A reader asks:
Even after a good night’s sleep, I have trouble waking and getting out of bed in the dark, yet, regardless of the hour I retire, I can arise when it begins to get light out. My day demands that I get up before dawn and I am deeply disturbed over this long-term issue. I long to simulate the dawn; can your lights do that for me?
Naturalistic dawn simulation is indeed designed for the purpose you describe, above and beyond its use as an antidepressant. A dawn simulation system comes in two parts: microprocessor controller and light fixture. The system used in our clinical trials is pictured on //www.cet.org. That site lists a commercial supplier. The lighting fixture used in our clinical trials is not currently commercially available. Instead, we recommend a lamp described at .
For this specialized application, do NOT use the separate dimmer cable that comes with the lamp. Instead, plug the lamp directly into the control box output receptacle. Position the downward-facing diffuser lens in the direction of your pillow from a distance of about 40 inches. Intensity of the dawn signal can be adjusted either by moving the lamp farther away or resetting the “percent output” level on the control box.