Get Kids Up Easier with a Dawn SimulatorRead More Blogs…
“Parents know it. Teachers know it. Teenagers are zombies in the morning.” This statement by Michael Smolensky, Ph.D., and Lynne Lamberg, authors of the book, The Body Clock Guide to Better Health, summarizes the battle faced by parents and teachers of adolescents every day. Using a SunBox dawn simulator can help kids wake up easier.
School starts early, the problem of waking kids in time for classes, which generally begin between 7 and 8 a.m., is drawing battle lines between parents and their kids around the country. Delayed daily body rhythms, which normally start to occur around the beginning of adolescence, are to blame.
Michael Norden, M.D., from Seattle, gives a good description of why waking up in the morning is such an ordeal: “Most of us wake to a blaring alarm, and then… abruptly and harshly transform the darkness with the flip of a switch.” Since our eyes are very sensitive to changes in light levels during the dark, early morning hours, however, dawn simulation provides an effective, novel way to get kids up. Electronic devices called dawn simulator alarm clocks, which gradually increase light levels over a 15 to 45 minute period before wake-up time, can adjust kids’ biological clocks to an earlier time so they awaken more easily. Dawn simulation is a new form of light therapy, which has been used for years to treat a problem called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) caused by diminished daylight in the winter.
“Subtle variations in daylight intensity throughout each day and through the year provide cues about when to awaken, be active, eat, and sleep,” according to Norden. “Dawn simulators can prompt spontaneous awakening in the morning. The eyes appear to respond to light transmitted through a sleeper’s closed eyelids. Light promotes beneficial changes in mood-related brain chemistry.”
“Parents have been buying dawn simulators as fast as we get them in” says Neal Owens, president of The SunBox Company in Maryland. “Although the devices sell for $100 to $200, most parents say that it was the best investment they have made to get their kids up and going in the morning.”
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