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!

Indulge Your Kitty's Love of Boxes With This Modular Cardboard Cat Home

Cat Lovebox
Cat Lovebox

Cat owners know that even if their pet has access to fancy toys and cat trees, there's nothing more entertaining to them than a cardboard box. But you don't have to fill your home with trash to give your feline friend what they want. The Cat Lovebox turns your cat's favorite material into a playful, modular system that looks a lot more beautiful in your home than leftover packaging.

Each Cat Lovebox has holes in the sides that allow your cat to go in and out of with ease. The six holes are pre-cut into each side of the cube, but you can keep them closed if your cat prefers a dark hiding place, or open just a few of them to connect multiple boxes.

Cowhide cat boxes
Cat Lovebox

One box may be all your cat needs to feel warm and secure, but with several, you can design elaborate structures that will keep your pet busy for hours. They come with connecting rivets, so you can arrange groups of boxes however you like and trust that your cat won't be able to jostle them apart.

The product is also designed to be pleasing to the eye: The Lovebox is available in multiple fun patterns, including plaid, floral, and cowhide.

Buy it from Cat Lovebox starting at $29.95 for a set of two. Mental Floss readers can get 10 percent off by using the offer code TZOQZK.

And if your cat ever decides to come out of their new hiding place, here are some more cat products you'll both love.

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!

10 Essential Dog Products for National Puppy Day

iStock.com/blanscape
iStock.com/blanscape

Every dog parent wants to spoil their beloved pooch, and there are infinite pet products out there designed to help you do so. In honor of National Puppy Day on March 23, here are 10 essentials every dog owner needs, whether you just brought home a new pup or are just looking to add to your loyal friend’s collection of pet accessories.

1. Nite Ize Nite Dawg Dog Collar

A Golden Retriever wears a light-up collar while walking through a field.

Nite Ize, Amazon

Keep your pooch safe at all hours with a reflective, light-up collar that will make them visible from any angle at distances of up to 1000 feet. The LED lights on the battery-powered Night Ize Night Dawg collar feature flashing and glow modes for maximum visibility. The collar is also water-resistant for rainy days (or pond-loving dogs) and is designed to run for 100 hours before you need to change its batteries. It comes in four different sizes that will fit pups of all shapes, sizes, and breeds.

Buy it on Amazon starting at $15, at Chewy starting at $12, or at the retailers below:

2. Chase ’n Chomp Amazing Squeaker Ball

A Chase 'n Chomp squeaker ball

Chase 'n Chomp, Amazon

We’ve written about the amazing staying power of Chase ’n Chomp’s squeaker ball before, because according to pet owners, it’s virtually indestructible. Amazon reviewers swear their dogs love it: One even says her German Shepherd’s relationship with her squeaker ball is “like Golem with his magic ring—it’s that serious!”—which is about the highest praise we can imagine. The squeaker will outlast even the most intense chewing, and in case your dog is a swimmer, it floats, too.

Buy it on Amazon for $8.

3. Pooch Selfie Camera Attachment

The Pooch Selfie smartphone attachment is the easiest way to make sure the camera loves your pup as much as you do. The mount allows you to affix a tennis ball on top of your phone, giving your dog something enticing to look at so that you can capture the perfect photo of the two of you. It comes with a squeaky ball designed to get your dog’s attention, but any standard tennis ball will work. The clasp will fit on most smartphones and smartphone cases.

Buy it on The Grommet for $10.

4. Pogi’s Eco-Friendly Pee Pads

A package of puppy pee pads

Pogi's Pet Supplies, Amazon

House-training accidents are unavoidable, but you don’t need to worry about your furry friend ruining your floors. Pogi’s absorbent pee pads are made with plant-based, renewable materials so that you don’t have to feel guilty about hurting the environment for the sake of convenience. Better yet, the adhesive backing won’t slide around on hard floors, and the quilted core stops odors and leaks in their tracks. They also contain a dog attractant designed to make sure your pooch goes on the pad, not your floor. And they’re not just for puppies—pee pads are an excellent choice for older dogs or any pup that has trouble holding it in between walks. And if you just can’t convince your dog to stop marking its territory, dog diapers and wraps are a good option. (Mental Floss’s resident office dog, Simba, looks adorable in his.)

