dinsdag 25 maart 2008

A natural choice

As with other modern inventions, most of us would find it hard to imagine life without an alarm clock. But it hasn’t always been this way. Until relatively recently, humans depended solely on the rising sun – and the natural light it produced – to wake up each morning.

So what happened? Our modern-day lifestyles often demand that we start our days before sunrise, especially during winter. Although it was deemed one of the most hated inventions in a 2004 MIT survey, the alarm clock is still the wake-up method of choice for most. As natural as this may seem today, biologically it’s clearly an unnatural choice.

A more natural approach

So if the loud alarm clock we typically wake up to isn’t such a good thing, what options are there? Other than teaching yourself to wake up without stimulus, the most talked about alternative is dawn simulation. It’s a relatively new technique that involves a device much like an alarm clock that uses gradually increasing light instead of sound to wake you up. Mimicking a natural sunrise, dawn simulation tricks the body into initiating the wake-up process in a more natural way.

Putting experience into creation

Although research on dawn simulation is a relatively new field of study, so far all studies show a beneficial correlation between dawn simulation and how users feel upon waking up. This was enough to inspire Philips to leverage more than 100 years of experience in lighting technology to develop a ‘Wake-up Light’ more advanced than all others in terms of light intensity (lux), a key factor in how well the wake-up process goes.

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