The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #72 - Andy Mant (BLUBlox)
Andy Mant is the founder and CEO of BLUblox, a company specializing in evidence based advanced light filtering eyewear. Andy started BLUblox after becoming dissatisfied with the quality and standards of blue light blocking glasses available and so set about to design lenses that match the evidence in the academic literature. Andy was born in the UK and moved to Australia in 2011. Not long after, Andy found himself gaining a lot of weight, struggling with chronic fatigue, and constantly lacking energy. Traditional dietary approaches only worked to a certain degree and after stumbling across light and its relation to the body, Andy forged a passion and niche in how light can impact the human biological system. Today Andy is a leading figure in how light can affect our health and wellbeing. Through, BLUblox, he and his team have developed scientifically-backed advanced light filter eyewear, that is not being mass produced from a factory in China, but rather their bespoke lenses are manufactured and fitted in Australia, ensuring that each pair is infused with love, care and quality. Andy has utilized his acquired expertise on light and health to educate on the podcasts he has been on. Education is Andy's number one objective and his previous podcast appearances have not been pitches for his products, but educational content to help empower listeners to create a better environment and a better life. BLUblox is a brand that truly believes in giving. Through their not-for-profit partnership with Restoring Vision they are helping give the gift of sight to those in need with their buy one donate one glasses campaign.
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BLUBLOX: Blue-light Blocking Glasses For Sleep, Stress, And Health! Go To BluBlox.com And Use The Code melanieavalon For 15% Off!
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9:00 - Andy's Background
10:10 - Circadian Theory
12:00 - Bandwidths of Lights Effect on Melatonin
12:40 - The Problem With Other Blue Blockers
14:45 - Lumi Lightbulbs
15:10 - Red Light Devices
15:55 - Cellular Circadian Rhythm
17:25 - Flickering Light
20:15 - Photo Sensitive Epilepsy
21:05 - Incandescent Light And Energy Efficiency
23:45 - Using Salt Lamps At Night
25:20 - Color Changings Bulbs
26:05 - The Habits Of The Best Sleepers
30:40 - Self Testing For Optimization
31:50 - INSIDE TRACKER: Get The Blood And DNA Tests You Need To Be Testing, Personalized Dietary Recommendations, An Online Portal To Analyze Your Bloodwork, Find Out Your True "Inner Age," And More! Listen To My Interview With The Founder Gil Blander At Melanieavalon.Com/Insidetracker! Go To MelanieAvalon.Com/GetInsideTracker And Use The Coupon Code MELANIE30 For 30% Off All Tests Sitewide!
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35:05 - Sleeping In Full darkness
36:20 - Incidental Light Exposure
38:45 - Phase Shifting Melatonin
41:50 - Motion Activated Red Lightbulb
43:00 - Do Contacts Block Light?
43:40 - UV And DHA
44:00 - The Theories On "Junk" Light
46:30 - The Theory Of Light Angles
47:35 - Mercury Resonance Theory
52:00 - Tao Patch
52:55 - Infrared Light Absorbing Clothing
54:00 - Blue Blockers Assisting Better Sleep
55:20 - Reverse Cortisol Cycle
56:00 - Cortisol Wakening Response
58:00 - Using A Day Light To Wake Up
1:00:40 - Do you need to block blue light in the morning before sunrise?
1:02:30 - what glasses to where and when
1:06:35 - Using the Red light devices
1:08:15 - Percentage of blue light blocked by the styles of glasses
1:12:20 - is it 'all or nothing' or cumulative?
1:14:00 - Peripheral light getting around the lenses
1:17:35 - readers and prescription lenses available
1:20:05 - DRY FARM WINES: Low Sugar, Low Alcohol, Toxin-Free, Mold- Free, Pesticide-Free , Hang-Over Free Natural Wine! Use The Link DryFarmWines.Com/Melanieavalon To Get A Bottle For A Penny!
1:21:50 - Can glasses can be repaired?
1:23:30 - will you offer clip-ons?
