The Tiny Light-Therapy Lamp That Makes Waking Up Before Sunrise a Lot Easier

Lampu from Circadian Optics
Lampu from Circadian Optics
Circadian Optics

Millions of Americans will have their biological clocks disrupted when Daylight Saving Time starts on Sunday, March 10 this year. You may not be able to get back that hour of lost sleep or avoid commuting to work before sunrise, but you can invest in a light therapy lamp that replicates the effects of the Sun on your desk.

Circadian Optics makes bright light lamps designed to regulate users' circadian rhythms, and the company's latest model packs a big punch in a little package. At 3.5-inches-by-3.5-inches and weighing just 9.6 ounces, the palm-sized Luxy is the world's smallest light therapy lamp, according to Circadian Optics. And it's here to keep you alert even if you have to wake up long before sunrise.

Your circadian rhythm dictates when you get tired at night and when you wake up in the morning, and it's influenced by light. Seeing bright, short-wavelength light first thing in the morning tells your brain to wake up, giving you the energy needed to start your day.

Ideally, your circadian rhythm would sync naturally with the rising and setting sun, but modern work schedules don't always make this possible. If you need to wake up before the sun does, a light box can be a replacement for natural morning light. In fact, exposing yourself to light for 15 minutes to an hour at the same time everyday can help train your body to wake up when you want it to.

A Luxy light therapy lamp from Circadian Optics
Luxy from Circadian Optics
Circadian Optics

That's where the Luxy comes in. It folds easily into a bag so you can bring it with you to the office on mornings when you have trouble keeping your eyes open, and comes with a USB power cord that plugs directly into the back of your computer. It's simple to operate, with just a single button that turns the light on and adjusts it through three levels of brightness. And even though its size means you can use it discreetly in an open office, the light is still bright enough to make you feel alert at 9 a.m. on a Monday.

Luxy emits 10,000 lux of full spectrum LED light—the intensity recommended for treating seasonal affective disorder—with a color temperature of 5500K. The result is a bright a white light that mimics the color of the noontime sun. (It's 99.9 percent UV filtered, so it's safe for your eyes.) The bulbs are designed to last 50,000 hours, much longer than regular fluorescents.

Even though they're therapy products, Circadian Optics lamps are built to look beautiful on your desk or bedside table, and the petite Luxy is just the beginning. The company also makes several other models designed to fit in with any aesthetic. The Lampu, for instance, is a minimalist, disc-shaped white lamp inspired by the sun, while the Lattis acts as a an accent piece, with a light panel built into the black, mod design. Each produces the same intense light as the Luxy.

Buy them on Amazon, with prices starting at $40 for the Luxy and and going up to $65 for the Lampu. As of March 8, Amazon is also offering an extra $10 off coupon for the Luxy, so it's a good time to buy.

And if you're still worried about recovering from Daylight Saving Time this year, here are some tips for navigating the time change.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Making Your Bed Is Easier Than Ever With These Amazing Sheets

The Button Sheet Collection, Kickstarter
The Button Sheet Collection, Kickstarter

Do you wake up every morning in a stifling cocoon of tangled bedclothes that 1) makes it hard to get out of bed in the first place, and 2) makes it impossible to fathom making your bed more often than whenever you wash your sheets?

The Button Sheet Collection is here to save you. The set contains a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, and a blanket, which all fasten neatly together with four buttons that sit along the bottom edge of your bed.

The buttons ensure that your blanket will never slide off your flat sheet, your flat sheet will never slide off your fitted sheet, and you will never slide off the edge of sanity.

But that’s not the only way the Button Sheet Collection simplifies the sleeping process. Slits in the bottom two corners of the flat sheet and blanket guarantee that both items lie perfectly flat—there’s no need to fold and tuck them underneath the mattress. Also, there are extra inches added to the flat sheet and blanket, so you have an optimal amount of wiggle room no matter what your go-to sleeping position is.

In the morning, all you have to do is give the flat sheet and blanket a quick fluff and walk away from your now perfectly-made bed.

The long-staple cotton, 400 thread count, and sateen weave make the sheets just as comfortable as they are functional, and here’s yet another reason you can (literally) rest easy with the collection: it’s Oeko-Tex certified and free from any harmful chemicals.

Prices for the Button Sheet Collection—which includes one pillowcase, a fitted sheet, a flat sheet, and a blanket—start at $239; you can check out more buying options on Kickstarter, and estimated delivery is in November.

Since you’re going to spend around one third of your day asleep, it’s worth maximizing your experience in whatever ways you can, from buying Button Sheets, to ending the covers tug-of-war, to finding the perfect mattress, and beyond.

This Adjustable Bag Mate Makes Traveling Anywhere Much More Convenient

NEX
NEX

Carrying a backpack for a long period of time can lead to aching in your neck, back, or shoulders. Plus, keeping essentials in your bag, like a passport or phone, can make them a hassle to retrieve when necessary. NEX, now raising money on Kickstarter, is a three-in-one bag mate that makes traveling with a backpack pain-free and convenient.

This new "bag mate" is designed with air cushions that evenly distribute the weight of your backpack across your shoulders. Since it makes your bag feel 30 percent lighter, it also helps improve your posture.

NEX features functional and hidden pockets to not only make it easier to grab your essentials when on the go, but also keep them secured—since they are much safer on your shoulders than in your bag where people can easily steal them. Each strap is designed with three inner pockets as well as a hidden pocket to store everyday valuables such as your keys or cash.

Cash and keys going in a pocket on a NEX bag mate
NEX

Sometimes a backpack isn't necessary for quick outings, so NEX can act as a cross-body bag as well. Easily clip it on and adjust the fit to your liking, and now NEX can be used when you're simply going out for a run or grabbing groceries. Plus, it's designed with recycled waterproof material, meaning you don't have to worry about your valuables getting damaged due to the weather.

guy walking with blue cross body bag
NEX

With over a week left in its campaign, NEX has already surpassed its goal of $1000, raising over $47,000 as of June 25. By pledging $19 or more, you can get your own bag mate on KickStarter. Shipping is scheduled for August.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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