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‚ÄčThe Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #31 - Andy Mant (BLUBlox)

BIO


LEARN MORE AT:

Blublox.com

SHOWNOTES

01:10 - BLUBlox: Blue-light Blocking Glasses For Sleep, Stress, And Health! Go To BluBlox.com And Use The Code melanieavalon For 15% Off!

02:20 - BiOptimizers (kApex): Digestive and energy support for the ketogenic diet! Go To kenergize.com/melanie to get 10% off your order!

04:00 - LISTEN ON HIMALAYA!: Download The Free Himalaya App (Www.Himalaya.Fm) To FINALLY Keep All Your Podcasts In One Place, Follow Your Favorites, Make Playlists, Leave Comments, And More! Follow The Melanie Avalon Podcast In Himalaya For Early Access 24 Hours In Advance! You Can Also Join Melanie's Exclusive Community For Exclusive Monthly Content, Episode Discussion, And Guest Requests! 

04:30 - Paleo OMAD Biohackers: Real Foods + Intermittent Fasting + Life: Join Melanie's Facebook Group To Discuss And Learn About All Things Biohacking! All Conversations Welcome!

7:30 - Misinformation In The Blue Light Blocking World

8:45 - Andy Mant's Journey To Blue Light Blocking And Founding BLUBlox

11:10 - Melatonin Disruption From Light 

14:45 - Why Many Blue Light Blocking Glasses Don't Work

15:30 - Diet Vs. Light and Sleep

18:15 - Light And Meal Timing

20:10 - Wifi Issues

20:40 - What Is Light?: The Different types Of Light (Colors, UV, Blue, Etc.)

23:00 - The Role Of UV Light In Health 

24:15 - Infrared Light And Healing 

25:40 - Problems With Artificial Light 

27:30 - UV Light For The Health Of The Eye

30:45 - Historical Light Exposure And The Ancestry Of Light

32:45 - The Blue Light Spike Before Sunset

34:00 - Healing Evening Light 

34:45 - The Invention Of the Light bulb And Incandescent Light

39:00 - JOOVV: Red Light And NIR therapy for Fat Burning, Muscle Recovery, Mood, Sleep, And More! Use The Link Joovv.com/melanieavalon With The Code MelanieAvalon For A Free Gift From Joovv, And Also Forward Your Proof Of Purchase To Contact@MelanieAvalon.com, To Receive A Signed Copy Of What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine!

40:55 - BEAUTY COUNTER: Non-Toxic Beauty Products Tested For Heavy Metals, Which Support Skin Health And Look Amazing! Shop At Beautycounter.Com/MelanieAvalon For Something Magical! For Exclusive Offers And Discounts, And More On The Science Of Skincare, Get On Melanie's Private Beauty Counter Email List At MelanieAvalon.Com/CleanBeauty!

Beauty Counter's Limited Edition Lip Trio!

43:10 - How Small Of An Exposure To Blue Light Disrupts Circadian Rhythm?

46:50 - Photo Receptors In The Skin For Light And Circadian Rhythm

48:35 - UV Light Damage And The Skin Clock System  Repair Mode 

51:15 - The Problems With Dimming Light 

Iris Tech

55:15 - How Intuitive Is Color Perception? The Importance of Testing Light

Andy's BLUBlox Blog

1:02:00 - Can You Have Too Much Red Light Exposure?

1:06:15 - When Should You Wear Which Glasses During The Day?

1:07:30 -  How To Wear BLUBlox Glasses In The Winter

SummerGlo Glasses

1:09:00 - Seasonal Affective Disorder, Dopamine, And Serotonin

1:12:15 - Boosting Mood With Yellow

1:13:20 - Sleep And Seasonality

1:14:15 - Blue Violet Vs. Blue Turquoise

1:15:40 - Light And Digestion

1:19:00 - Light Hacking For Night Owls And Night Shift Workers

1:20:50 - How To Wear BLUBlox Glasses In The Summer

1:24:00 - The Importance Of Sleeping In Darkness

Remedy Sleep Mask

1:25:00 - BLUBlox Glasses ‚ÄčFor Computer Users

1:26:40 - The Role Of Peripheral Light

1:28:30 - BLUBlox: Blue-light Blocking Glasses For Sleep, Stress, And Health! Go To BluBlox.com And Use The Code melanieavalon For 15% Off!

‚Äč

TRANSCRIPT

Melanie Avalon:
Hi friends. Welcome back to the show. So I am really excited to be here today with Andy Mant, I think I said it. Okay. 

Andy Mant:
You did. You did. 

Melanie Avalon:
The accents throw me off. He's in down under in Australia. But Andy is the founder of an incredible company that I am becoming increasingly obsessed with and that is BLUblox and they create something which I've been thinking about this a lot. It's one of the few products in my life that I use literally every single day of my life. And if somebody said that I couldn't use it anymore or they were taking it away, I think I would just, I wouldn't know what to do. It's basically what Andy creates and my planner are like the two things I always have to have. So Andy, thank you so much for being here. 

Andy Mant:
Yeah, thank you so much. Absolute pleasure to be able to speak to your amazing community Melanie. It's funny you should say just then one of the two things you can't live without now obviously the blue light glasses. I was just speaking to a friend of mine, Tim Gray, who's the CEO of the Health Optimization Summit in London. And we were talking because he lost his BLUblox glasses. And the other night I was chatting to someone in a restaurant and they had insomnia. So I literally did like a selfless thing and just said, "Have my blue light glasses, wear these and let me know how you go." And that whole night it honestly felt like my eyes were being burnt out with fire. It was horrible. I got so used to wearing these glasses and the amazing sort of benefits of them that yeah, I didn't realize until I took them off how bad it was. So I definitely feel you there. 

Melanie Avalon:
Oh my goodness. You're a better human being than me. I don't know if I could do that. 

Andy Mant:
Yeah, I don't know if I could do it again. 

Melanie Avalon:
I know. Oh that's crazy. Yeah. So for listeners, so BLUblox, they do create blue light blocking glasses. And so I've been experimenting around blue light blocking glasses for a while now before I found BLUblox. And it's so funny. So I thought I was being really special because when blue light blocking glasses first became a thing, I feel like there weren't that many options or that many varieties. So I personally was ordering from all of these different companies like clear ones that blocked a portion of blue light. Then I had yellow type ones, and then I had red type ones. And every single day I would transition through these three different glasses from three different companies. And then I realized BLUblox provides all of that. So you're like my dream blue blocking company. 

Andy Mant:
Love that. And that's so good to hear it. There's so much like because blue light is the new keto per se, it's trending. Everyone seems to want to jump on the bandwagon and make a quick dollar out of it. So there's a lot of misinformation out there unfortunately. And we always want people to listen to people that are I guess like myself and a few others that actually do a lot of research into the science and read all the peer reviewed studies and can actually translate this into layman terms for people that are out there in a sea of information not knowing what to do. 

Andy Mant:
There's so many companies out there that like to sell the clear ones, like you said, that filter a bit of blue light and call them blue blockers, which is very misleading in itself. So yeah, I feel the pain of people out there. People want to take control and do well with their health, but there's a whole array of information out there that hopefully from our conversation today will help people make informed decisions about what's going to work well from them in terms of light hygiene and light management. 

Melanie Avalon:
I am so glad you brought that up. That's something that we can circle around to at the end because somebody literally just asked me in my Facebook group, "Aren't there some like really cheap versions of glasses I can get?" And I was like, "I don't think it's that simple." So we can definitely dive in deep into that. But, so I thought to start things off Andy, would you like to tell listeners a little bit about your personal history and what made you so interested in light and what brought you to found BLUblox? 

Andy Mant:
Absolutely. Yeah. My journey began probably about 10 years ago now. My sort of thirst to try and lose a lot of weight. I was about sort of 30, 35 pounds overweight and that's quite big for someone of make some five foot seven, which is quite small. So when I put that amount of weight on I was quite large and just was sick all the time. So I did all the usual trips to the doctor and they were just like, "Cut your calories and you'll be fine and eat a low fat diet," and all that nonsense. And it just made me sicker and fatter. So the first sort of critical dive into the literature was when I just said, "Enough's enough. I'm going to do my own research. There must be a way to be able to lose weight." I found ketogenic dieting about nine years ago. That worked really well for me for a couple of years and I got down to a good weight. I started training and now I have a much more healthier lifestyle when it comes to diet and exercise.

Andy Mant:
Where light came into it, because I'd gone down the rabbit hole on dieting and how I guess macronutrients work, how exercise works and then human physiology, I decided to look at other areas of my life and one that had always plagued me since I was about 14 years old and didn't improve with diet or exercise was my sleep. So I decided to do what any good budding research scientist does and that's go and delve into the literature, start following people that were talking about sleep. And it became very clear very quickly to me that sleep was governed really primarily by something called a circadian rhythm, which is a Latin word circa about the end of the day, which is kind of the time system in the body. And it's all governed by light and dark cycles, keeps our hormones functioning correctly, manages neurotransmitters and hormones such as melatonin for instance, that helps us sleep and repair information, et cetera. 