1:27:00 - Blue blocking bright screens
1:27:30 - light affect on thyroid
1:30:30 - tV Watching
1:34:00 - Shipping to an aPO
1:35:05 - the donation campaign
1:36:40 - hacking light exposure for shift workers
1:41:00 - Blue Blocking on Devices
1:43:40 - what makes BLUblox better?
BLUBLOX: Blue-light Blocking Glasses For Sleep, Stress, And Health! Go To BluBlox.com And Use The Code melanieavalon For 15% Off!
Melanie Avalon: Hi friends, welcome back to the show. I am so excited about the conversation that I am about to have. It is about a topic that makes a major impact on my life literally each and every day. I am not making that up. I often get questions about what is my favorite biohack? Or, what is my favorite thing that I integrate into my life out of all the things? That's always a really hard question, but there is one thing that I have been doing for quite a while now that, like I said, I use each and every day, and it has such a radical, radical effect on my mood, my sleep, my energy, my anxiety, everything., I am thrilled to do a deep dive into this topic.
I have actually already had one show on the topic that is with the founder of a company called BLUblox, blue light blocking glasses, Andy Mant. In the first episode, which I'll put a link to that in the show notes, we dive deep into the science of blue light, and why you want to possibly block blue light, and how to hack your light exposure. So, we will, in this episode, go over that a little bit in the beginning to get everybody up to speed with everything. But then, we also are going to dive deep into listener questions because ever since airing that episode, so many of you guys have got blue light blocking glasses for yourself, you have questions. I'm going to get hit with questions all the time about it. So, I thought it was high time that we bring this fabulous person back onto the show for a special listener Q&A. That's what we're here for today. Andy, thank you so much for being here.
Andy Mant: Oh, what a beautiful introduction. Thank you so much, Melanie. It's always an absolute pleasure to talk to you and your community. I think one of the things I wanted to say was a huge thank you to everyone that's listening to this amazing show that has actually joined our BLUblox community. We've had so many of your community come and experience BLUblox and radicalize and transform their sleep and eye health. It's just an honor to be able to now come on and answer their questions or maybe even answer other questions for people that are still on the fence. It's a beautiful opportunity. Thank you.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I'm so happy. I was just thinking, whenever I talk to you, I just smile. You're such a wonderful person to know and everything that you're doing with the company. You know so much about the science and I'm just really grateful for you as a person. I will briefly tell listeners, I talked about this in the first episode that we did together, but my personal story with blue light blocking glasses is that I've been sort of hacking my blue light exposure for quite a while now before blue light blocking glasses were ever a thing. Andy, we can hear your story as well, because I think you have sort of a similar story as far as trying in the past, potential different glasses that could block blue light and experiencing benefits from that. The issues that come in with, what level of blue light are you blocking, the different potential types of blue light, the different types of glasses you can wear. For the longest time, I was finding glasses from all these different companies, not really sure if they were doing what they said they were doing. Then I was introduced to you, learned all about your company, and realized that you actually had blue light blocking glasses for basically every type that I could ever want and my listeners could ever want.
Yeah, that's a good question just to start things off. Would you like to tell listeners a little bit about your story and what brought you to form and found BLUblox? Why you are where you are today with everything?
Any Mant: Yeah, absolutely. It started quite a few years ago for me. One thing that was really not great in my life was my sleep. There's a long trail of events that led to me looking into sleep, and that really started 8 to 10 years ago when I wanted to address my weight and I got that sorted through various dieting interventions. I did that by my own research. Then, I went on to address my sleep, which had never been good. I started doing what any researcher would really do, which was just starting to read a lot of the information that was available on free journal sites like PubMed, where you can go on, you can search for studies related to sleep and these are all sort of peer-reviewed clinical trials, some of them double blind, placebos, and you can pick out the best ones and you can read them, and you can begin to look at patterns into what each of these studies are saying could be mechanisms for how to sleep better.
