The 5 Best Wake-Up Light Alarm Clocks for Improving Your Sleep Schedule

We reviewed 5 light alarm clocks to suit every budget to help you to find the best one to suit your needs.

1 – Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750D

A true market-leader in the light alarm clock arena but also the priciest, the Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750D is packed full of brilliant features such as music and DAB radio streaming, USB port for charging for your phone and over 20 wake-up and sleep sound effects. Whether you’d like to rise in the morning to the natural sound of beautiful birdsong or enjoy the relaxing tones of fading thunder or white noise, this alarm clock is for you. We also loved the new low-blue light feature for bedtime lighting, which experts have shown to be extremely beneficial for catching those 40 winks – the same light your phone emits which can impact your sleep schedule. Set daily or weekly alarms, and you’re ready to go!

LifeHappy rating: 10/10

Shop on Amazon: Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750D

2 – Lumie Bodyclock Active 250

Featuring both gradual sunrise and sunset options over preset durations between 15 and 90 minutes, the Lumie Bodyclock Active 250 is a much less dear version of its bigger brother with a reduced, but still great, set of features. Whilst the 750D offers DAB radio, the 250 offers FM radio and no music streaming, and has 5 wake-up and sleep sound effects versus 20. However, in our eyes this is still a brilliant contender for those wishing to explore the benefits of light therapy with fully dimmable lighting and a beautiful sunray effect, perfect for gaining better quality sleep.

LifeHappy rating: 8/10

Shop on Amazon: Lumie Bodyclock Active 250

3 – Medisana Sunrise Wake Up Light Alarm Clock

With a design a little more stand-out than the other clocks on our list, the Medisana Sunrise Wake Up Light Alarm Clock combines eco-friendly credentials with a brilliant 7 different lighting colours. A broad choice of natural sounds offer great options for waking up, and the soothing roar of a crackling fireplace is a relaxing treat. Our only criticism lies with the MP3 music connectivity – a bonus feature which would be fantastic if the sound quality was improved.

LifeHappy rating: 7/10

Shop on Amazon: Medisana Sunrise Wake Up Light Alarm Clock

4 – Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520/01

Third most expensive on our list, the Philips Wake-Up Light H3520/01 features 5 natural wake-up sounds and FM radio, plus 20 different light settings to personalise this clock to your own preferences. Coloured sunrise simulation and a gentle sunset provides a smooth transition from sleep to awakening in the morning. This clock also adjusts itself to suit the brightness of the room, meaning that in even already bright bedrooms, this clock will work effectively. We also adore the futuristic, Apple-esque design.

LifeHappy rating: 7/10

Shop on Amazon: Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520/01

5 – ALFALED Sunrise Alarm Clock

One of the more basic wake up lights, the ALFALED Sunrise Alarm Clock is an ideal starter clock to test the waters of light therapy – and also the cheapest of the lot by far. Providing both sunrise and sunset simulation, 6 natural sounds and FM radio capability AND 7 different colours of lighting, you do still get some great features for your money. This clock is a little tricky to set-up, however, and isn’t quite good as quality as many of the other contenders on our list.

LifeHappy rating: 5/10

Shop on Amazon: ALFALED Sunrise Alarm Clock

When picking your wake-up alarm clock, there are a lot of options in the marketplace to suit every budget. Even the cheaper clocks provide soothing light, so it’s up to you whether you’d like one jam-packed with additional features or whether you’d rather save the pennies and enjoy light therapy by itself. In our opinion, the Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750D is by far the best pick if you’ve got a larger budget.

LifeHappy Chats: We Talk Biomechanics & Sports Massage With Will Goodbourn

What is biomechanics? How will it help improve your game and overall wellbeing? To answer our questions, we interviewed Will Goodbourn, a Sports Massage Therapist & Biomechanist operating within the East Midlands.

What is Biomechanics?

Will: ” Biomechanics is the practice of human engineering.  It involves the study of human bodily alignment and motion, for example walking and standing posture. 

A key component of the field is the analysis of sporting techniques to improve performance efficiency and reduce the incidence of injuries.  For instance, each sport has an optimum way of how its key skills should performed (e.g. high jump technique), just like there is an optimum way of walking and running.  Therefore, there is a wide range of different walks of life where the field is useful. 

