Why Sunrise Alarm Clocks Are So Popular Right Now

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Brringggg, brringggg, brringggg! That familiar phone alarm is blaring, scaring you half to death. This less than glorious wake up call has become the norm for so many people, but what if there was a better, perhaps less terrifying, way to start the day? Sunrise alarm clocks have recently caught the interest of online users, but sleep experts have been watching this rise in widespread use for the past three years. So why are sunrise alarm clocks only now becoming so popular? 

What Is A Sunrise Alarm Clock?

If you’ve never heard about this revolutionary device, a sunrise alarm clock gently wakes users up with light mimicking a sunrise. Dr. Chelsie Rohrscheib, the head sleep expert at Wesper, told Sleepopolis why sunrise alarm clocks are so effective saying, “All animals, including humans, have a built-in 24-hour biological clock that helps the brain and body keep time, called the circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is primarily controlled by the interaction of our genes and the light cues we get from the sun. When it’s dark at night, our brain produces melatonin, which signals us to be asleep. Conversely, when it’s light during the day, our brain stops producing melatonin and this keeps us awake and energized.”

Rohrscheib pointed out that all of our fun new sleep-related tech products, despite being very good at what they promise to do, actually interfere with our well-established circadian rhythm on purpose. Think, blackout shades, sleep masks, and the very invention of an alarm clock itself. These items prevent us from waking up naturally and can result in excessive grogginess in the morning. 

To help escape this excessive grogginess, Rohrscheib makes the case that sunrise alarm clocks allow us to wake up slower and more naturally, reducing issues like sleep inertia, daytime grogginess, and fatigue. 

Some versions of the sunrise alarm clock not only help to gently wake you up, but they can also help you to fall asleep. With various sleep sounds available, some clocks allow you to set bedtime routines. You can fall asleep to the sounds of water or white noise, and then wake up to a sun-like light. Sign me up!

Why Have Sunrise Alarm Clocks Become Popular?

Sunrise alarm clocks have been around for several years, but it hasn’t been until recently that they have grown in popularity. A big reason is the pandemic. The American Psychological Association reported two in three Americans sleep either more or less than desired since the beginning of the pandemic. Other studies also found sleep disturbances are common in long-term covid patients, with one study finding 41% had moderate to severe sleep disturbances. 

Trouble sleeping isn’t a new phenomenon. In 2016 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 1 in 3 Americans were not getting enough sleep regularly. So how did the pandemic lead to more people using this product? It gave people the time to focus on their sleep health and luckily for them, more resources are available than ever before. 

In addition, sleep technology has been expanding in the last decade, providing more access to people desperate for better quality sleep and to improve their health, Rohrscheib explained. Compared to a few years ago when the only option was to buy from a specialized site, there are now more affordable options on sites like Amazon to buy a sunrise alarm clock. 

Don’t count out social media’s role in popularizing this item, especially on TikTok. Recently TikTokers have been raving about their love of sunrise alarm clocks, making it one of the must-get items. Commenters are saying, “I’ve been influenced and now I want one!” Along with TikTok, they have been featured on lots of must-buy lists, including Oprah’s best tech gifts in 2022. 

If you weren’t convinced before, maybe now’s the time to join the sunrise alarm community and stop being jarred awake by your alarm and wake up to the sun. 

Julia Medina

Julia Medina

Julia is a Staff News Writer for Sleepopolis. From sleep news and education to the latest sleep trends, her goal is to keep you informed about what's going on in the world of sleep, dreams, mattresses, and more. Julia graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in communications and minors in film and sociology. In her free time she loves exploring new cities, relaxing with a good tv show, and getting some good quality sleep.

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