How can blue light therapy both energize you as well as help you sleep better?
What is blue light?
A seemingly easy question, but yet full of doubts…
Light is a wave, and blue light is practically everywhere! Light is made up of electromagnetic waves which are grouped according to their wavelengths into electromagnetic spectrum. Visible light, which is the part of electromagnetic spectrum responsible for the sense of sight, has wavelengths in the range of 400 - 700 nm. The wavelength determines the color and the spectrum of colored rays creates what we call sunlight, which is the main source of blue light.
Blue light waves are among the shortest and highest-energy waves in the visible light spectrum, with a wavelength between 450 and 492nm. The shorter the wavelength - the higher the energy! Short, high-energy blue light rays are scattered more easily by the air molecules than any other color in the light spectrum and that’s what makes the sky blue. Being outdoors during daylight is where the majority of us get the most of our exposure to natural blue light, which has a very important role in how our body adapts to light and dark cycles. Studies have shown that shorter wavelengths are more effective than longer wavelengths in suppressing nocturnal melatonin and keeping our body balanced.
But, how much light do we need? Is all that light good for us?
Good and bad light
Since the tech giants started including blue-blocking filters into their products, blue light has become a new hot topic!The advancement in the evolution of digital technology has dramatically increased our exposure to artificial sources of blue light.
Too much exposure to artificial blue light over long period of time or at wrong times of the day, usually before bed time, may impact our sleep quality.
But the light that comes from electronic devices is not the same light used in light therapy!
Studies in the field have identified that the
blue- turquoise light range, which is from 465 nm to 495 nm, is essential to our vision, to the function of our pupillary reflex, and in general to human health. That is the type of light, which AYO uses as well.
How does blue light therapy work?
Blue light therapy is a phototherapy treatment which uses light in the blue wavelength, mimicking the properties of natural sunlight.
When our eyes are exposed to blue light, it stimulates photosensitive retinal glanglion cells, which are quite sensitive to the short wavelengths of blue light. These cells send signals to the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the hypothalamus, which is considered to be the master clock in mammals. The SCN receives direct photic (light) information from the retina and controls hormones, body temperature other basic functions that play a role in making us feel sleepy or wide awake.
The exposure to blue light is believed to have a profound impact on our energy levels, boosting alertness and elevating mood. The energizing effect is an immediate, short-term effect of the blue light therapy. For the long-term effect of the blue light therapy, that is regulating our circadian rhythm and putting our body clock back in sync, timing is essence!
By being exposed to blue light in the morning or during the day, our body suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin, making us feel awake and more alert. As a natural effect of the melatonin suppression during the day, melatonin levels in the blood rise sharply in the evening, telling us that it’s bed time. We begin to feel less alert and sleep becomes more inviting.
Light therapy is most effective when you have the proper combination of three key elements: light intensity, duration and timing, and that is what makes AYO so special.
How does AYO work?
AYO uses 470-475 nm light which has been proven to be the most efficient wavelength for body clock adjustments. By properly timed exposure to the AYO’s special daylight-mimicking light, you can efficiently regulate your body clock.
Depending on the light intensity, your personal data and desired effects, the AYO App calculates the exact session timings and suggests when to use the AYO wearable, how long the duration of the session will be, and when to avoid light in order to ensure the best effect.
AYO has two main effects:
- A 20-minute exposure to AYO’s special blue light will boost your energy immediately or shortly after the session.
- For better sleep, you would need to wear it in the morning upon waking up in order to reset your body clock. As a result of melatonin suppression (which helps you stay energized during the day), your body will start producing it actively in the evening, which will help you fall asleep easier in a natural way.
Naturally controlled and balanced sleep-wake and energy cycles will significantly impact your productivity and the quality of your everyday life.