Andy Mant:
So when I was diving into the literature, there was a few studies out there that talked about amber glasses. And I was just like, "Wow, what's all this about?" So I jumped on Amazon, I bought myself a cheap pair. I popped them on and literally felt like I had the best night's sleep that I ever had for a good 20 years. And I thought there's definitely something to this. So anyway, I wore these glasses for a couple of weeks. But after a couple of weeks, my sleep sort of just regressed back to how it was. My eyes must've become used to them or something like that, which I'll go into later as to why they didn't work. 

Andy Mant:
But it was very clear in the studies that I was reading that there was a melatonin disruption zone. Melatonin's your sleep hormone and there's a zone of light that actually stops melatonin from being secreted correctly. And that zone of light was 400 to 550 nanometers, which in layman terms is 100% of all blue light and pretty much most of all the green light spectrum. Now this type of light is emitted in vast quantities by your house lights, your fridge light, your laptop, your TV. Anything really that gives out this artificial sort of white looking light. And I just so happened to have some friends in optics labs here in Australia and I just thought to myself, I was texting him one day and just said, "If I got you a load of blue light blocking glasses, could you tell me exactly what frequencies of light they block?"

Andy Mant:
And they were like, "Yeah, don't really know why you're asking this. But yes we can do that." So they have these like real fancy bits of equipment. They're like $10,000 to buy, but they can pass lenses through them and shine full spectrum light through them and then they can pick up how much light is being blocked. And it was very clear in the literature, 100% needed to be blocked between 400 and 550 manometers. I bought 20 pairs of different glasses that were being dubbed as blue blockers. 

Andy Mant:
These range from sort of clear yellow and amber lenses. We tested them all in the lab and not one of them was blocking what the academic literature said you needed to be blocking to get optimal melatonin to improve your sleep. So anyway, off the back of this, they all think I'm a bit crazy now with bringing all these glasses in again to test them. And they have no idea about really what blue light was or what it was doing, which is quite scary for an optics lab. But I said to them, "Look, there's obviously a gap in the market here. There's no real evidence based or regulation or governing bodies behind what makes a good blue light blocking glasses. If I gave you the parameters of how I want lenses to manage light, would you be able to produce specific lenses for daytime for people with light sensitivities during the day and also for people wanting better sleep? If I gave you the parameters of manometers, would you be able to make that?"

Andy Mant:
And they said, "Yeah." Again like looked at me a bit funny and said, "Yeah, not a problem." So they knocked up these test lenses. We ran them through a spectrometer and we achieved something that no other company in the blue light space has been able to achieve and that is evidenced backed lenses that literally block exactly what peer reviewed studies are saying you have to block to manage light correctly. And that was how BLUblox was born. And what I did was managed to find a really cool frames manufacturer and supplier here in Australia that I work with. And I just said, "Look, if you can send some frames to this lab, they'll put the lenses in, send them back to me and I can obviously promote and sell these glasses and actually provide more of an education like I'm doing now on your show and many other shows and blogs and things about how the science actually works in this." 

Andy Mant:
But what I also did was I had about 50 pairs of these glasses made up. And I sent them out to basically people that had a good following in the health and wellness space but knew about blue light and had worn blue light blocking glasses before. And I sent them a whole sort of write up saying this is what we've done. Here are all the studies, like a good 20 studies that were listed saying this is X, Y and Z. This is backs up our claims, here are the spectral test results. Please try them out and let me know what you think. And 50 out of 50 of these "influence" came back to me and said, "Wow, you've got something here. We're not wearing our old blue light blocking glasses anymore. These are game changing. The sleep quality is so much better when tracked with things like an Oura ring or Fitbit, things like that." 

Andy Mant:
And that's when we knew we had something that was going to revolutionize people's health and sleep. And the reason that the blue light blocking glasses sort of regressed my sleep, the ones I got from Amazon was because obviously we found out they weren't blocking fully in that melatonin disruption zone. So it was after a while my brain is still registered the light coming through that was still in that blue range and still a little bit in that green range. And when I started wearing the product that we created, I was just like, "Wow, these are literally two, three years down the line still giving me the best night's sleep." And it goes back to the little chat at the beginning we were having about giving them away that night and then literally my eyes really felt the full effect of what blue and green light is doing to you after dark. So that's probably it in a nutshell Melanie. 

Melanie Avalon:
Oh my goodness. I love it. There's so much there. I find it so interesting you were talking about how you first got into all of this actually with the whole dietary thing and the keto. And I find that happens so often that people almost tumble into this bio hacking health world first through the dietary paradigm, making a dietary shift and seeing changes there and then realizing beyond that all the other things affecting us. And more and more I feel like we're realizing that sleep and light exposure. I think before it was like oh, diet is more important than any of that. But now I'm starting to think that sleep and light exposure are, I don't want to say one's more important, but equally important to diet if not more important. I just think it's huge. 

Andy Mant:
Yeah, absolutely. I completely agree. I think there's pillars to health you need to look at, which is exercise, diet, light, EMF, cold exposure and mental sort of wellbeing. Your meditation, your parasympathetic stuff. I think that all are very much even. And it's really interesting that I used to be in that camp of diet is the be all and end all. I used to be very much a zealot when it came to preaching about ketogenic diets being the be all and end all. And you only have to look at studies on how light with humans actually impacts specific hormones to know that diet really isn't the be all and end all. So for instance, there's a really interesting study out there that shows that people that are sleeping and have smaller amounts of light that enter their bedroom at night.

Andy Mant:
So that could be from maybe a partner getting up to go to the bathroom, maybe your phone sort of lights up in the night, maybe a car drives past, headlights come in, street lamps, neighbors' lights, et cetera. When that hits the human body whilst they sleep, independent of whether their eyes are open or not, insulin levels can rise. Blood glucose levels rise. So independent of what people are eating, light can impact how insulin is secreted by the pancreas. And that comes down to I guess a lot of people in your keto space, intermittent fasting space, now sort of talking more about circadian meal timing. Because during specific times of the day and governed by light, specific neuropeptides, hormones, leptin, ghrelin, et cetera and insulin are more readily available and insulin's more sensitive say in the mornings. So if you're wanting to eat from a circadian standpoint, the morning up to about midday is really the key to be able to eat from a circadian standpoint because that's when the leptin and ghrelin are optimal, that's when insulin is most sensitive. 

Andy Mant:
That's when neuropeptides are most optimal for digestion. And when you also look at other studies out there that look into people that eat meals after sunset, so in the dark periods of time, the digestion rates and I guess how carbohydrate is metabolized in the evenings is very much the opposite of how it's metabolized during the day. So it goes to show that artificial light in that blue and green range can impact insulin levels independent of what you're eating from a dietary perspective. And the same thing has been shown as well with microwaves and wifi. There was a really interesting study quite a while ago that came out that showed that someone, they tested people that were exposed or basically stood in front of microwaves. So they stood in front of like a microwave that was turning and spinning round and they measured their blood glucose level. 

Andy Mant:
Then they walked away from that microwave and within five minutes intervals, they showed how much that blood sugar levels dropped when they initially were raised by the microwaves. And wifi is something that works in a similar way as well. So I was on another podcast recently. It was a ketogenic one where we were talking about light's effects on cortisol and how light can really impact how the cortisol circadian rhythm can change. It can flip. And reverse and if you're not adhering to correct light hygiene, which means you can have low cortisol levels in the morning, which would make you really sluggish, but also really high cortisol levels in the evening, which makes you stressed, crave sugary fatty foods and also disrupt your sleep. So diet for me always used to be this like be all end all, but diet is really only about 20% of the solution. And we really need to look at these other pillars if we want to really optimize our health hormones and sleep and wellbeing. 

Melanie Avalon:
That is so fascinating. I mean, there's just so many factors involved. I did not know that about the light and the glucose at all. I was not even aware of that. And you cannot pay me to do that study about standing in front of the microwave. Oh my goodness, that's insane. Yeah. Actually just yesterday when you were speaking about like wifi, I was trying to figure out my router with wifi it puts out obviously the normal wifi, but then also the 5G. And I went through this whole thing trying to figure out how to make it not put out 5G. I mean I've hired wired my apartment beyond that, but on the occasion that I need the wifi I was like, "How do I get rid of at least the worst part of it?" So coming back to light in general, because we keep talking about blue light and the problems with our exposure to it. Maybe we can start with a ... this is like such a broad, vague question, but what is light? 

Andy Mant:
Yeah, absolutely. So light is little packages of energy described typically in the scientific community as photons. And they're emitted from two sources. Okay. So you can get light that's emitted from natural sources. So the sun for instance. And you can also get light that is emitted from artificial sources. So light comes in a spectrum. So earlier on, some people that listen to this will be familiar with nanometers, others won't. But nanometers is a measure of the wavelengths and frequencies of light. So each color of light has a specific band of nanometers. Okay. And they within those nanometers is either ... So it sort of ranges from low to, sorry, high to low energy and how those wavelengths or how much energy those wavelengths possess is how our brain determines what color they are. So light specifically doesn't have a color from a scientific standpoint, it's how the brain interprets the, I guess the oscillation of specific energy levels within each spectrum of light. 

