Saturday, December 8, 2012

Shortest day and light therapy in Rochester

The Rochester Museum and Science Center posted on Facebook that the earliest sunsets of the year, 4:35pm, occur every year around December 8 (in Rochester's latitude). Latest sunrises: 7:42am for a couple of weeks centered around Jan. 5. They explain why this isn't on the solstice, Dec. 21. Basically because noon by the clock is usually not exactly halfway between sunset and sunrise. The U.S. Naval Observatory, offering one of the best explanations.

It was drizzly out today so it seemed to get dark out extra early. This is the time when Rochestarians start talking about SAD - seaonal affective disorder and lack of sunlight. I am always joking with Aaron about how I need one of these Philips Energy Lights.

While I was on the Philips website looking at light therapy products, I saw this wake-up light. It simulates sunrise and gradually wakes up you. There is a model that connects to your iPhone and runs off an app too!

I am convinced I need one of these now! It has cool features like waking to songs or natural sounds, charging your iPhone, track sleep routines, colored sunrise simulation, dimming light and sound to lull you to sleep, auto dimmer & tap to snooze.

I also downloaded the app, Sleep Cycle. This app is an alarm clock that analyzes your sleep patterns and then wakes you when you are in your lightest sleep cycle. It's pretty involved as you place it on your mattress and it tracks your body movement when you are sleeping to estimate your sleep cycle.

I haven't tried it yet but I'm fascinated.

If by this you have come to the conclusion that I am very concerned about my sleep, you would have concluded correctly.


  1. I just moved to Seattle where SAD is also concern. I've been looking at the Philips Go Lite Blu but haven't made the plunge yet. I might need to check out this app!

  2. I've been using the Sleep Cycle app now for over two years after being recommended it by a client.

    It's brilliant. The songs on it are ok but I chose my own (Walk by Foo Fighters is a great track to wake up to).

    The stats are very helpful and you get to know what ensures you have a good night's sleep. I now know that eating late or drinking disturbs by sleep quite significantly.

    Try it - You will love it.

  3. I've used Sleep Cycle before. I LOVE IT!

  4. I use the older version of the wake-up light and absolutely love it. Sometimes I wake up on dark weekday mornings genuinely convinced it's the weekend, because how else would I be waking up in daylight?

    It's a bit of a letdown when I open my eyes and realize I still have to go to work...but it's worth it to wake up gradually and naturally, rather than being jolted awake. :)