Did you know that light exposure regulates your biological clock and circadian rhythm? The circadian rhythm is a built-in clock most organisms have in their brains to regulate the timing of biological processes and daily behavior.
At the very dawn of age before the invention of electricity, it was not primal for humans to seek out darkness, as night and light occurred naturally with the raising and setting of the sun.
Light Causes Light Sleep
In today’s modern society, artificial light, especially with the existence of digital technology, poses a threat to the normal sleep cycle of human beings. As such, there is an alarmingly increasing number of insomniacs. Today, approximately 30% of Americans face symptoms of insomnia.
Some people get awakened by the loud blasting noise of a siren while others get stirred awake by a simple blinking light in the immediate surroundings. Overall, light has detrimental effects on sleep.
It stimulates the mind and body to feel awake and alert via a neural pathway from the eye to the portion of the brain that regulates your hormones, body temperature, and other autonomic functions. Insufficient darkness throughout the night can disrupt proper sleep and lead to constant or prolonged awakenings.
As much as we have conditioned ourselves to get used to the fiddling of the dimmed laptops and hand-held device screens before some shut-eye, the National Sleep Foundation states that exposure to excessive unnatural light before bedtime hinders a good night’s sleep. A study done recently proved that exposure to unnaturally induced light cycles may cause an increased risk of depression over a period of time.
The Hindrance of Modern Technology
Even with all digital devices consciously stowed away, we often fail to completely muff out every glimmer of light from our immediate surroundings.
There’s always either a blinking mosquito repellent on the ceiling, the indicator light of a device charging away on your desk, or the glow of light from your bedside digital clock that seemingly grows more bright and annoying each second on a sleepless night.
Let’s face it. Until driven into a state of desperate insomnia, we would not go about setting up an every-night ritual to ensure a completely dark room. So the next best thing we can do is to fix the most glaring and permanent fixtures in our rooms. Ironically, the common culprit is the light from the alarm clock that keeps most light sleepers up all night, instead of just it’s blaring siren at the break of dawn.
Get a New Alarm Clock
Dimming your alarm clock is not a function as easily available as most think. When buying an alarm clock in the store or online for the matter, you never consider how bright the light is until you set it up and switch off all the lights in your room.
If you have experienced this, you are far from alone. Many people have gone through buying at least more than three clocks before settling with a dimmable right one.
Thus begin your mission in search for the best alarm clock with a dim light. In the struggle of finding the balance between functional and readable giant numbers, and something that was aesthetically appealing, there are a surprising number of options out there if you look in the right places. Amazon provides a wide selection for you to do your clock shopping from.
One example is the Reacher Projection Alarm Clock. The clock comes with a dimmer range of 0 to 100 and a snooze time option. Not to mention the fancy novelty of time projection on ceiling or wall, and its two USB phone charging ports.
Another option is the Cloudsplits Sunrise Wake up Light Digital Alarm Clock. This ingenious contraption comes with not only a setting of 10 brightness levels, it also has a unique function of simulating a natural sunrise 30 minutes before your alarm.
It brightens your room to mimic nature and dims it the opposite way with the sunset simulation. It’s probably the closest and most affordable solution to help regulate your circadian rhythm for a good sleep cycle.
On top of that, the clock also comes with calming nature sounds including that of birds, waves, or the forest so you don’t wake up completely startled, grumpy and frustrated in the morning.
Kill that Clock’s Light Once & For All
Not willing to splurge or bother with the search of a fancy new alarm clock? A good half hour spent on some crafty fixes could render you a good night’s sleep for good. Here are a few things you could do to dim your alarm clock without the spiffy use of technology.
The Quick Fix
Good news! Innovative manufacturers out there acknowledge your fight against light. Hence the birth of a ready-go-to solution to your problem. Readily available in the market, all you have to do is conveniently peel and apply.
One of the brands, Light Dims, come in a variety pack of different shapes and sizes and is available in a spectrum of opaqueness (from 80% – 100% brightness reduction). Odd shaped clocks are not a problem as a customizable sheet that you can cut is also available.
Another brand to look out for in the market is Dim It. The same concept applies and you can layer it as many times you like to your desired dimness. An added feature is the adhesion technology of the sheets. Dim It uses static cling and therefore does not leave behind a messy adhesive that ruins your pretty clock. It can be re-positioned and reused as many times as you wish.
The DIY Fix
If you are not fussy on appearance or are too lazy to wait for a ready quick fix to be delivered to your doorstep, you might want to consider some cheaper and more creative Do-It-Yourself methods. Though it might admittedly be less pleasing aesthetically, it works.
All you need is some dark fingernail polish and a piece of transparent tape. Place the tape over the light and paint over the tape with dark nail polish until the desired dimness is reached. Alternatively, a sharpie marker could be used as well if you are looking to completely black-out charging indicator lights.
A roll of translucent red Lithographer’s tape that costs about five bucks can also easily bring you light years away from your brightness problem. Generally used for lithographic striping applications in the graphic arts industry, the tape will give you a reddish tint, but effectively dims your alarm clock. This is an alternative to using semi-transparent binder dividers that also works with a simple spritz of water for adhesion to your alarm clock screen.
To sleep perchance to dream. Let there be light at the break of dawn but till then, good night and good sleep!