Andy Mant:
So for instance, like the violet sort of blue spectrum, which is about 380 to about 560 nanometers oscillates at a specific frequency, which allows the brain to tell that that is that color. Then you run up from say 560 to about 595 which is your blue turquoise light. Then you have some cyan in there as well. And then you go through to the green spectrums, which is your 500 to 570. Then you run into yellows 570 plus, then your oranges and reds. But light's very interesting because number one, each color of light has a different property and how it interacts and sort of impacts hormones within the human physiological system. But also there's two different types of light. Okay, so you've got visible light, which we can see. Our brain interprets the energy levels packaged into that light to show us what color it is. 

Andy Mant:
Think of a rainbow, that's all the colors that are given out the sun. But there's also invisible light. And invisible light is also very important because the eye and brain can pick these up, but it doesn't distinguish a color in them. So this is for instance UV light and infrared light. Both have really, really amazing beneficial properties when it comes to hormone, vitamin production and things like that. So for instance, UV light plays a very important role in two ways in the human system. Number one, it is basically a precursor that when it hits our skin, it mixes with something called cholesterol that then produces something called vitamin D. And people that have high levels of vitamin D typically have lower all cause mortality rates than someone who has lower vitamin D. So very important to get. UV also plays a very important role in what kind of electrical current runs through our body. 

Andy Mant:
So in line with I guess what the earth submits as well, like you would have heard, your community probably would have heard you talk about grounding and ground to the earth to get DC electric current through the body. UV light is actually the only frequency of light that passes through the eyes and mixes with something called DHA, which is found in very large quantities in the eye. And this chemical reaction that happens in the eye where UV light synthesizes with DHA actually produces high levels of DC electric current within the body. So from a mitochondrial standpoint and lowering of inflammation standpoint, people probably want to be throwing away their sunglasses and allowing some level of UV light to pass through their eyes so it can synthesize with that DHA build up within the eye to actually help more with that DC current formation.

Andy Mant:
Infrared light for instance, a fantastic frequency of light that's again emitted by the sun in large quantities in the morning and the evening. Now infrared light is a healing light. It penetrates the deepest of all the lights, gets right into the muscle and really helps people with repair of any, I guess oxidative species that may be a formed inflammation during the day. And this is why you see the rise of red light devices on the market because the infrared properties heals and it's been scientifically proven that it heals. And light plays a very important role like I said, with the different colors of light. So blue for instance, is a fantastic color of lights when it's in the sun because what it does is it increases dopamine levels. It helps to synthesize serotonin in the gut, which later is mixed with tryptophan to produce melatonin in the absence of blue and green light after dark. 

Andy Mant:
And it also makes us feel alert and awake. It spikes your cortisol in the morning to make you, jumpstart you out of bed and make you feel alert and alive. But on the flip side, blue light has a lot of high energy, so it damages cells in the body and the eyes. But the thing is when you're out in full spectrum sunlight, sun has a lot of it, like I said, infrared light, which cures that inflammation. Red light that's visible actually cures inflammation and any other damage to the cells that has been caused by blue light. So this is where you have like a juxtaposition with artificial light in so much that artificial light is very high in blue, very high in green, but has very minimal red light. So we're exposing ourselves from an inflammational standpoint to a lot of artificial blue light. And then we're not getting any of the restorative benefits of red light to actually be able to heal any of the damage done. 

Andy Mant:
Because nature is very clever. There's damage that happens during the day and then they have periods of time, nature provides periods of time when there's repair. And the fact that we're living now in an environment devoid of any kind of darkness actually doesn't allow our body to basically repair, produce apoptosis and autophagy naturally because we need darkness and levels of fasting to be able to actually implement that correctly. And we need good sleep to be able to clear out any byproducts that's happened during the day. So light is very interesting and it's, all we've got to remember is not all light is created equal. And when we try and mimic sunlight like we've done with the creation of LED backlit digital devices, and we've thrown away incandescent light bulbs, we've created this environment where we're living under alien suns. Loads of little aliens suns indoors that don't contain the specific spectrums of light that humankind has actually evolved under for millions of years, which has really led to us becoming sicker, fatter, unhealthier and are basically a population of humans that can't sleep. 

Melanie Avalon:
That is so fascinating. I had not considered before because I had been learning about our overexposure to blue light and all of that stuff, but I hadn't really considered the idea that when we're getting it naturally from the sun that it is, you're getting the whole light spectrum. You're not just getting the processed form of it. It's kind of like processed food versus whole foods in a way. Something else you touched on that I just wanted to ask you briefly about. It's so fascinating you were talking about the DHA in the eye and UV light and things like that. So I wore contacts my whole life. I listened to a podcast interview and he was saying that wearing contacts was actually a problem because it did block some light and your eyes actually needed the light. And that's actually what convinced me. I got LASIK surgery right after that. And then speaking to your point, I didn't realize after LASIK they were like, "You have to be on a DHA supplement." So now it all makes sense. I just learned so much. 

Andy Mant:
There you go. Now you know the sort of I guess the ins and outs as to why I guess the LASIK surgery, why you had that DHA supplementation because the DHA levels in the eye would have been degraded and you wouldn't have had as much in that to be able to obviously react how it's meant to react with the UV light. And that's the one thing that's so bad about contact lenses is almost, I would say probably 99.9% of them on the market filter UV light, which is probably the worst thing you can do. So I'm always a firm believer of saying, "Get rid of the contacts. Get the surgery if you need to, or at least wear glasses outside." And just ask, I know UV tints and coat's put on them. But then yeah, like you said, you've got to be careful because no matter what you put in front of your eye, you are going to be filtering some sort of light. 

Andy Mant:
It's all very well wearing blue light blocking glasses or filtering glasses inside. But even standard glass filters frequencies of light as well. When you actually look at a window for instance, just a normal window that's in your house or in your office, and you stick a spectrometer outside that window and then record what the frequencies of light are and then record the frequencies of light on a spectrometer with the window closed from inside a building, it's very different in terms of how the spectral density and frequencies of light actually pass through that window. 

Andy Mant:
So it's not the same as blocking the blue light or filtering it down, but it has some impact. Like it's all very well sitting in a naturally well-lit office, but it's not going to be the same as being sat outside allowing sunlight to be able to touch your skin and to be able to pass through your eyes in order to send messages that will be photo transducted and transcribed to the super charismatic nucleus to tell the time and secrete specific hormones. But you're not going to be able to go out there and get the actual benefits of the healing properties of the light as well as the essential blue during the day as well. 

Melanie Avalon:
Yeah. So just speaking with you now, so it's clearly a very complicated nuance picture because I feel like a lot of people assume, especially with like UV, that we should be blocking that all the time. Now we're talking with you, we're learning that actually we do want some sort of UV exposure at least in a healthy dose. And then on the flip side, we're talking about blue light blocking glasses. And people might think, okay so block all the blue light all the time. But clearly it's much more nuanced than that. It seems to be more about our modern environment clearly is not a "natural" light exposure environment. So it's like how can we hack that environment to return it in a way to the most natural form. Which speaking of, so what would the typical light exposure with these wavelengths look like before the advent of modern technology? When we first just started having the light bulb, was that a significant shift for them? Was there another shift maybe with incandescent lights and then modern technology. Were there big major changes or what does that look like? 

Andy Mant:
Yeah, absolutely. Let's start back from ancestral times and we can come onto the UV side later as well if you'd like because there's a lot of context that needs to be applied to that, before people strip off naked, throw their sunglasses away and don't wear sunscreen. So we can cover that one a bit later as well. So yes. So let's start from the beginning. Okay. So ancestrally speaking, this is how our ancestors we can predict would have lived that day. Okay, so they would have got up with the sunrise. That sunrise would have triggered dopamine, serotonin and cortisol levels to increase, which would have basically jump-started them into their day. They would have then probably risen and probably done their hunting during the morning and probably the evening as well. We'll come on to that because it was probably the cooler part of the day and it was more likely that the animals would be out at that time of the day for the same reason. 

Andy Mant:
So they would have done that. During the day they would have remained outside. They probably would have sought the shade during hot periods of time, but they still would have been exposed to a lot of natural light at different frequencies. The sun would have started to set. And as the sun starts to set, this is when, and a lot of people don't know this. This is when blue light's at its highest because a lot of people think sunset, reds and oranges. Yeah, post sunset that's correct. But about 20 minutes before the sunsets, and I've tested this on a spectrometer. So I've got the evidence to back this up. Blue light completely spikes, which is the message that is sent to our brain that blue light is going to actually decrease to almost nothing and we can start getting into, our bodies into a state of relaxation repair and melatonin secretion. 

Melanie Avalon:
Oh my goodness. You're blowing my mind right now. Okay. Okay. Sorry. My mind is being blown and now I'm re-evaluating how I'm wearing my glasses. So we'll have to talk about this. 