One common theme that just kept coming up and up and up was the circadian theory of sleep. It's not even a theory. I guess the mechanism for sleep, it's proven in so much that we have these body clocks in our brains and across our body that are influenced by light and dark signals. So, when it's light, it causes us to be alert and awake. When it's dark, it causes us to be sleeping and get a good night's sleep. That sort of led me to really explore the circadian rhythm and how light plays a part in governing our sleep-wake cycles. It just so turned out that when you look at it objectively, you can see that we're no longer giving our circadian rhythms any real darkness anymore. We’re illuminating our evenings post sunset with televisions, multiple different digital backlit devices, or house lights, or fridge lights, etc. These are all sending messages to our brain to keep us alert and awake, and not to go to sleep, or not to have the best night's sleep that we could.
It just so happened, the further you go down these rabbit holes, the more things you can find, and you can really refine into specific areas. Light as a general topic is probably as far as any other blue light company would go in terms of, yeah, we can't really have too much blue light after dark that will help us sleep. You’ve got to apply context to that. You can't just stick on a pair of orange glasses from eBay or Amazon and expect the same result as something that a product that has gone a little bit further and looked at the exact wavelengths that impact our melatonin, which is our sleep hormone. That's what we did. We found a study by someone called Burkhardt in 2001, and it was called the Action Spectrum for Melatonin Regulation in Humans, and that looked at what banding of light had an impact on suppressing melatonin, which would then impact our sleep.
It turned out that between 450 nanometers, which in layman's terms is 100% of blue light, and the majority of green light needed to be blocked 100% in that range to get the most optimal sleep. I was only interested in optimal. I wanted optimization. I didn't want just half-assed approach and get an okay, night's sleep. That's where it came into play when I was trying these other orange glasses, but like yourself, Melanie, trying out a few of them and getting some okay results, but we're always in the search, you and, I for optimal. When it came down to it, and we tested those glasses that we bought off Amazon, eBay, $20 to $50 a pair, whatever it might have been, for a lab-grade spectrometer, we found that none of them actually filtered in line with this study. A lot of them weren't even 50% filtering in line with this study. That was where we set about creating a lens to help people sleep that blocked exactly 100% within the exact banding of light that disrupted melatonin. That was how Sleep+ glasses were born.
I've done a YouTube video recently testing them live on camera with lab-grade spectrometers to prove that here is the study and here's our glasses. One other important thing as well as that, you can go out and buy a cheap pair of red glasses that will block everything up to about 600 nanometers, but we're only interested in that specific banding of light because we still want people to have a good quality of life. We want them to be able to see what they're watching. See the things on their phone. Be able to cook whilst wearing these glasses and walk around and move about after sunset. When you go darker, you start taking out more frequencies of light, so you start actually just seeing red, which is not what you want to do. We want to just find that exact sweet spot in line with the science. Then from there, Sleep+ glasses were born, which wear two to three hours before bed. And then, we started going deeper into blue light and found that it had an issue during the day and in isolated quantities, so we invented clear computer glasses. Then we realized that some people were sensitive to light during the day, so we had the computer gases infused with color therapy because we found that certain colors could invoke different moods in people and the tint we use for our SummerGLO glasses helps people elevate their mood and feel happier and more elevated.
Then, we were, like, “Well, what about the blue light that's in people's houses that is impacting their skin?” Because blue light impacts your skin. It causes aging, it can still disrupt melatonin for your skin. We invented the Lumi Light Bulbs and both of those-- the red one eliminates all blue and green light. The yellow one eliminates a majority of blue light and just need a little bit in for during the day. We also took out flicker from those, which is causing eye strain and neurological issues, and we took out EMF. Then, we were like, “Well, what's the final piece of the light puzzle here?” And that was red light therapy and near-infrared light. We invented a small low EMF and zero flicker portable red light therapy device to use as well because people that have blue light damage during the day will need to prepare any of that by inputting more red light into their life.
