How to Wake Up Feeling Great

We’ve all had mornings like Garfield…the alarm goes off…and we feel horrible….like we didn’t get any sleep at all.

And like the fat cat, we…

  • Hit the snooze bar
  • Crawl back under the covers
  • Eventually ooze out of bed
  • Stagger to the bathroom
  • Stand under the shower in a pathetic attempt to wake up
  • Chug down a gallon of coffee
  • And head off to work feeling horrible

Unfortunately, as a personal trainer who…

  1. starts his day with 5:30 am clients, and
  2. needs to be Mr. Motivation…

…I really can’t afford to take 2 or 3 hours to wake up.

And during this latest dark Canadian winter, I hit my limit. Sick and tired of feeling tired, I hopped onto the internet, searched the scientific research on sleep cycles, melatonin, natural waking strategies, etc…and decided to dawn & dusk simulation a try.

For the past 3 months, I have been testing the Philips Wake-Up Light.

And I am glad that I did.

After a week or so, I found myself waking up without the “alarm”. As the light gradually brightened the room, my eyes began to register the light through my eyelids and trigger my body’s natural wake-up cycle, and I started waking up feeling….great.

Without any of the transient period of grogginess (called sleep inertia) that we’re all used to.

Without getting too deep the sciency stuff, the strongest argument for the effectiveness of the “artificial dawn” alarm clock is that instead of being in a deep sleep when the alarm clock rings, the gradually brightening light gradually increases your wakefulness…moving you closer and closer back towards Stage 1 sleep and eventually…naturally…you just wake up….feeling great.


NoteThe alarm clock also has an “artificial dusk” mode which lets you set the light to gradually get darker and darker. It’s fantastic if you read in bed and tend to fall asleep while reading.



  1. These alarm clocks are great, I always wake up before my alarm goes off.  It is not only more pleasant during the waking, but I feel better in the morning when I am slowly woken up by the light rather then getting “buzzed” out of bed by some alarm sound.  And that is saying a lot, because I am not a morning person at all.

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