Andy Mant:
I was absolutely shocked when I theorized that this would be the case. And when I actually tested it, it was bizarre. I tested actually in Sri Lanka over Christmas and I recorded, because I've got a spectrometer. It's lab grade, it's thousands of dollars. This is the best bit of kit that you can possibly buy to measure light. And about an hour before sunset and about half an hour after sunset, every 10 minutes I tested the spectral frequencies given out by sun. And blue light, about an hour before decreased and it carried on decreasing. And then about 20 minutes before the sun scheduled sunset, it's spiked really, really high. And then just completely crushed to nothing after about 20 minutes after. And it was, I did this maybe three, four nights in a row and got the same readings every time. It was the most bizarre thing ever, but what we predicted would happen.

Andy Mant:
It was something that had been theorized as a decrescendo effect that the brain would basically, this message of a sharp spike in blue is the message that is sent to the brain to say that's the highest point of blue. Everything after that is going to be less until it's devoid. So yeah, it was absolutely fascinating. So our ancestors would have saw that because they would have been outside. Okay, so I'm not saying look directly at the sun, just being outside at that point in time is enough. And then what would have happened is the sun would've set. And about 10 to 20 minutes after the sunset, all these restorative frequencies of orange and red light would have come out, which would've helped our ancestors heal from any of the inflammation that happened during the day from the blue light. 

Andy Mant:
And then they would have lit a campfire a case. So the campfire would have been very yellow, orange, and red in color. There's no blue or green light present in fire. Again, we've spectral tested candles and fire light and it's a beautiful upward curve from yellow all the way up to very, very high frequencies of red, which is really good because red doesn't impact melatonin and it also heals and repairs. And then the cycle would have repeated the next day with our ancestors. And then what happened was we invented light bulb. So Mr. Edison came along and however he founded it, whether he ripped it off Tesla or he invented it himself, who knows, he created the light bulbs. Okay. And they were really like incandescent bulbs and these sort of minor improvements happened over the next 80 years in these bulbs. 

Andy Mant:
But in essence they gave out the same frequencies of light from when they were first invented, which is very similar to fire lights. Okay. They were very, very high in yellow, orange and red and they had hardly any blue and green light present in them. So as we mentioned earlier, the only two frequencies of light that impact melatonin levels to disrupt our sleep is blue and green. And blue and green in the day also causes damage to the eyes when your eyes are not seeing any of the red light to restore it. So back in the day, we wouldn't have had all these electronic devices. We would've had just a house light that we would have put on and maybe some street lamps eventually, but they didn't give out vast quantities of blue and green light. And then came a revolution probably in the late eighties maybe early nineties when global warming started to become this key talking point. 

Andy Mant:
I mean, it still is to this day where people were like, "Wow, we need to look at energy efficiency and how much energy we're using." So what they did was they created something called LEDs, which then got placed into light bulbs, which saved energy. Because incandescent run on a specific current that basically pump light out all the time, but they wouldn't last a very long time and they'd lose a lot of energy. Whereas LED lighting for instance, sends in current of sort of pulses. Okay. So this come onto flicker in a little bit, which is a major issue, which then obviously saved the amount of energy it was using, saved money in people's pockets. But the difference between LEDs and incandescent was LEDs basically got rid of all the red light and put in this higher energy blue light, which created this sort of brighter environment, allowed more illumination, which made things a lot better for people. 

Andy Mant:
They could see a lot better. Kept them alert and awake during the day, but they didn't really understand what the health consequences could be. So the two major differences I guess to surmise is incandescent lights were high in red and they didn't pulse. Okay, they didn't flicker. Whereas LED lights flicker and they have high blue light. And we know that high energy light in the blue range disrupts our sleep and damages our eyes. So we basically, we've taken all the restorative light away from our lives and just replaced it with damaging blue light. But we've also got to remember that in the late nineties as well and into the two thousands the electronic revolution really saw the implementation of LEDs into a lot of different things. So TVs became better, high definition came out. We suddenly started putting lights in our fridge. 

Andy Mant:
Laptops became more powerful. Smartphones came out. You and I probably wouldn't have had smart phones when we were growing up, whereas now kids are exposing themselves to a mini sun that they're pushing in their face eight, nine hours a day. Appliances started to be revolutionized like your dishwasher, your microwave, your ovens all had digital LED displays on them. Car headlights decided to put in LED lights and now they've stripped that out and put Zen on them, which is even worse than LED lights. It's more brighter and more pungent in the blue levels. So as you can see, it's these problems have really started to arise post nineties and you can really see it start to happen now. 

Andy Mant:
I mean, obviously correlation and causation are dangerous grounds to get into. But if you're looking at that kind of thing, you can see a very large rise in what I guess the dieting community called metabolic diseases, which I actually call circadian diseases where we've basically created our planet to be devoid of darkness and just full of daytime blue light 24/7 which has just wreaked havoc on our hormones and sleep. And caused us to not be able to sleep properly, not be able to repair properly, which has left us open to a rise in things like cancers, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. And I know it's definitely not just one thing that causes these things, but blue light has become a major factor alongside with lack of good quality produce and diet, along with lack of good exercise. And along with working 9:00 to 5:00 in highly stressful environments that has led to a lot of this circadian mismatch disease epidemic that we're seeing today. 

Melanie Avalon:
That is shocking. Oh my goodness, there's so much there. So follow up question. How would these like the circadian rhythm and being thrown off and things like that, I know we're talking about like a massive amount of exposure to blue light being a problem. But how minute of an exposure to blue light at the "incorrect" time creates issues with the natural rhythm? So like if you wake up in the middle of the night and you're speaking about like the lack of darkness in our modern world. If you wake up in the middle of the night and you quickly check your phone for like one second and just get a shot of blue light into your eyes, is that enough to completely mess up your clock? Like how much of a exposure has these effects? 

Andy Mant:
Yeah. Great question. And in answer to your question in a nutshell, yeah. Any kind of exposure no matter how quick is going to disrupt your circadian rhythm. Obviously someone that just checks their phone once in the night is going to basically tell their brain that it's midday. So the frequencies of light that are pumped out by LEDs is typically a similar message to what the sun would send your brain as solar noon. So when you're basically looking at all your devices at various points during the day, you're continually sending messages to your brain that it's solar noon and to specifically secrete or suppress hormones in neurotransmitters around about that time that would naturally occur. 

Andy Mant:
So what happens is when ... and this is why it was so important for me to develop a pair or different pairs of blue light blocking glasses, specifically the ones that you wear after dark, that completely 100% eradicated blue light and also everything in the green spectrum up to 550 nanometers. Because the brain doesn't care if you block 99% or 1% of artificial light after dark, just a small enough, small amount of light in that range, 400 to 550 nanometers is enough to basically spark a message to your brain that, okay, it's solar noon now. Melatonin levels don't need to be as high as they need to be. And then you'll just get really crappy quality sleep as well because your brain isn't, and body isn't in a state of repair. 

Andy Mant:
It's now gone into this state of alert. Cortisol levels have probably shot through the roof because the, whilst you sleep it's waiting for that sun to rise in the morning to give you that cortisol awakening response. But you've done it at 2:00 AM when you've rolled over and looked at your phone. It's the exact reason why my phone is completely bio hacked and it's completely red. Night-shift mode doesn't work because it doesn't reduce all blue light. It doesn't block blue light. We've tested it on a spectrometer. So we've created a hack where we can turn our phone completely red. And so it doesn't interfere, should I get an emergency call in the night and need to take it. I also have red light bulbs put into my bedroom and bathroom because if I need to switch on the light at night, maybe a burglar is trying to get in or maybe I need to go to the bathroom. 

Andy Mant:
Hopefully it's the latter. I don't have to disrupt my circadian rhythm beating that burglar or going to use the bathroom in the night. So you've just got to put hacks in from a circadian standpoint. I mean for instance, look at your ancestors. If they were sleeping during the night and instead of a burglar, a lion came in to try and eat them or they wanted to get up and use the bathroom, which is probably a tree outside of their cave, would they have had blue light present? No, their camp fire would have still been going. They would've stoked at that fire to get rid of the lion and the fire would have been enough to see to not trip over a log and find a tree to take a whiz by. So we got to actually think, well how would our ancestors would've lived. 

Andy Mant:
So that's why I have red light in my bathroom and I have red light in my bedroom. That's why my phone is bio hacked to only give out red light after sunset. So you just got to be very careful with the type of light you're exposing yourself to at different points of the day. And this brings me in to also mention that until 18 months ago, we thought that the eye was the main gateway to basically send messages from light to our central clock mechanism. And 18 months ago, they found that a specific opsin that they only thought was present in the eye, which is melanopsin. So melanopsin in a nutshell is the photo receptor that is sensitive to blue light. And it takes up blue light and it photo transcribes it into messages to various clock systems within the body. 

