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Spring Forward: A gift of light therapy

Most of us in the U.S. turn our clocks forward at 2 a.m. Sunday. For the next few days we're offering up some gift ideas inspired by the switch to Daylight Saving Time. 

It's ironic that the same month when we lose an hour of sleep by springing forward, it's National Sleep Month. According to the National Sleep Foundation, only about 42% of us get a good night’s sleep every night, or even every other night. So how to remedy those soon-to-be missed 60 minutes of zzzzzzzs? These two state-of-the-art tech accessories are designed to remedy drowsiness and increase energy — making two, um, bright ideas for gifting.

The Verilux Rise & Shine Natural Sleep System ($250 at is an all-in-one alarm clock/sound system/light therapy device that simulates dusk and dawn to regulate circadian rhythms, while an array of soothing sounds creates a natural segue into slumber. The adjustable LED panel on top has 20 blue and white light settings for ultimate customization. You can also hook it up to a bedside lamp, Ipod or MP3 player to plug your favorite lighting and sounds into the multi-sensory experience.

Philips goLITE BLU Plus Once you’re up and standing, the Philips GoLite Blu Energy Lite ($130 for a plug-in model or $200 for the cordless, touch screen version at  Philips.) can come along for a little energy boost any time, anywhere. This portable light panel uses Bluewave technology that mimics the summer sky’s blue light to trigger positive energy and help regulate mood.  It has three light settings plus a built-in timer, and it works its magic in as little as 15 minutes.  Use it at home or work (a great gift for those prone to snoozing on the job), take it on a weekend getaway or stash it in your tote for a bathroom revival during that yawn of a meeting or date. Both Verilux and Philips also offer great new wake-up clock lights with therapeutic halogen bulbs,  nature sounds and built-in radios for less than a hundred dollars. Time to rejuvenate and recharge.

--Ingrid Schmidt

Photos: Top, Verilux Rise & Shine Natural Sleep System. Courtesy of Verilux.

Left: Philips GoLite Blu Energy Lite. Courtesy of Philips.

Friday: A gift of time




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There is another high tech way to move your internal clock to an earlier hour (like we need to do this weekend). offers eyeglasses that block the blue rays in ordinary white light. Put on the glasses an hour before bedtime for a few nights will make your body think you are in darkness and advance your internal colock. Doing this regularly will give you a head start on your melatonin supply and make it easy to fall asleep. There also many health advantages of maximizing natural melatonin like reducing risk of obesity and breast and prostate cancer.


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