We started off with this amazing idea of these Sleep+ glasses, and we are now turning ourselves into this entire light management company, where we will only implement the most optimal products for people out there are after. For instance, the light bulb and red light therapy took 15 months for us to actually refine and get right. Yeah, we will only give people the best, no matter how long that takes us.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, so many things you already touched on that I love. This is a really quick tangent. But I recently had on-- I don't know if you're familiar with Joel Greene, but I recently had him on the podcast. He has a book called The Immunity Code. He has a whole section on circadian rhythms within ourselves, and not even just light rhythm, but I didn't realize how many things are entrenched into rhythms in our bodies. It's not just light. It's things like sodium retention, and even stress levels. Apparently, people experience the highest stress on Monday, regardless of their situation, or their environment, or their job or anything. It's really, really fascinating. It made me realize just-- because I was thinking it was just light, but it's so many things. It's crazy to think that how many of these things are actually driven on the level of ourselves. It's very empowering to-- I use the word ‘hack,’ but to embrace that and use something like the blue light blocking glasses to support the rhythms that best support our bodies.
Really quick question about the bulbs because you sent me the bulbs to try, the ones that you came out with? And they're incredible. I replaced all my lamps with them. At night, when I turn on my lamps, it's the wonderful red glow. The flicker, because you mentioned the flicker in the bulbs, that's something that people we don't perceive seeing right, so what is the flicker?
Andy Mant: Yeah, and this is an area that needs a lot more attention because I've been talking about sort of light in terms of the visible spectrum for a long time. I've started to look at it a little bit more from the invisible side of things as well, and how that can impact us at various cellular levels. With flicker, what that means is, you get two types of flicker, it's fairly straightforward. You get visible flicker, which means that-- if you remember the discos back in the day and nightclubs, you'd go and there'd be a house DJ playing, and they double the strobe lighting going along, that flashing light. When you move around, it feels like you're moving in slow-mo. That's visible flicker, you can see it flickering. You can see that slow motion where you'd move your hand, but it feels like you can see the wave and feels like you're moving slowly.
The reason that happens with visible flicker is because your brain is having to work harder to piece together the messages and the light signals because it's not one constant stream of light that it's used to from the sun. What happens is, you can still see the images, but they're distorted, it's slow motion, your brain has to basically work harder to piece it together. Now, that's fine, because you're only really exposing yourself every now and again. People that are probably in a club seeing that kind of stuff are probably drunk anyway, which is probably just as bad or just having a damaged evening anyway.
But when it comes to invisible flicker, the same thing happens. Every LED light, 99.9% of them flicker, okay. You can't see it with your naked eye. If you film an LED light source in slo-mo mode on your smartphone and play it back to yourself, you'll see that strobe light effect. Happens on almost every light. You can do it on your digital devices, you can do it on-- mainly house and office lights seemed to be the worst. What happens is, the brain still has to work, like it did, like I just explained with the strobe lighting to piece together the images. Now, because it's invisible flicker, you can still see a solid image and see solid images around you because your brain is having to work overtime to produce those images. Now, this is fine for visual acuity, you can see things, it's not a problem. But if you expose yourself to too much flicker, you start to develop the symptoms of digital eye strain, so your eyes will get really sore and you might develop a headache at the end of the day from using a computer. A lot of people, and including myself, used to think that that was majority excess blue light, but that didn't make too much sense when it came to looking at-- well, the sun has a lot of blue light in it. Yes, the sun has red light which heals and restores, but the sun doesn't flicker.
When you actually look at some of the studies that are talking about flicker, it's actually seems to be that in digital devices and office lighting that is causing those headaches, migraines, digital eye strain, dry eyes, watery eyes during the day when using a computer. What also happens is, it's almost like a spectrum like with anything. Some people may just get sore eyes from flicker, but other people at the far end of the spectrum will get something called photosensitive epilepsy, which could be triggered unknowingly even if the person's eye-- well, there's no flickering strobe lighting around here. It's like, well, actually there is. Your brain can detect it, but your eyes can't see it. Some other studies have indicated a caveat albeit in animal studies at this stage that the flickering effect of these LED lights can actually induce neurological damage over time as well. Until there's studies in humans, I guess we can take it sort of subjectively, however we want but typically, a lot of studies that come out on animals, then go on to be proven in humans down the line as well. It's something worth noting.