Andy Mant:
And what they found was that melanopsin is now actually present in the skin and fat cells. So if you're wearing your BLUblox sleep plus glasses after dark, but you're watching TV and exposing your skin to that TV, you're again not going to get optimal melatonin secretion because melanopsin that is present within the skin is taking that blue light and sending messages to various clock systems within the body to tell the time that it's daytime. So you're wearing these blue light blocking glasses, which is telling your central clock, oh it's nighttime, brilliant, melatonin. But your skin's clock system and various other clock systems that are impacted through the skin basically thinks it's midday. So you've got this whole mismatch going on. And then I always like to describe the clock system as an orchestra. You've got your master clock in the brain, which is the conductor, and then you've got all these little clock systems within every cell of your body that are the orchestra. 

Andy Mant:
And if they're not all playing in tune, you're going to have problems. So if your liver clock isn't in tune, you're going to have liver problems. If your pancreas clock isn't functioning correctly, your insulin secretion is going to be all over the place. If your cortisol clock is all messed up, then you're going to have things like anxiety, stress, depression. And there was a really interesting theory that came out regards skin cancer. And this probably segues nicely into the UV light that we were talking about earlier. That UV light is brilliant during the day because it helps produce vitamin D, but light blue light, UV light causes damage. It causes cell damage. It's a fact. We've seen the evidence out there that too much UV exposure causes cell damage. Now what was discovered about five months ago in the lab was that the skin has its own independent clock system. 

Andy Mant:
Okay. So by that it means that it has its own system that isn't influenced by the master clock system, which is in the brain. And it has two phases. It has a daylight phase where blue light basically causes the skin to be active, but it also has a circadian phase where it goes into repair mode, which is darkness, which is in essence physiological darkness, which Phelps [Etao 00:40:33] 2002 coined, which is the absence of blue and green light up to 550 nanometers. And during this phase, the skin goes into repair mode. So any UV light damage or blue light damage or pollution damage, et cetera, that's happened to the skin during the day needs darkness, which is coined as no blue and green light after sunset to be able to repair. So what are we doing after a day sunbathing or being out in the sun? 

Andy Mant:
Yeah, we're getting the UV damage. But we're coming home and then exposing our skin to blue light so it can't ever go into repair mode. Because it can't go into repair mode, damaged cells within the body that can't be repaired or cleared out through the autophagy and apoptosis pathways could mutate and could form cancers and melanomas. So the theory in the light community is that UV light is very much demonized like cholesterol is demonized in the dietary community. And cholesterol is blamed for clogging up your arteries, whereas it's the inflammation that is the problem and cholesterol is just doing its job. Whereas in the light community, UV is just doing its job. Yeah, it's causing a little bit of damage, but we're not allowing ourselves to go into these dark states where there's no blue and green light for us and to be able to repair. 

Andy Mant:
So it's all very well me saying go outside and get it on of UV light and that's going to be great for your vitamin D levels. But yeah, it's going to damage your skin. But if you go home and switch on your house lights, you're probably going to get skin cancer after a while if you do that and don't wear any sunscreen outside. So you've got to apply context to absolutely everything with light. It's a dangerous thing if you get it wrong. But you know what, it's not actually that difficult thing to understand when you actually go and get the science and look at it from a more objective standpoint. 

Melanie Avalon:
This is so fascinating and you literally read my mind. That was my next question was exposure to the skin versus the eyes and was that plenty a factor? And apparently it is. So that is crazy. I do have some followup questions about what you were speaking about. So with the phones, I had actually heard that for example, dimming the phone was actually worse because it would do that via the flickering that we aren't consciously registering the flickering but that's the way the phone dims. Are you familiar with this idea? 

Andy Mant:
Yeah, that's absolutely correct. And it's funny because a few people have come to me saying that when I turn the brightness up on my laptop screen and I video it in slow mo, the flickering stops. And it's like well it doesn't stop. It reduces it definitely. So dimmer lights, actually dimming your laptop or your phone screen is actually going to cause more in terms of what your eye sees as flicker. And flicker is really bad because it really negatively impacts the neurological system. And from a personal anecdotal, an equals one side of things, I used to suffer really badly from migraines. I haven't had one in three years now. Whereas I used to get them monthly and I believe like a lot of that was the flicker effect of my laptop and phone screen. I barely use my phone now. I use it maybe for an hour a day if I want to do a bit of scrolling or post something on the social. 

Andy Mant:
But I installed something on my laptop called Iris tech. I think it's about $20 a year to buy a license. And it's similar to something called f.lux, which is what a lot of people use. But what Iris does is it actually completely eradicates flicker. I don't know how they've done it. It's a Bulgarian software engineer that's created this thing. We've tested it ourselves as well in the lab and it actually eradicates all flicker. So ever since putting that on and protecting my eyes from excessive blue light exposure and actually getting more red light, I've eradicated migraines for the last three years. So flicker is a real thing. Dimming lights is not a good thing. And this is one of the reasons why we've also got a new product coming out as well in the next six weeks, which is a flicker free LED light bulb, which I don't believe has been achieved fully yet in other walks of life. 

Andy Mant:
So you might have red light in your house, brilliant. But if it's LED it's going to flicker. Whereas we've managed to put a switchboard within LED light bulbs to be able to transfer the current and actually flicker and completely eradicate EMF as well. So you just got to be careful. The blue light yeah is a major problem, but the flickering of those lights is also an issue as well. So you just got to be careful and cognizant that you don't dim your lights on your digital devices because that's just going to intensify it. But also dimming of your houselights is an issue as well. Because when you actually have a dimmer installed into LED lights, the EMF frequency and dirty electricity associated with those lights is actually hundreds of times higher than if you just flick a light on or off. 

Andy Mant:
So people have got to be very careful that they might think, oh, I'll just dim the lights and it's not as much blue light. Yeah, you're going to get more flicker and more EMF and more dirty electricity, which is probably worse than blue light when it comes to inflammation and causing major issues with the cells and mitochondria in your body. So there's all these little hacks that people try and do, but you've got to just make sure that you're listening to the right people and you're actually thinking critically about these things because sometimes a quick hack isn't always the best hack. But there are definitely hacks out there, which we can talk about later that are free and also not very costly to be able to do. And a lot of things, I guess from a checklist standpoint to look at when you're actually looking to get things like blue light glasses or get things like light bulbs or salt lamps, et cetera. 

Melanie Avalon:
You are making me so excited right now because I use f.lux. I will definitely be getting Iris tech. Oh my goodness. So for listeners, I'll be putting links to all of this in the show notes. And again the show notes will be at melanieavalon.com/light. So there will be links to everything we're talking about there and I got really excited hearing about your light bulbs. Oh my goodness. I will probably be one of your first customers on that. And I do have another question. So you were talking about using red lights for example in your bathroom at night. I as well. So I don't have red lights in the bathroom, but I have a nightlight that is only red in the bathroom. Question about that. I know you were talking at the beginning about how there were these amber or red glasses that were not actually blocking the amount of blue light that they were saying that they were blocking. 

Melanie Avalon:
How intuitive is our perception of how much blue light there is at any given time? And what I mean by that is a person might put on those red light glasses that are supposedly blocking blue light and they might feel like they don't see anything blue. But apparently testing the different glasses showed they block different amounts. And that same phrase, so like in my bathroom I have this red light. I'm looking at it. It just seems to be just red light. But could it still have blue light in it that I'm not aware of? So how much we rely on what we actually see compared to the actual amount of blue light there?

Andy Mant:
Yeah, it makes complete sense. And you wouldn't know unless you tested things with a spectrometer which people can't afford to do and wouldn't want to do anyway. You're going around testing everything and everywhere. And people don't want to spend thousands of dollars on this bit of equipment. This is why it's always very important that you seek out a company and whether it be BLUblox or whether it be another company that talks about the science and can back it up and has spectral tested everything to partner with those types of people. Because this is why we've evolved our offering. We started off with just blue light glasses and now we've got sleep mask, we're having red light bulbs, we're having red light therapy devices, and everything that have all been tested and run through our lab. 

Andy Mant:
So it's having that peace of mind and taking away all the years of research that I guess myself and my team have done on light and EMFs and basically producing a product that you don't have to worry about. You don't have to go, "Oh, I've got a test this. Does it have this, that and the other?" You need to ... It's that the spectral tests and results are all over every product we have on our website so people can see the exact frequencies. And if people choose to go with another company, that's totally fine. But just make sure that when you go to buy a product, ask some questions. Just say like, "Well what frequencies of light does this give out? Can I see the spectral test results for this?" And what you'll find is that 99% of the time people will look at you with their jaw open, basically being like, "What are you on about?" Because they don't know anything. 

Andy Mant:
They're just selling it and know nothing about the science. But you might find that one or two companies that turn around and say, "Yep, here's the spectral test results. Have a look at them." And away you go. I mean, for instance, our red light bulb, we've completely mimicked the sleep plus blocking capabilities in our glasses. So you've got the glasses on blocking up to 550 nanometers and you've got a red light bulb that lets in light post 550 nanometers into the red range. So you've got the double whammy. Whereas if you went to your local hardware store, I don't really know what that might be in the US, maybe home Depot or something. It's Bunnings over here in Australia. And go and just grab a random red light bulb, sort of 50/50 chance that it could all be giving out red light. It could contain a little bit of blue in there or green. You just don't know unless you test it with a spectrometer. 

