The smart bulb of your choice (and potentially a hub for setting it up, if your chosen light bulb requires one), a WiFi connection, and a smart phone. Personally, I use the TP-Link Kasa smart bulb, which doesn't require a hub—all you have to do is replace your regular light bulb with it, download the app, and follow the set-up instructions. It's compatible with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but you actually don't even need one to do this— though I will say, asking Alexa to turn off your lights at night instead of getting up to flip the switch will make you feel all-powerful.
Now, for the real magic: My smart bulb has a scheduling option, which means you can set your lights to turn on or any time you want, on whichever days of the week you'd like, and at any brightness you prefer. Once you know what time you want to wake up and have set your alarm, you can backtrack with your lighting schedule. I set mine to turn on at the dimmest setting (1 percent), and then from there, I set them to progressively brighten at increasing intervals every 5 minutes for 30 minutes or so until my alarm goes off. So, if I'm waking up at 6:30, I would start scheduling my lights around 6am. I usually set two alarms a few minutes apart because of the aforementioned snooze-pushing, so I set it to not be too bright (70 percent) for my first one, then full-brightness for the second one so my eyes can adjust better. It's a little bit of an annoying chore at first, since you have to set individual times for each brighter interval, but if you wake up at the same time every day, you can simply set it once, choose your days, and forget about it from there.
Essentially, it works the same way a sunrise alarm clock does, by playing into your body's circadian rhythm and mimicking the sunrise to gently waking you up with light. You could buy a sunrise alarm clock, but this trick makes it so that you can get the same effect without buying a separate device—if you already have a smart bulb, you can do this right now, and if you don't, you can simply put one in your existing lamp or light fixture.
I've found that, when I do this—even when the sun hasn't started to rise and it's still dark outside—it's much easier to get out of bed. I've gotten myself down to one snooze push as opposed to a handful I couldn't even keep track of, and I feel much less sleepy when I do wake up.
If you don't already have a smart bulb, these popular ones on Amazon will do the trick—all of them are dimmable and have scheduling options, so you should be rising and shining in no time.
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