Instead of a wailing alarm, wake up to your smart clock mimicking the sunrise, or recreating the sound of ocean waves. Image Credit: Shutterstock

The sun is up, and it’s time to rise and shine! Unlike birds, who launch into their dawn chorus of chirps like clockwork, we humans usually need a little help realising when it’s time to wake up.

That’s where smart alarm clocks come in.

Don’t turn your smartphone into an alarm clock

The blue light emitted from smartphones can disrupt our sleep and leave us feeling groggy the next morning, our expert says. Image Credit: Shutterstock

It’s likely that you use your smartphone as an alarm clock. Dr Niamh Grace, clinical psychologist at Aspris Wellbeing Centre, Dubai, explains why this may be a bad idea.

She said: “Firstly, sleeping next to a smartphone at night may lead to increased temptation to use your phone, for example to scroll through social media, read work emails or watch videos. These activities can psychologically stimulate you and hinder the relaxation needed for sleep. Secondly, research indicates that the blue light emitted by smartphones can significantly interfere with sleep.”

Blue light, which has shorter wavelengths and higher energy than other colours, is the light that is emitted from LEDs used in smartphones, televisions and tablets. Exposure to such light, especially at night, can disrupt your circadian rhythm or body’s natural internal clock, Dr Grace cautioned. She said: “It can negatively affect your psychological sense of time, potentially leading to feelings of disorientation and sleeplessness.”

With your smartphone on your bedside table, you may also receive constant notifications, messages or calls, all of which prevent you from “achieving the deep, restorative stages of sleep that are crucial for psychological well-being”.

What’s the best way to wake up?

Instead, opt for a separate alarm clock and remove all the distractions that come with a smartphone. Classic alarm clocks do not emit any blue light, which means you have a better shot at improving your quality of sleep.

Smart alarm clocks take it a step further; many of them incorporate ambient night lights so you can find your way around a dark room at night, have integrated background-noise generators for better sleep, and a selection of Nature sounds to wake up to.

Some smart alarm clocks even mimic the sunrise, and wake you up by increasing their luminosity, rather than with blaring alarms. Dr Grace said: “Using a smart clock that incorporates wake-up lights may have some psychological advantages, as it aligns with your body’s natural circadian rhythm. As the clock gradually increases in light intensity, it signals to your body to reduce melatonin production (the hormone that helps us to sleep). It can also contribute to a smoother transition between being asleep and awake, which can lead to a more positive ‘wake up’ experience. This, in turn, may have a positive impact on your mood and alertness throughout the day.”

We took Dr Grace’s advice on board, and picked the best smart alarm clocks on Amazon, for you to choose from. Buy with Prime membership and get your favourite as early as tomorrow.

1. Best Overall: Hatch Restore Sunrise Alarm Clock 


  • Customisable sunrise alarm and night light
  • Large library of alarm sounds
  • Excellent app for settings/control
  • Intuitive interface


  • No voice commands
  • Additional features require a paid subscription

Our top pick is an all-rounder that does it all. Hatch Restore is a comprehensive sleep device, so it has a night light that you can use to read by, or for ambience, and it features a sunrise alarm that gradually increases in luminosity, allowing you to ease into wakefulness. You can set up the Hatch mobile app and use it via Bluetooth to control the light’s 22 colour options, and brightness levels. You can personalise the alarm as well, and choose from natural, calming sounds like chirping birds or ocean waves. But do note the device doesn’t allow for voice commands – a common feature in most smart clocks. Reviewers say the Hatch Restore successfully wakes them up, without also waking up their partner – a gamechanger for people who have different schedules. Those who opted to pay for subscription said they received access to useful sleep tools, like music playlists, sleep stories and guided exercises. Dr Grace recommends fostering a calm, relaxed environment before sleep: “Creating a comfortable and low-arousal bedroom environment can contribute to your body relaxing. Having soothing sensory inputs such as low-level lighting and soft bedding may help you to regulate and relax.”