Andy Mant:
And that's why it's always important that no matter what you buy and where you buy it, do your due diligence and the tools to do that are quite simple. We've spoken about nanometers. If you're out looking for a red light bulb, you want to make sure that all light below 550 nanometers is not emitted by a light bulb. And if the shop can tell you that, brilliant. Get that light bulb. But if they can't tell you that, you're flipping a coin as to whether it has all red light or whether it has some other frequencies of light in there as well. So it's up to people to ask these sort of more intuitive and investigative questions when looking for these products. And the same is true for blue light glasses. If you can find a pair from company that isn't mine that blocks exactly 100% between 400 and 550 nanometers, and you prefer to go with that company, go for it. 

Andy Mant:
I just want to empower people through education. But ask the question and make sure you see the spectral test reports from those companies before you buy the glasses. Because they might claim certain things on their website, but unless you have that being backed up by independent test results which we have, you're basically taking a salesman's word for it. So just make sure that you do your due diligence, you ask these specific questions and any company that has strong ethics and integrity and scientific background will pull these things out and show you them within minutes of asking because they should be readily available anyway. But when you actually look at a lot of these blue light blocking glasses companies, they conveniently hide this information or they put on their website, we block 98% in this range. 

Andy Mant:
It's not enough. It's got to be 100%. So just ask those right questions in order to, in any kind of light product, to make sure you're getting the right thing. And the same is true for things like light bulbs and red light therapy devices. Find out how much EMF is emitted by those devices, how much flicker is emitted by those devices. What frequencies of the red and infrared are being given out? Do they match up with what the literature is saying that it should line up to? And all this information if people, because I'm literally unloading my brain here. If people want to go back and actually look at specific things I'm saying, then check out my blog. I'm on BLUblox.com. Because I blog about all this in specific blog segments. So people might want to go, "Oh, I'm interested in buying blue light glasses." 

Andy Mant:
Go to the how to choose the best blue light blocking glasses based on scientific studies blog I've written. If people want to look up red light therapy, have a look at what to look for in red light therapy devices. This is all on the website and people can dive in and have a read at their leisure as well. So yeah, people have just got to be very aware Melanie, that when they're actually putting in some of these hacks to get the right things. Because I'd hate for people to buy cheap and then they have to buy twice. They want to be going to a company that may charge a little bit more than some cheap stuff that you might find on Amazon or eBay. But the difference is you're paying for the years of research that people have put into these products by paying a little bit more and you're going to be completely have peace of mind that they're doing exactly what they say on the tin. 

Melanie Avalon:
Yes, exactly. Which brings us back to that question I had at the beginning from a listener about can't I just get this cheap one on Amazon? And I'm like, "Not exactly." I've been a huge proponent of red light and near infrared therapy for a while and that's what I get that question all the time. Like can't I just find a cheap version of this somewhere? And I'm like, "I'm sorry." It's really important to do your research and have confidence in the company and make sure that they are doing their testing and they are creating the product that's creating the exact wavelengths you need. I think that's so huge. 

Melanie Avalon:
Speaking of, I do have one quick question about the red light before, some questions about the glasses themselves. Is it also the case with red light exposure where because naturally as you're speaking about, historically we would be exposed to red light exposure and near infrared at certain times of the day. But because that is a healing therapeutic light, is it okay to be using that more than we would naturally have been exposed to? So like if a person has a red light therapy device, is there a problem to using it throughout the day at times when they wouldn't normally have been exposed to that type of flight? 

Andy Mant:
Yeah, I think that's a really good question and I think that there's not a lot of studies that are out there that show the negative consequences of utilizing such devices at specific times of the day. But what we can do is we can theorize this based on what we know about blue light and what we know about light in general. That these devices, so your near infrared, far infrared, red light therapy devices should really be looked at from an ancestral standpoint. When is infrared and red light at its most prominent? And that is at sunrise and sunsets and then maybe an hour post sunset. So for me personally, and again this is just a caveat, this is probably not science. It's more anecdotal and using I guess what studies we know of in different areas to basically theorize what could be an issue. 

Andy Mant:
If you're using your red light therapy device, I would typically suggest using it. I think you'd be fine using it 100% at sunrise and sunset. I think that's probably the most optimal time to use it because that's when the infrared and the red light is at it's most strongest in the sun. Obviously there's no infrared or very minimal infrared light present after, a long time after sunset and during the night. So I typically wouldn't use an infrared light therapy device after sunset. And this is, I guess if you used it during the day, you'd probably be fine. So between sunrise and sunset, I think it'd be fine because there's always infrared light present just in various different degrees. And this is one of the reasons why with our red light therapy device, we've done something that everyone else hasn't done. Okay. So we've got, yeah, we've got the infrared and we've got the red light in our therapy device. 

Andy Mant:
We've stripped out all the EMF, we've stripped out all the flicker, we run it off a battery. So there's no dirty electric or anything like that. But what we've done is we've incorporated a switch in the device that allows you to have either infrared or red light or both of them at the same time. So you can actually program it to having them at different points at the times of the day. So for instance, at sunrise and sunset, you might want to put both on the infrared and the red light because that's when those two light sources are present. But say you want to use your red light therapy device 7:00 to 10:00 o'clock at night because you know the actual visible frequencies of red light are great at the surface level for fine line wrinkles, collagen production in the skin, et cetera. 

Andy Mant:
But you don't want to have the infrared light on because infrared light naturally and ancestrally isn't present at that time of the day. But red light was present at that time in a day ancestrally because of campfires. So you can actually just switch on our device and go, "Right, I just want read today." And bang, you can have the red. So I think that if you've got a generic device that gives out both infrared and red light and you can't toggle between the two, just be cognizant to probably trying to mimic ancestrally when you would've received that dose of light. And don't have it on two to three hours before bed in complete darkness because infrared light naturally isn't present at that time. 

Melanie Avalon:
Gotcha. Thank you so much. That is so helpful. And so those red light devices, you don't currently have those available, right? 

Andy Mant:
They will be out probably in about two months. So you're probably looking at middle of May they'll be produced. So we've had them manufactured, they're made. We're just sorting out some sexy packaging for them at the moment. That takes a little bit of time to get it good. 

Melanie Avalon:
Gotcha. Okay. So this is perfect timing because we're speaking about how to make all of your light exposure most likely mimic the way we naturally would have been exposed to these various types of light. So now I'm completely reevaluating my personal, the way I wear the different glasses during the day. Because like I said, I own the three different types. The clear ones where it doesn't change the way that you actually see the world. This would be a good time I guess for you to talk about the actual glasses that you offer. And then the more, the yellow type ones that block more. And then there's the really red toned ones that right before bed. So the way I've been doing it is when it starts getting, like when the sun starts going down, I wear the clear ones and then I transition to the more yellow ones. 

Melanie Avalon:
And then right before bed is when I put on the ones that block out all the sleep plus, all of the blue. So what is the ideal pattern though of wearing the glasses? Especially because you were talking about that spike that happened. So now I'm like, "Oh no, am I missing that?" And also I have one of those high light for like seasonal affective disorder, but like the devices that put out a lot of light. I use that in the morning. So what is the ideal way to wear the different glasses to most effectively mimic our natural light exposure? 

Andy Mant:
Yeah, absolutely. A good question. And it is context applied during what season you're in. Okay. So you guys are in winter going into spring now. So let me talk about it from that perspective to start with. Because a lot of people, due to the nonsense that is daylight savings and the 9:00 to 5:00 working week has really sort of screwed us up in terms of being able to get out watching the sunrise in the winter months. Hence why we've now got this advent of seasonal affective disorder, high stress and anxiety levels in those winter months. Because we're literally no longer ever seeing the sun. We're going to work in the dark, we're sitting under artificial light and we're coming over in the dark. So this is why there's seasonal affective disorder and then we have things like SAD lamps that people use that might give them a short term fix, but in the long run is really going to drive cortisol level, sorry, cortisol clock systems to really become impaired. 

Andy Mant:
So the best way to run it in winter is that yeah, you're going to have to get up before the sun rises. It's just the fact of the matter and the society we live in. And that's when I would wear my red sleep plus blue light blocking glasses. I would wear them before the sunrises in the winter months. And then once I am at a place where the sun is rising, so this is either at the point that the sun is rising or an hour after or anywhere in between. I would be outside with my naked eyes looking, doesn't have to be directly at the sun if that's not what you want to do. But looking, just being outside for a couple of minutes. And that will send the appropriate light cues to your brain to get those dopamine levels and serotonin levels higher. 

Andy Mant:
The sun doesn't have to be out. It can be cloudy, you're still going to get the benefits of the light even though it's coming through clouds. And it's that point of the day that people in winter are now missing out on, which is contributing to the seasonal affective disorder. Because we're missing out on the serotonin. We're missing out on this dopamine, and we're missing out on the correct spiking of cortisol. So what happens in the winter is we wake up in the morning and we flick on our house lights and we immediately tell our brain it's midday. So we've missed out on all that amazing serotonin and dopamine level production that happens from the frequencies of light and the composition that are present in sun. It's not simple as just blue light's going to raise it. The infrared light that's there, the red, the greens, the yellows, the orange, everything. It's going to spike those hormones and neurotransmitters and you're going to miss out on it if you switch on that light in the morning.

