Monday, February 15, 2016

How I Beat The Winter Blues

By Wendy Kam Marcy

My morning routine goes something like this...

Alarm #1 goes off. I stir and hit snooze. Then alarm #2 goes off. I'm annoyed but not enough to get out of bed. By alarm #3, I want to quit life. Sounds familiar?

The struggle is real!

To help combat fatigue and the winter blues, Philips sent over two buddies to help me wake up and stay up!

The Philips Wake-up Light is a light therapy device that has replaced my alarm clock. For the last few weeks, instead of being jarringly awoken abruptly by noise, I arose to gentle sounds and light that simulated the morning sun.

How it works: I set my alarm at 7:15am and it goes off to either the FM radio or one of 2 natural sounds. BUT at 6:45am (or 30 mins before your set wake-up time), the clock lights up prepping your body to wake up - dimly at first then it gets brighter. To turn off the "alarm" just tap anywhere on the surface.

What I liked: "gradually" waking up! Almost like my body was anticipating it rather than being forced out of my dream-like state. I also appreciate waking up in a softly lit room (think "valencia" Instagram filter). My body adjusted to this new way of waking up pretty quickly. After one week, I actually woke up BEFORE the alarm, laying there basking in the glow. WOW!

This light retails for $100 and is compact so you can bring it with you when traveling. The design is minimal and looks pretty darn cool on my night stand. I often use it as a bedside lamp - setting it up for when I come home in the evenings so I could walk into a cozy condo instead of a dark abyss. Bonus!

Maybe being a morning person is not so difficult after all! Clinical research actually has proven that 88% of disgruntled early-risers that switch over to waking up with this light is effective and more pleasant. <-- My hubby totally agrees with this!

My second device to help me beat the winter blues is the Philips goLITE BLU. An energy light that is clinically proven to increase energy levels and fight winter sadness (SAD).

You know that lazy sweet spot at the office around 3pm or in the evenings right after dinner and before Netflix? Well, Dr. Colleen Carney, Director of Sleep and Depression Laboratory at Ryerson University and Philips spokesperson, suggests considering a dose of blue light to help you stay awake until bedtime.

How it works: Philips goLITE BLU mimics the natural energizing power you receive on a bright sunny day. I keep it on my desk and switch it on for 20-30 mins when I hit that lull in the day. It's uninterrupted "light therapy" so I can continue working while reaping the benefits.

Does it work?

It's week 3 of using this light and I'm beginning to bust out of winter fatigue and see notably results. I feel more energized not only after using the light but a sense of overall balance throughout the day. The Philips goLITE BLU is a small and portable device. It's 100% UV free light that is safe for eyes and skin and you won't look like an alien bathing in blue light when it's on. For $200 it's cheaper than taking a sun vacation and worth a try!

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