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent installments and pay Dh54.33 for 12 months with select banks. Redeem 10 per cent extra discount with Citibank by entering the code ‘CB10OCT’ at checkout.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh57 and two-year extended warranty for Dh81.

2. Best Compact Clock: DreamSky Compact Digital Alarm Clock 


  • Large digital display
  • Compact size
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Touch-sensitive snooze button


  • Unattractive plastic body

You don’t have to squint to see the time, with DreamSky. Its large, two-inch-tall digital display is useful, especially for people who are nearsighted, as they don’t have to put on their glasses or contact lenses just to see the time. The clock’s compact body means it can sit on even the narrowest bedside table. DreamSky isn’t just an alarm clock though, since you can use it as a USB charging station. It’s easy to set up, with clearly labelled buttons. Reviewers like that its snooze button isn’t a button at all – it’s a touch-sensitive surface that lets you snooze the alarm in nine-minute intervals. However, some say that the clock feels a little cheap, because of its plastic body.

Bonus: Redeem 10 per cent extra discount with Citibank by entering the code ‘CB10OCT’ at checkout.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh12 and two-year extended warranty for Dh17.

3. Best Clock with Wake-up Light: Philips SmartSleep Wake-up Light 


  • Built-in radio
  • Choose from 20 brightness settings
  • Select from five wake-up sounds


  • Controls are not very intuitive, some reviewers say

Dr Grace advised: “Developing a relaxing bedtime routine, which includes calming activities such as reading, mindfulness meditation or other relaxation exercises, can help to prepare your mind and body for sleep.” But hours later, if you’re jolted awake by a wailing alarm, it can ruin a positive sleep experience. Philips’ SmartSleep Wake-up Light eases you back into consciousness with its sunrise alarm clock. Over a duration of 30 minutes, its luminous LED orb simulates dawn, giving you a gentler waking up experience than you’ve ever had. This smart clock includes five Nature-themed alarm sounds, along with a built-in radio tuner and a back-up alarm. Some reviewers say they wake up feeling less groggy with this alarm clock, but admit that figuring out how to operate it took a lot longer than they expected.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent installments and pay Dh63.56 for 12 months with select banks. Redeem 10 per cent extra discount with Citibank by entering the code ‘CB10OCT’ at checkout.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh46 and two-year extended warranty for Dh65.

4. Best Alarm Speaker: Amazon Echo Dot (5th Generation) 


  • Integrated LED display
  • Convenient control options
  • Excellent speaker quality


  • Display may be too bright even when dimmed

Amazon’s latest Echo Dot smart speaker integrates an LED time display on the front of the sphere, making it an excellent contender for this list. The fifth-generation iteration of this smart speaker includes a display that shows weather icons, song titles and other scrolling bits of information. Without becoming a fully smart display screen, it gives you the ability to set alarms and timers, ask questions about the weather and other things, play music and more. You can charge the Echo Dot and move it around cord-free. Although some reviewers say the display light, at its dimmest, is still quite bright, many like the versatility and flexibility it offers, as a smart alarm clock.

5. Best Budget: Peakeep Smart Digital Alarm Clock 


  • Built-in night light
  • Includes temperature gauge
  • Choose from five colours


  • Some reviewers say the night light is too bright

A great option for your children’s bedroom or for travel, Peakeep’s smart clock checks all the boxes. The clock features a built-in ambient light sensor, triggering a soft nightlight when it’s completely dark (you can switch it off if you prefer). The alarm clock’s snooze button gives you an extra eight minutes of rest before it rings again, and its buttons are easy and intuitive enough to use, even for little ones. Apart from the time, the clock also shows you the temperature indoors, helping you keep the room at a comfortable setting. It’s small, light and comes in a number of colours.

Bonus: Redeem 10 per cent extra discount with Citibank by entering the code ‘CB10OCT’ at checkout.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty for Dh12 and two-year extended warranty for Dh17.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.