Andy Mant:
Yeah, you might feel alert because it will hit your cortisol levels high, but you know it's not the natural way to do it. So first step, blue light blocking glasses in the morning. Sun rises, get outside and watch that sunrise for a couple of minutes. Now people say, "Yeah, but I'll be at work at that time." Fine. What do smokers do? They got and have smoke breaks. Just say to your boss, "I'm having a sun break. I'm going outside at this time during the day." And they'll probably look at you a bit weird, but it's your health that you're looking after. And if they won't let you go out for a sun break, just say you're going out to smoke and don't smoke. Just get outside. 

Andy Mant:
Then during the winter months, you need to be out at midday as well. So don't eat your lunch in the canteen under artificial light. We know that eating food under artificial light raises insulin levels. Why would you want to do that? Your glucose levels are going to be through the roof. Get outside in the sunlight. If it's raining, just at least be on the cover somewhere where you can look out and you can see natural light. And that will send more cues to your brain for specific hormones and neuro transmitters. And it will also help you digest and partition the macronutrients you're eating better as well. So if weight loss is your goal, aesthetics, eating outside is unequivocal evidence out there that it helps with the partition of the macronutrients and helps with digestion of carbohydrate, if that's your fancy. 

Andy Mant:
And then I would be outside again at sunset. If you're working during the office in sunsets, 4:00 or 5:00 o'clock, then again get outside. Look out the window, get on the balcony, get outside, couple of minutes is all you need. Yeah it might be cold out there, but the benefits of cold are absolutely amazing as well for mental wellbeing and health. So those are the things you want to be doing from getting outside standpoint. And in the winter, you're going to be exposed to a hell of a lot more artificial blue light than you would be during the summer months because some of that is probably a lot more natural light coming in through your windows. You don't necessarily need to have on LED lights during the day because it's not as gloomy. So in the winter you need to be wearing during the day yellow glasses. Okay. So these are yellow lenses that filter out about 50% of the blue light. And you need to do that because you're exposed to a hell of a lot more of blue light. 

Andy Mant:
So you need to be wearing those. The clear glass is block about, sorry, filter about 30% of the light. So they're great for the summer months during the day. So yellow is during the day, when inside exposed to artificial light you would wear those. And we call them summer glow because what we've done is we've taken yellow lenses that typically filter down the correct frequencies of blue light, but we've also infused it with a specific yellow tint that has been proven in the literature to act as a stimulant to boost mood. And yellow the specific tint of yellow that we've actually put on top of the blue light protection in those summer glow assets has been shown to actually help people feel happier when they're feeling down. So a lot of people call them the happy glasses as well. So they're great for the winter months. Now obviously I've just said to be outside at that sunset period, so your body would have received the information that the blue light has spiked and it's going to cascade down to zero levels post sunset. 

Andy Mant:
So you've already got that in. So then what you do is once that sun has finished setting, your read sleep plus lenses need to go straight on. There's no transition period. They need to go straight on. And it's difficult for people that live in Iceland because that time might be 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon. But ancestrally, what would your ancestors have seen at that time of the day? They wouldn't have seen blue light. So get those red glasses on and filter out all the blue and most of the green light. And then obviously make sure you've got the red light bulbs in the house and things like that. And then go to bed when you want to go to bed. And that's another thing when it comes to winter and summer is that sleep is seasonal. Every other animal has seasonal sleep, whether it's from the extreme of hibernation in winter months or longer hours of sleeping. 

Andy Mant:
And the same is true for humans. The best thing we can do is throw out the advice of like eight hours of sleep a night. It's the same as saying you've got to have eight serves of carbohydrate a day. It's just nonsense. It's the quality and type that you need to be taking in if that's what you want to do. And it's the same with sleep. It comes down to quality and it comes down to seasonality as well. You can get by and function a lot better with less sleep during the summer months and you actually need more sleep during the winter months. So don't worry if you're in bed by 8:00, 9:00 o'clock in the evening in the winter. And equally don't worry if you're in bed by 10:00, 11:00 o'clock at night in the summer, as long as you're going to bed in line with your circadian rhythms. 

Melanie Avalon:
Okay, so some quick followup questions about that while we're talking about the winter. The summer glow glasses, wear those all day.

Andy Mant:
All day when under artificial light. Take them off when you're outside. 

Melanie Avalon:
And what about, is that going to block out that natural spike of blue light that you spoke about that we would naturally get before the sunsets? 

Andy Mant:
Blue runs from 400 to 495 nanometers. Okay. So you've got blue violet at the beginning and you've got blue turquoise at the end. Blue turquoise light post 550, so 560 to four sorry, 460 to 495 nanometers is the frequencies of light that are beneficial to keeping us feeling alert, keeping cortisol levels high. The blue violet light is the most damaging because it's the most high energy and it's very, very high in LED artificial light sources. So what the yellow lenses do is they block 100% between 400 to 450 nanometers, which is that dangerous spike in blue. But they leave the blue turquoise light from 451 to 495 intact. So you're still allowing blue light pass through your eyes. 

Melanie Avalon:
Oh my goodness, I'm so excited. I'm completely changing my habits tomorrow because I have those summer glow glasses. Oh, I'm so pumped right now. Okay. And then another question once the sun sets putting on those, the sleep plus for the red. What about for people who because of their lifestyle they are eating after sunset. Is there the issue of by going into that red mode interfering with their digestion?

Andy Mant:
There's an old adage, okay, that's out there that's eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. So I know that in the Western world that dinner time is typically the time for family to sit around and talk and be together. If you have to eat after dark, regardless of whether you're wearing blue light blocking glasses or not, it's not going to be the most beneficial for you. If you're eating before bed a large meal, digestion gets in the way of melatonin production. And it also, and you all know this from intermittent fasting. If you're digesting food, you're not in a state of autophagy. And the same is true if you're eating food before bed. Nighttime and darkness is a time for growth and repair. So you shouldn't really be eating at all. However, if you look at that adage and just have small meals in the evening. Have the larger males during the day and just have something small in the evening, smaller portions, that's probably the workaround. 

Andy Mant:
People can't always be as extreme as what I am and what a lot of other biohackers are, which is, I stop eating about 4:00 o'clock in the evening, and my sleep has improved tremendously from doing that. But I'm a realist. People live in a society today where mum and dad, husband and wife will be out working in separate jobs. Kids will be at school and the only time they get to together is around the dinner table that night. But maybe just take some hacks to reduce the portion size down. And there's also specific macronutrients that you can at night that are probably going to be better for you than not better for you, as long as they are eaten in small quantities. And that's keep your meal to maybe protein and veggies based and don't have too much fats before you go to bed because fat takes a lot longer to digest, which will impair again, melatonin production and getting into that state of autophagy. 

Andy Mant:
So Chris Masterjohn is very much an advocate of this as well, is that make sure that fat is at a minimum before you go to bed and just keep that meal maybe higher in protein but not in a large constant. And Mike Mehta as well, another person in that sort of keto intermitted fasting carnival spaces. He's also a firm believer of circadian meal timing. And some of the practices that he's implemented anecdotally with him and his wife as well has been so much that they stop eating before dark as well. And eat more of their calories at the beginning of the day and they've experienced some great results from that. So I think let's be real. People, a lot of people don't want to give up that meal time, but let's just put some hacks in place not to have a banquet every night and maybe just have a very small meal or light snack around the table in the evenings. 

Melanie Avalon:
My context with that, there is I think actually a lot of my listeners and I personally I follow an intermittent fasting one meal a day pattern and I do eat later and that's currently just what's working for me and my lifestyle. And with that approach for the like the sleep plus the red, the ones that block out all the blue completely. For the reason that we were talking about earlier about how it affects metabolism, I don't put them on until after eating. That was my thinking. That was my reasoning was that I didn't want to be eating and then like with a slowed metabolism due to my light exposure. 

Melanie Avalon:
So because I mean ideally I guess it sounds like people might benefit from switching to an earlier eating window. But I was just wondering for people who do find a later window really, if it's working for them, I'm just wondering like what the hacking of the light would look like around that. The same would extend as well to night owls and people who are not going to revert to an early bird type pattern. And so then it's like the context of that. And I mean that could be a whole nother discussion. So-

Andy Mant:
Absolutely it's difficult. Night shift work is very difficult. There's hacks that they can put into place. But at the end of the day, the only real hack is quitting night shift. The only real hack for if you want to optimize absolutely everything in your life and light being one of those things, then it's very clear that you're eating when those should be from sunrise to midday. Having said that, there's a lot of people that do very well eating their largest meal later on during the day. But it's always an equals one. It's always what works best for the person. And you know I'm a firm believer that there shouldn't be blanket rules in anything when it comes to health and wellness. I think that there's a lot of people I go out there that say the carnival diet's the only way to do it. Intermittent fasting is the only way to do it. Veganism is the only way to do it. 