An analogy I often use to explain Biomechanics is comparing the human body to a car.  A car is made up of lots of moving parts, such as the chassis, wheels, engine, and gearbox.  The human body is the same – we have our own chassis (i.e. the skeleton), and all the things that come off this frame, e.g. muscles, tendons and ligaments, with the brain acting as the overseer.  All these things work in tandem to bring about a coordinated movement. 

However, if a car had a wonky wheel, it would not drive very well – excessive pressure would be put onto the wheel itself, as well as other areas of the car due to this misalignment.  Unfortunately, due to modern-day lifestyle habits; such as prolonged sitting and excessive mobile phone use, the quality of human posture is in decline.  This creates many muscle imbalances in the body, pulling the skeletal structure out of alignment and giving us this ‘wonky wheel’.  Chronic skeletal misalignment puts the body under increased stress, creating many challenges for our long-term postural health which may see people developing conditions such as osteoarthritis in the joints. “

Unfortunately, due to modern-day lifestyle habits; such as prolonged sitting and excessive mobile phone use, the quality of human posture is in decline.

How is Biomechanics practiced?

Will: “Many different methods can be used in order to practice Biomechanics.  Personally, I often use a combination of postural assessments, and gait analysis; which is the observation of an individual’s walking or running technique.  These highlight any imbalances that might exist between one side of the body and the other, and areas where the individual may be lacking in terms of skill development (e.g. sporting techniques).  Based on these observational findings, it is then possible to create an aftercare plan to rectify these problems.  Effective aftercare plans can involve strength and conditioning, increasing flexibility, and improving specific areas of skill development.”

How does Biomechanics tie-in to Sports Massage?

Will: “Sports Massage is a very widely practiced discipline.  It can be used to treat or prevent injuries, increase flexibility, and reduce stress, amongst other things.  Biomechanics knowledge is not a pre-requisite in order to practice in this field. 

However, I feel that only by combining the releases from the Sports Massage with Biomechanics, can a proper, thorough benefit to an individual’s long-term joint health be achieved.  For example, let’s say you suffer with lower back pain; which is a very common ailment.  You could always have a massage in order to release off the area, and it may be very effective in reducing the pain. 

However, what if there isn’t anything wrong with the back itself, and the problem is coming from elsewhere?  For instance, you may have weak abdominal muscles, which causes a misalignment around the pelvis, resulting in an overworking of, and increased pressure around, the lower back.  Therefore, by only massaging the back, you are not addressing the underlying cause of your pain, as you are simply treating the symptoms. 

In fact, I think this is a very unhealthy way to live, as the dysfunction is still there, and the longer your specific issue is present, the more chance it has of compromising your long-term joint health.  After all, there wouldn’t be too much difference between this, and taking painkillers in order to mask the discomfort!”

How did you get into Biomechanics?

Will: “I have been involved in sport for most of my life.  I started running when I was eight years old, and still do it today, along with multi-event athletics.  When I became a bit older (into my teenage years), I started wanting to take the sport a lot more seriously and become more competitive.  However, whenever I tried to increase my training load, I would always break down part-way through each season with injury and have to miss a lot of training and competitions as a result.  This also became worse over time.  This of course was very frustrating and upsetting for me, especially as I visited countless experts who couldn’t really offer a proper explanation of why it was happening, or a proper solution. 

It did spark an interest though, as this inspired me to learn more about injuries, why they kept on happening to me, and to help others to avoid the torment of not being able to do the thing they love doing.  Therefore, I studied a degree in Sport and Exercise Science at Loughborough University, and this was where I started to become interested in the Biomechanics, due to my fascination of how the body works, and the potential of the field to treat and prevent injuries.  

Upon graduating, I then completed a Biomechanics-related masters degree, and at the same time, studied for my Sports Massage Diploma.  While at the time of writing, I am not completely injury-free, I feel I have made significant improvements, and since starting my own business in 2017, I am happy that I am starting to make a positive change to other people’s lives.”

What sort of clients do you see?

