A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I received a Dawn Simulator Alarm Clock from Soleil Sleep Spa, and that I would be following up with a review as soon as I got a good feel for the alarm and how it works. Well guess what? This is that review! Wahoo!!
I became extremely interested in naturally resetting my circadian rhythms a couple of months ago, and from the research I did (and my early morning pre-sunrise sleep schedule) I concluded that a dawn simulator would be an invaluable tool to help me regulate my sleep and improve my overall health.
So I contacted Soleil Sleep Spa asking for the privilege of reviewing their Dawn Simulator Alarm Clock, and they were awesome enough to oblige and provide me a sample to review and share with you all!
More About Soleil Sleep Spa
The Soleil Sleep Spa Dawn Simulator Alarm Clock features NASA inspired nature sound and light therapy sleep technology. The alarm clock uses custom LED light color to simulate a natural sunset or sunrise, gradually increasing and decreasing in brightness.
When using the sunset feature, the lowering light signals your body to produce melatonin, the hormone that brings on sleep.
When using the sunrise feature, the gradually increasing light signals your body to produce serotonin, the hormone that brings on wakefulness, and aids in feelings of calmness and relaxation.
To learn more about the science of lights effect on sleep (and your circadian rhythm!) click here to read my article from a few weeks ago, “How to Reset Your Circadian Rhythms”.
In addition to the light features and sun simulation, the Soleil Sleep Spa Alarm Clock features pleasant natural sound alternatives to the classic adrenaline inducing BEEP BEEP BEEP of traditional alarm clocks. The alarm alternatives include Natural White Noise, Relaxation Brook and Rocky Ocean Shore – with the additional options of no alarm noise, songs from your MP3 player, and a mild beeping option for heavy sleepers.
Additional Features of the Soleil Sleep Spa
In addition to the sunrise and sunset simulator, alarm clock functions and nature sound therapy, the Soleil Sleep Spa offers a few customized options that makes it stand apart from other Dawn Simulator Alarm Clocks.
For instance, the light features an optional LED clock display. The magic word is “optional”. Many dawn simulators do not give the option to dim or turn off the clock display. As a light sensitive sleeper, I love that I can turn the clock display off so it won’t interfere with sleep.
The alarm clock also features a USB charging station. This is way cooler than I thought it would be. Not only can I charge my smart phone in the evenings, I can hook up my MP3 player and use the Sleep Spa as a speaker!
You can also turn the light on and off, to varying degrees of brightness, to use as a bedside lamp or reading light.
The alarm clock is fairly easy to use. Because it features a minimalist design, there is a slight learning curve to setting the alarm clock preferences (think learning your iPhone’s limited buttons for the first time) but once you know how to use it, it’s fairly fool proof… even my 17 month old knows how to turn the light on and off!
My Experience With the Soleil Sleep Spa
So the tagline of Soleil Sleep Spa’s Dawn Simulator Alarm Clock is, “Sleep Better – Wake Up Easier”. So does it work?
The very first morning I used the alarm clock, I woke up naturally to the gradually increasing light a few minutes before the alarm noise went off. It was AWESOME! Worked like a charm.
The following morning, I went to bed very late, and only got about 5 to 6 hours of sleep. So I did not wake up to the gradually increasingly light, I woke up to the beeping alarm sound I had set. While I had to wake up from the noise, I noticed that I woke up feeling more alert than usual – especially considering my lack of sleep. Additionally, I woke to a gently illuminated room. For someone as light sensitive as me, it was great to not have that painful blinding reaction when turning the overhead light on.
Over the last few weeks my experience with the Soleil Sleep Spa has been a bit sporadic, due to my having a toddler whose superpower is waking me up long before my alarm is set to go off. But the mornings I DO wake to the Dawn Simulator, I notice I feel more alert, well rested and far less light sensitive when starting my day.
So I would say YES, it does work! I am looking forward to utilizing the alarm clock to it’s fullest one my kids let me, ya know, sleep through the night. 😉