BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.
The mood in which I wake up can set the tone for my entire day. If I wake up happy, there’s an excellent chance it will be a good day. At the very least, I’ll feel energized and ready to take on any challenges the new day might bring.
Unfortunately, the abrupt blaring of my alarm clock yanks me out of my sleep. Being startled awake means from my first morning breath, my heart is pounding, my blood pressure is elevated and my adrenaline is spiking. This is not the ideal way to wake up.
I wanted to find a better way, so I looked into buying a sunrise alarm clock.
What is a sunrise alarm clock?
A sunrise alarm clock is designed to help you wake up more naturally in the morning. It features a light that gradually gets brighter, so you can gently be coaxed awake rather than having your senses assaulted by a jarring noise.
How a sunrise alarm clock works
A sunrise alarm clock works in the opposite manner of a Bluetooth alarm clock that has a nightlight feature. The sunrise alarm clock stays dark while you sleep and turns on gradually when it’s time to wake up.
The JALL Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm Clock is my favorite because you can set how long it takes to turn on. The manufacturer recommends starting at a 30-minute gradual increase from 10% to 100% brightness, but for me, setting the light to turn on fully within 10 minutes worked better.
The increasing brightness subtly alerts you that it is morning so your body can start revving up to greet the day. There is also an audio component to a sunrise alarm clock. However, because of the light, the alarm can be much more gentle — a whisper rather than a shout — so you wake up without a start.
What you need to know before purchasing a sunrise alarm clock
While experimenting with my JALL sunrise alarm clock, I found it could do a lot more than just wake me up. For instance, it has a built-in FM radio and a fall-asleep mode that gradually gets darker to help me fall asleep. I also enjoyed customizing the clock by choosing my preferred lighting color, brightness level and length of time it took to reach maximum brightness.
After using the JALL sunrise alarm clock for a few weeks, I realized that I do still need that audio component because the light alone didn’t always wake me. However, it did help prepare me for the alarm. And many times, I did wake up before the alarm sounded. The important takeaway for me was that I woke up feeling refreshed and energized rather than stressed and cranky.
Where to buy a JALL sunrise alarm clock
You can get a JALL sunrise alarm clock at Amazon. There are two models: white and wood. The white model is regularly $59.99, but is currently on sale for $45.98. The wood model is regularly $79.99, but is currently on sale for $55.98.
Other products worth considering
The Hatch Restore is a high-end alarm clock that has a sunrise feature. It also has a mood library, so you can listen to relaxing sounds that help you fall asleep.
Sold by Bed Bath & Beyond
If budget is your primary concern, La Crosse’s offering is the way to go. It features 20 color options so you can set whatever lighting mood you’d like, and also displays temperature and humidity.
Sold by Home Depot
Besides a sunrise alarm, iHome’s sleep therapy machine has a collection of 16 nature sounds and white noise recordings along with 14 specially designed light therapy programs to help you get a better night’s sleep.
Sold by Staples
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.