Will: “Since starting my business, I have seen clients from many different backgrounds across a wide age range.  As you can imagine, most of my clientele have a sporting background.  So far, I have treated athletes from sports such as: running, cycling, triathlon, multi-event athletics, football, horse riding, martial arts and bodybuilding.  While it is not possible to be an expert in every sport, I do feel that my background in running offers me a distinct advantage.  After all, even if you are not a runner, then the chances are that if you are involved in a sport, then you participate in running in some capacity.  For example, a footballer will spend a lot of time running around a pitch.  Many athletes from other sports also likely run in order to work on general fitness also.  Therefore, these athletes will need to run efficiently to reduce the likelihood of getting an injury.  Hence, I always consider running to be the foundation of nearly any sport. 

The standard of participation has also varied from absolute beginner, to international standard.  However, this does not mean that you need to be an athlete in order to benefit from Biomechanics or Sports Massage, as I also see many people who do not do any sport at all.  After all, you don’t need to be an athlete to suffer from aches and pains!  This may include people who have a physically demanding job, or suffer pain when carrying out everyday tasks.  Therefore, whatever goal you have, Biomechanics can help!”

Will Goodbourn
Sports Massage Therapist & Biomechanist

To find out more about Will Goodbourn BSc MA Dip, Sports Massage Therapist & Biomechanist, visit his website or Facebook page or get in touch with Will via email at willgoodbourn95@gmail.com or by phone at 07715 418013.

LifeHappy Chats: An Interview With an Acupuncturist

Interested in having acupuncture or want to find out a little bit more about it? We interviewed Catherine Musgrove, Registered Acupuncturist TCM at Hyde-Barker Podiatry, based in Newark, to answer your questions on this amazing complementary therapy.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Catherine: “I am a fully qualified acupuncturist having studied traditional Chinese acupuncture for three years at the University of Lincoln. I am a member of the British Acupuncture Council, a governing body that ensures a strict and high standard of practice and conduct. Prior to my acupuncture training, I have worked as a holistic therapist in reflexology and aromatherapy massage, gaining invaluable experience in this field. I am committed to providing the highest quality personal acupuncture treatment, and my aim is to improve quality of health and life through the application of traditional Chinese acupuncture.”

What is acupuncture?

Catherine: “Acupuncture is a tried and tested system of complementary medicine. The Chinese and other Eastern cultures have been using acupuncture to restore, promote and maintain good health for thousands of years.”

How does acupuncture work?

Catherine: “Traditional acupuncture works to maintain the body’s equilibrium by focusing on all aspects of wellbeing: physical, mental and emotional. Through the insertion of extra-fine needles at chosen points along the channels of energy, the aim of acupuncture is to stimulate the body’s own healing response and restore its natural balance.”

Who should think about having acupuncture?

Catherine: “Many people come to acupuncture for help with specific symptoms or conditions, and some because they generally feel unwell. Others choose acupuncture to enhance their feeling of wellbeing. Acupuncture is considered suitable for all ages, and can be used alongside conventional medicine.I see a wide variety of patients, with a range of different conditions and symptoms.”

Can someone have acupuncture if they are on medication?

Catherine: “If you have been prescribed medication it makes sense to tell your doctor that you are planning to have acupuncture. I ask my clients to let me know about any medication they are taking as this may affect their response to the acupuncture treatment.”

How long is a session and how regular are acupuncture treatments?

Catherine: “Frequency and length of treatment depends on your individual condition. Some change is usually felt after five treatments, although occasionally only one or two treatments are required. Some patients may need treatment over several months or long-term.”

How does acupuncture make you feel?

Catherine: “After treatment, patients are left with a feeling of relaxation and a sense of wellbeing. One can also feel quite tired too, and are advised to go home and rest, drink plenty of water and avoid strenuous activities.”

Catherine Musgrove, Registered Acupuncturist TCM

To find out more about Catherine Musgrove, Registered Acupuncturist TCM at Hyde-Barker Podiatry, visit the Hyde-Barker website or get in touch with Catherine via email.

5 Delicious Smoothie Bowl Ideas

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7 Proven Benefits and Uses of Manuka Honey

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The Benefits of Weighted Blankets for a Good Night’s Sleep

These amazing blankets provide you with the sensation of being hugged or embraced through deep touch pressure, increasing serotonin (happy hormone), oxytocin (hug hormone) and melatonin (sleep hormone) levels in your body as well as reducing the stress hormone, cortisol.

For a lot of us in today’s society, getting a good night’s sleep can seem like a distant, dreamy reality. Whether you are affected from stress or mental health issues, or you suffer from a chronic condition with ongoing symptoms that disturb your slumber, a weighted blanket could offer some significant benefits in aiding you on your journey into tranquillity each night.