The reason these LED lights flicker is that it's an energy-saving tactic. Twenty odd years ago, we all had incandescent lighting in our houses. These were like this with the Edison bulbs, they screwed in, they were very low in blue light, and they ran off almost like a direct sort of DC current. They didn't flicker to any great degree. They flickered a little bit and that was about it. Then what they did was, they decided these lights weren't energy efficient, and they were taking too much energy to power them. There's a lot of talk 20 years ago as there is today about global warming, climate change, and things like that. One of the methods that they did was, they stripped out all the high-hungry wavelength lights, like the reds and oranges. They replaced them with a lot of blue light, which was a problem in LEDs. What they also did was they took out the DC switchboard within these lights and ran them directly from the mains, which is an alternating current. An alternating current is a current that pulses. So, to save energy, they don't deliver a constant stream of energy of power. They pulse it very quickly, so you're saving energy. Now what that happens is, it goes into the light and it pulses the light out.
What we did with Lumi was that we took the LED light bulbs because LEDs are great, you get better brightness, you're able to do things, incandescence as well. What a nightmare, I used to have them before I invented this light bulb. You're replacing them every week or two because they're always popping. We got the original LEDs, but what I did was and-- I say I did, what I asked my engineers to do, which took them 15 months to figure out, was to put a switchboard like an IC unit within the bulb, which would convert the AC current into a DC current, and they put other technology in there as well, which is way above sort of my head, that actually reduced flicker even further than incandescent bulbs, which was amazing. Then, when you actually put that circuitry inside a bulb and don't rely on the current directly from the mains, you actually radically reduce EMF as well, which is dirty electric in this case, because your power board is different from the electricity board. It’s almost acting like a filter. So, you're getting a triple whammy of no flicker, no EMF, and also no blue or green light after sunset, but with enough brightness, like luminosity in order to see and do things. Yeah, these were really game changing and people are absolutely loving them, which is great.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, I had no idea, there was so much going on in those light bulbs. That's incredible.
Andy Mant: I know. Unscrew the top if you get a chance and have a look inside it, it will blow your mind.
Melanie Avalon: I will. I will right after this. That is so cool. Oh, my goodness, I love that. Okay, some other questions about potential ambient light sources that we've had. This is a good question, I've also wondered this. Mary, she said that she has a pink Himalayan salt lamp that she leaves on at night and she wonders if that light is disrupting her sleep. Oh, and she also wants to know if maybe the health benefits of the Himalayan salt lamp might outweigh the light effect. I don't know if you have thoughts on Himalayan salt lamps.
Andy Mant: Yeah, it's a really good question. I'm all for Himalayan salt lamps. I think they're great during the day to help balance out the blue light that's coming from screens and digital devices. The one issue-- I’d like to see both sides of the argument with these things and I think it's a good hack for during the day, but what you got to look at is what light source are you putting inside your salt lamp. The flicker, I guess, aside because it will be minor within a salt lamp, is if you're putting in a blue-- like a standard LED sort of light bulb within your salt lamp, what light is that emitting within the salt lamp? It's going to be high blue light. The salt lamp will then give that sort of pinkish glow. It won't give a red glow. If you test a salt lamp in the spectrometer, there is still some presence of blue light left within that light source. You can put a film over something and you'd still get some ambient blue that would still be emitted.
The same is true as well with things like-- I always hate to name brands, but I'm going to because they're massive and it’ll be fine, like Philips Hue lighting. It's a light bulb you put in and it's run off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and you can change the color of it. We've tested it with a spectrometer and even that red light mode on that emits some blue light as well, albeit hardly any, but still some in there not to be optimal. You’ve just got to be careful with those types of things.
In terms of having a salt lamp in your room whilst you sleep, I would-- I don't think it's going to be hugely detrimental because you're not giving out huge amounts of blue light, but you still are going to have a little bit in them. I understand some people need something to sleep by. Maybe our ancestors would have slept by the campfire, maybe they would have slept in caves. We don't know this, but one or the other would have been-- it's sort of tangible guess.