Buy them on Amazon for $12.

5. KONG Stuff-a-Ball Dog Toy

A KONG Stuff-a-Ball toy

KONG, Amazon

Unless you want to spend hundreds of dollars on dental cleanings and tooth extractions later in your dog’s life, you probably want to take care of their teeth. That doesn’t necessarily mean getting up in their molars with a toothbrush. There are plenty of dental chews and tooth-friendly toys, including this one from beloved pet toy brand KONG. The puzzle toy one can be stuffed with treats or peanut butter, and as your dog chews at it to extract its contents, the exterior ridges will clean their teeth. It comes in three different sizes and is designed to withstand even the toughest chewers.

Buy it on Amazon for $13 and up or at Chewy for $11 and up.

6. iFetch Automatic Ball Launcher

Your dog’s stamina for playing fetch probably far outweighs your own, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for saying no to those begging puppy-dog eyes. You can now outsource your playtime to a robot. The iFetch automatic ball launcher is made to play with your dog when you cannot. The interactive gadget can be programmed to throw balls 10, 20, or 30 feet, depending on the size of your home and your dog’s stamina, and comes with miniature balls designed for smaller dogs. (The company also makes a version that can launch a standard tennis ball up to 40 feet, called the iFetch Too.)

Buy it on Amazon for $110 or on Chewy for $106.

7. Burt’s Bees for Dogs Oatmeal Shampoo

A bottle of Burt's Bees dog shampoo

Burt's Bees, Amazon

No matter the breed, size, or hair type, your dog is bound to get stinky at some point. And while you’ll want to bathe them, you don’t want to irritate their skin. This colloidal oatmeal shampoo from Burt’s Bees promises to clean, soothe, and soften your dog’s dry skin and fur and reduce itching. It’s pH balanced, tear-free, and perfect for sensitive skin.

Buy it on Amazon or Chewy for $5.

8. Aikiou Interactive Dog Bowl

A dog eats out of a puzzle bowl shaped like an oversized paw.

Aikiou, Chewy

Challenge your dog’s mind while keeping their body trim with an interactive puzzle feeder that forces them to work for their dinner. Aikiou’s interactive bowl provides more of a challenge than most slow-feeding puzzle bowls, forcing your dog to nose through each of the “toe caps” on the paw-shaped bowl to reveal the kibble beneath—similar to the foraging behavior your pup would use in the wild. “In addition to slowing down his food intake to help prevent bloat and maintain a healthy weight, the mental stimulation also reduces boredom and anxiety while increasing physical activity and problem-solving skills,” the company promises.

Buy it on Chewy for $20.

9. Furbo Dog Camera

Furbo’s dog cam allows you to do more than just check in on your dog while you’re at work. You can view your pup on the high-definition, wide-angle livestream 24/7 with night vision capabilities. You can fill the robot with treats and use your phone to direct it to through treats for your pup. And you can calm an anxious dog with the bark-alert feature, which allows the Furbo to detect when your dog is barking so that you can see what’s going on and talk to them through the associated app. It can also detect a flurry of movement, such as if your dog is jumping on the couch, chewing cords, or pacing anxiously. Several users say these alerts have proved key in an emergency, detecting them to house fires, carbon monoxide leaks, and dogs tearing through massive bags of chocolate.

Buy it from Furbo or on Amazon for $199.

10. BarkBox

If you can’t choose what to buy your pup, let BarkBox choose for you. Each monthly subscription box comes with at least two toys, two bags of treats, and a chew around a specific theme, like “Knights of the Hound Table” and “Chewrassic Park.” You can choose to receive small, medium, or large toys; specify if your dog has food allergies; and decide between a one-month, six-month, or 12-month subscription. If your dog is a particularly enthusiastic chewer, the company also offers a Super Chewer box that comes with extra-durable toys.

Buy it on BarkBox starting at $22 a box.

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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