What is a weighted blanket?

Put in simple terms, a weighted blanket… is a blanket that’s weighted! Typically, they are filled with glass beads, plastic pellets, rice or millet to provide this additional weight.

These amazing blankets provide you with the sensation of being hugged or embraced through deep touch pressure, increasing serotonin (happy hormone), oxytocin (hug hormone) and melatonin (sleep hormone) levels in your body as well as reducing the stress hormone, cortisol. The result is a euphoric feeling of relaxation for your body and nervous system, enabling a delightfully peaceful night’s sleep or even a calming sensation when you’re sitting comfortably on the sofa.

What health conditions can weighted blankets help with?

Whilst weighted blankets can significantly help with insomnia as an isolated symptom or condition, they have also demonstrated benefits with a range of different health conditions.

Weighted blankets can be of great help to children and adults with sensory processing disorders such as autism and ADHD. The release of all these wonderful hormones can help a child to feel calmer, and individuals with autism also tend to have low melatonin levels, which weighted blankets can help to alleviate. This helps to encourage a more regular sleep schedule, and are even useful in situations such as car journeys, reading time or transitioning from one activity to another to reduce anxiety. Textured and patterned weighted blankets make for great sensory inputs too!

Individuals with debilitating chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia can also benefit from weighted blankets, as these individuals tend to have lower serotonin levels. With higher serotonin levels, fibromyalgia suffers may experience less fatigue and improved energy levels. Weighted blankets are also said to be great for those with Restless Leg Syndrome, as the deep pressure can be a wonderfully satisfying release from symptoms during bedtime.

For those with mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, PTSD and OCD, weighted blankets have demonstrated a true benefit in reducing intrusive thoughts and encouraging a sense of relaxation and tranquillity – just what you want for a good night’s sleep!

What weight blanket do I need?

The classic rule of thumb is to order a size that’s approximately 10% of your bodyweight, and no more. So if you’re 80kg, try an 8kg blanket – and this rule works for children and older adults too. However, if you’re finding your blanket to be a little too intense, going lighter is better. However, based on relevant studies on weighted blankets, this may not have the same benefits as a blanket 10% of your bodyweight.

If you fall between standard blanket weights and are unsure whether to go down or up in weight, experts recommend going for the heavier option. However, make sure you base this opinion on your own personal requirements. If you, or the person you think would benefit from a weighted blanket, have a frailer frame, it’s suggested to select the lighter option.

What size blanket do I need?

This decision is based mainly on your own personal preferences. Consider both the size of your bed and the height – you want to feel covered and comfortable, but your bedfellow may not want to use the blanket too. As such, you could either get a blanket the same size or slightly larger than you, or a blanket that matches the size of your standard duvet or bed size.

Which weighted blankets do we recommend?

We’ve listed our favourites below:

Our all-time favourite, this super-cuddly weighted blanket from Auria Naturals come with a free washable plush cover to save you just that little bit extra versus most weighted blankets which don’t include a cover. Offered in two weight points of 4.5kg and 6.8kg. Even better, this lovely weighted blanket comes with a free 100 day risk-free trial, with all returned blankets donated to charity.

This premium weighted blanket from Senso-Rex comes in Grey and Dark Grey and is manufactured from 100% cotton. Measuring 150x200cm and offered in weight options of 4kg, 6kg, 8kg, 10kg, and 12kg, this blanket is filled with tiny glass micro-balls, and is totally hypoallergenic. Also available in a range of different patterns and sizes including a funky blue anchor print, gorgeous light grey star print and pink unicorn print!

Please note, weighted blankets are not indicated for safe use with babies or toddlers, and children must be able to easily handle, carry and move out from the weighted blanket for safety purposes.

15 Things You Didn’t Know About the Placebo Effect

Yekize

  1. 97% of GPs prescribe placebos: A survey of UK GPs found that almost all of them have prescribed placebos. The placebos they prescribed were either pure placebos – treatments containing no active ingredients, e.g. sugar pills; or impure placebos – treatments with active ingredients, but that will not have an effect upon the condition e.g. antibiotics for a viral infection. Sources: Research SummaryOriginal Paper

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