The evidence that I've seen on optimizing sleep is that the people that sleep the best, in terms of getting more deep sleep or more REM sleep, typically sleep in 100% darkness. So, that's blackout blinds, that's 100% blackout sleep mask, no ambient light in that room. They also sleep in a cold environment, typically between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius. I'm sorry, I don't work in Fahrenheit, but I'm sure that's pretty, pretty chilly.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think it's lows-- I think around 64-ish. I don't know, it's low 60s that they recommend.
Andy Mant: Yeah, absolutely. Sleep with earplugs as well, which is interesting because, yeah, my REM sleep has definitely improved with blocking out a lot of ambient noise, but I know a lot of people like pink noise and white noise while they sleep. When it comes from a sleep optimization standpoint, I guess what I'm saying is what the studies are showing is that complete darkness is the best for us. But I always want to say that you got to do what works for you. So, I would ideally invest in a sleep tracker of some sort. There's loads out on the market. Fitbit, Whoop, Oura, lots of different ones that you can try and track it. Try sleeping for a week in complete darkness. Try sleeping for a week with the salt lamp on. Run a few tests yourself. You don't have to be a real avid biohacker like yourself, or me to be able to run these tests. Anyone can run them.
One thing that led me to think of this is that recently I had a really in-depth DNA analysis, because I wanted to figure out what polymorphisms I might have and what sort of other tendencies I might have within my DNA. A lot of it came back as a big shock to me. A lot of the things that I had been saying maybe like 8 to 10 years ago about nutrition, and saying that everyone should eat like this, kind of came back to haunt me in a way because what I've been saying was actually the complete opposite for me personally. I was touting high-fat diet is the way to go.
Melanie Avalon: I was going to say, was it like the opposite of low carb maybe for you?
Andy Mant: It was. Yeah, absolutely. I lost a lot of weight on keto. It was fantastic and I felt great. But what damage it was doing to me at a cellular level and, I guess, to my DNA and how it would handle it. I've got this polymorphism in me, which means that I've got a variant within one of my genes that only 1% of people in the world typically have, which means I can't process saturated fat very well. It's causing--
Melanie Avalon: Do you know which variant it is? Was it ApoE4?
Andy Mant: Yeah, that was it. It was within there.
Melanie Avalon: That's a doozy.
Andy Mant: Yeah, I know, it's a bummer, because I bloody love steak, but maybe I'll just have it less frequently. It turns out I thrive on a higher carbohydrate diet, so I'm not talking about like crap carbohydrates. I'm talking about the sweet potatoes, brown rice, wild rice, things like that, as opposed to saturated fats. Also, I thrive on in protein is very high muffer and puffer. My fats need to come from seeds and nuts and fish. It turns out that more of a Mediterranean style diet is better for me. I know, we've deviated massively from this question, but it was just so fascinating. Yeah, absolutely fascinating. Since changing my diet to incorporate all that, I feel like I'm going harder in the gym, I feel like I'm sleeping better again. Aesthetically, for the first time ever in my life I have a six-pack now, which is unbelievable. That's just changing a few things in my diet and not getting beat up with dogmatic things where maybe it's something I did strongly believe in, but as the science changes, or new evidence comes to light, I always am happy and humble enough to be like, “You know what? High fat is great for people that can tolerate that. But for me, it didn't work.”
This is why I wanted to caveat that and say that in the fact that going back to the salt lamp question, is that yes, there's a lot of academic studies that show that keto is amazing. There's also a lot of academic studies that show sleeping in complete darkness is optimal for sleep, but is that going to be optimal for 99% of people? Probably. Is that going to be optimal for the lady that's written in that question? We don't know. You have to test it and you have to be critical and think about things yourself. The academic literature will take you so far, but run tests on yourself. We're all very different. We all come from different ancestral backgrounds. I would say, just try it out, track your sleep, data is king, and see how it makes you feel. There's no difference between you sleeping with a salt lamp on in your REM and deep sleep when you track it to when you're in complete darkness, then go with whichever one you feel more comfortable with.