Andy Mant:
Whereas the people that are saying that, yeah, it's worked absolutely amazing for each one of them that are saying it, but that doesn't mean it's going to work well for me or for you Melanie. You know? So I want people to not listen to me and be like, "I need to do everything to Andy says." I want them to pick bits that work for them and implement that into their life and lifestyle. And I want them to research more on it if they want to or ask questions to us a little bit more about it. So they can actually come up with a solution and blueprint that works for them. Taking the, I guess the concepts and methodologies that we've discussed today in how to I guess improve light hygiene. 

Melanie Avalon:
100% that is literally my thesis in life and what I'm trying to put out there. So glad we're on the same page. I know we're running up on time. Could you briefly tell what it would look like the timeline wise for during the summer, how to wear the glasses? 

Andy Mant:
Yeah, for sure. So summer you're going to have the opposite issue, the sun might rise earlier in the day, so you might lay in bed for longer. You want to be up within 10 minutes of waking up. So the sun should wake you up and you want to be outside watching that sunrise or being out in the sun early morning stage, lot easier in the summer because it's warmer as well. Because there's so much natural light and less cloud and rain and things like that during the summer months, when you're actually working in the office at your computer and maybe there are some lights on as well, you can get by with wearing get clear blue light filtering glasses. Again, be careful how you buy those glasses because not all of them actually block anything. So just ask for spectral test reports and make sure that you're at least filtering about 30% of the blue lights that's being emitted. And you wear those only when inside. During the day you would still get outside midday to eat your lunch and get outside as much as you can during the day. 

Andy Mant:
I mean if you can get upside more than once or twice do it, just a couple of minutes is great. And then what you want to do is more of an issue in summer because it gets darker later and given again, daylight savings that hasn't helped matters either. And that coupled with 9:00 to 5:00 makes it a lot more, more complex. So again, what we say is that rather than putting your glasses on like you did in winter like 4:00 or 5:00 o'clock, you would just pop your glasses on two hours maybe before you want to go to bed, which typically in Australia, and I can't comment for the rest of the world, typically coincides with, it gets dark in the summer, which is height of summer here now around about 7:30 in the evening. 

Andy Mant:
So I pop mine on then and then I'm typically ready to go to bed at half nine, 10:00 o'clock at night, which is ideal for me and my biological rhythms. So yeah, that's pretty much the same protocol. You just don't have to put your red lenses on during the morning and you put maybe your red sleep plus lenses on later on in the evening. But you also switch out and wear the clear blue light filtering glasses in the summer during the day as opposed to the yellows. And that's probably the best hack for that. And you'd still have your red lights in your house. So once that sun sets, you switch on a few red lights. I'm not saying strip out all your lights. Neighbors might raise an eyebrow when they see red light coming from your house. They might think it's a brothel or something like that. So maybe just have a few lamps that you're putting in that you can put on during the evening. 

Andy Mant:
And then you've then got some lights that you can put on during the day if that's what you want to do in the winter months. So that's probably the best hacks to do that. I typically as well put salt lamps next to my TV because they have loads of non-light benefits. But also from a light perspective, they're giving out sort of pinky orangy red type frequencies, which helps offset the amount of blue coming from the TV as well. So yeah, just sort of little hacks like that are really good. And black electrical tape is going to be your best friend. Go and have a look at your appliances in your house and your burglar alarms and things like that and cover them up with black electrical tape. That will really help those bits of blue light hitting the skin. And you can also get little red lights for your fridge as well. 

Andy Mant:
So yeah, have a look into that if you want to go serious bio hacking like we probably will, and those are really good as well. But also and I mentioned at the beginning that blue, there was a study that showed that blue light hitting your closed eyes whilst you were sleeping influenced insulin levels and blood glucose levels. So it's very important that you sleep in complete darkness. So what that looks like is either complete blackout blinds. I don't typically have those. I have, again, a product that we've invented called remedy, which is 100% light blocking sleep mask. You can open your eyes fully while wearing it because it has eye cavities and that is essential for a good night's sleep as well because you don't want blue light disrupting asleep whilst you sleep. So, yeah, there's a few good hacks there that people can do. And obviously get Iris tech via computers and get regular sun breaks I think is what people need to do just to really have an entry into light management and proper light hygiene. 

Melanie Avalon:
That is fantastic. And I will say listeners, I have the remedy sleep mask. Oh my goodness. It is a game changer. Like it's amazing. Like what Andy just said, you actually literally can open your eyes and it doesn't touch your eyes, but it's complete blackout. I mean it's incredible. I have no idea how you guys designed it, but it's brilliant. One last really quick question. Is there an exception for people who have office jobs and are staring at screens literally all day? Should they be wearing the summer glow glasses or during the summer can they still wear the clearer ones?

Andy Mant:
Yeah, it's a really good question. And the thing with why we created two and daytime lenses, okay, was because people have different sensitivities to light. And yeah, the briefs synopsis I gave you of one for the summer and one from the winter is probably going to be true for about 90% of the people. There are people out there like myself that had a light sensitivity. So what a light sensitivity means is that during the day you're very stressed, you're very pent up, you're very anxious, depressed. You might have things like maybe suffering from things like Lyme disease makes you more sensitive to light. You might be suffering from migraines, which was the case with me, which basically means you're sensitive to light and that you need to block more of it during the day. We'll still let in some through, but blocking more of that blue spectrum and that's why we created the two. 

Andy Mant:
So if you're one of those that feels you have a sensitivity to light during the day, then always wear the summer glow when under artificial light. But if you've just like 90% of the population, you work away on your computer and you're getting dry eyes, watery eyes, headaches, at the end of the day, you're not sensitive to light. You just are having the symptoms of digital eye strain which is caused by cell damage to the eyes from the blue light. If that's the case then just the clear computer glasses are going to be completely fine to wear because they'll filter down the intense amount of blue light which will give you less digital eye strain and less headaches. And I think one other thing which I was going to mention as well, which I know a lot of your hovered listeners will probably ask about is peripheral light. A lot of people say, "Well if your glasses aren't fully wraparound then surely light entering from the sides and top of your glasses are going to cause an issue and cause digital eye strain and disrupt your sleep." 

Andy Mant:
And we did a bit of digging around in the literature and we found a response to that through test results with clinical trials that actually looked at the positioning of something called IPRGC cells within the inner retina. And IPRGC cells are the retinal ganglion cells actually are sensitive to light, absorb light and then photo transduct it and translate that to the central clock system. And the location of the IPRGCs is so deep within the retina, that only light passing directly through your eyes is actually going to impact it to any significant degree. And that can't be any refraction off the back of glasses because of how the tint is actually overlaid within the glasses. So sleep plus, summer glow and blue light.

Andy Mant:
So it all comes down to light angle. Know the light isn't going to reflect or refract back into the eye. So gone are the days of wearing fully wraparound glasses because you think peripheral light is going to be an issue. Peripheral light seriously is not an issue. The only time I would say it could be an issue is if you have extreme sensitivities to artificial light, like maybe epilepsy, maybe severe acute migraines, then you might want to take that extra step. But for the general population, peripheral light is not an issue. 

Melanie Avalon:
Oh my goodness. I'm so happy. That was literally my next question and you answered it. Oh, this is so great. Okay guys, this has been absolutely fantastic. I learned so much. I am just like pumped right now too. I mean I was already like really obviously obsessed with the glasses like I'd said before, but now I feel like I have the tools and the information I need to really optimize how I am using those in my daily life and I think listeners will be able to as well. So thank you so much Andy. And it gets even better. Andy is offering our listeners a very special discount. You can get 15% off your orders blublox.com using the code Melanie Avalon. So I am so grateful for that. Thank you so much. And I will put links to that in the show notes. 

Melanie Avalon:
So to end everything today, I can't let you go without asking you the question that I ask every single guest as the last question on this podcast. And it's just because I realized how important mindset is when it comes to everything. And I think it's just so profound. So what is something that you're grateful for? 

Andy Mant:
I am grateful for the ability to be able to read a lot of this science and explain it in very basic terms so everyone can understand it because I think that everyone has a right to understand this stuff. And unfortunately there's too many people out there that like to sound really clever on podcasts and talk in a way that no one understands. So I'm so grateful that God has given me that gift to basically be able to take that information and be able to relay it to people in an understandable way so they can take action and optimize their health in life. 

Melanie Avalon:
I love that so much and you are doing incredible things. I mean your company, I'm so grateful for it. I'm so grateful for what you just said. Sharing this information in ways that people can actually interpret it and understand it and apply it to their lives. So thank you so much for what you're doing and I look forward to staying in touch and connecting more in the future and I'm so excited about all the things you're developing. So hopefully we can bring you on in the future and talk some more. 

Andy Mant:
It would be an absolute honor. And thank you for those that have stayed with me for this entire podcast. And yeah, it's been an absolute honor to be able to speak to you and also your beautiful tribe as well, Melanie. 

Melanie Avalon:
Thank you, Andy. Bye. 

Andy Mant:
Bye. 

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