All comes down to other underlying factors as well. So many people like to talk about one subject and be like, right, light is the be-all and end-all. Well, no, it's not, because if someone's stressed, and scared of sleeping in the dark, for instance, I'm not saying this lady is, then are they going to get a good night's sleep when it's complete blackout if they're like really scared, every noise they hear they think someone's trying to break in or they're frightened of ghosts or whatever it may be or just scared of the dark, which some people are, are they going to get a good night's sleep? No, they're not. But according to the studies, they should. Whereas if they have a salt lamp on and they feel safe and comfortable, because they've got that warm, ambient glow, and they're going to get a better sleep, then is having a salt lamp better? Yes, it is. So, I think you just got to weigh it up from a lot of different angles.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, that was such an epic answer. I am loving this conversation so much. Yeah, I've had Joe Cohen on the podcast and he makes a genetic analyzer called SelfDecode. For listeners, I'll put a link to it in the show notes, because he always is coming up with new reports for it and I ran the food sensitivity one, and it was really funny because I feel I react to like all food ever, but I've always said that-- I don't know, like the one thing that doesn't seem to bother me is wine, and I got back the report. It was looking at all these different food things like carbs, histamine, lectins, wheat, and alcohol. I was basically red, didn't tolerate anything, except alcohol. I was green, good to go. I was like, “This validates everything I've been feeling.” Not the ideal situation, but it was just really funny. Going back to the blackout, though, and all of that.
I personally sleep best in a really, really dark room, I've been using blackout curtains for the longest time. Your Sleep REMedy Mask, I recommend to anyone and everyone because I've tried a lot of sleep mask, and this mask is incredible because you can literally open your eyes, it's complete blackout. It doesn't put any pressure on your eyes. It's really remarkable. You've been on the Intermittent Fasting podcast with us. One of my favorite moments-- because when I first met Gin Stephens, the cohost on that show-- when we first met, I was already into all the biohacking stuff and she was having like none of it. I've been like, slowly through the years been saying all these things, “You should try blue light blocking glasses, you should try blackout curtains, you should try all these things.”
I remember one day, recently, she said that she finally got blackout curtains and she was like, “This is the most game-changing thing I've ever done.” I was like, “It's really-- Yep, it can do that.” Listeners, if you are seeking blackout at night, I highly suggest blackout curtains, and I highly suggest the Sleep REMedy Mask that you guys made. Another question about ambient light-ish exposure and still in the light bulb realm. Missy, she says, “What about incidental light exposure at night? For instance, going to the bathroom. My husband asked if we would need to replace bathroom lights with all red bulbs, or would just some red light be enough to counter the blue light?” She says, “Does that make sense?” Is it like an all or none situation? Or how does that work?
Andy Mant: Brilliant question. One that I have the answer for from the leading sleep expert in the world, Dr. Alexander Wunsch in Germany. He's been researching light for about 20 years, someone you should definitely try and have on.
Melanie Avalon: What was the name?
Andy Mant: Dr. Alexander Wunsch. W-U, with a couple of dots above the U, N-C-H. He's very, very in-depth and complex and a little bit difficult to understand. He is just so knowledgeable. I've learned so much from him, stuff I hadn't even thought of. He's done a lot of studies and research on this exact question which I've studied. What happens according to Wunsch is that when you, say, wear blue light blocking glasses, you're wearing them after sunset and you take those glasses off and expose yourself to a source of blue light. This can be just from the TV or your house lights being on, or it could be in the middle of the night, you get up and use the bathroom and switch on a source of blue light, your melatonin production will cease to produce melatonin immediately and it will take 20 minutes to return back to normal. You're not completely switching off your melatonin production, you're setting it back 20 minutes every time you do this.
What that means is that, if you did it, say, one night, a week, it's not going to be a major issue. Your circadian rhythm resets every day, so you'll probably be okay. The issue will be if you repeatedly do it every night, or you do it multiple times throughout the night because you'll then start to phase shift your melatonin, you might then have a harder time producing melatonin optimally between 1:00 AM and 2:00 AM, which is the optimal times because if you're getting up to go to the bathroom-- I don't know, it's typically going to be the same time every night, if you're getting up every night to-- say it's 12:00, half 12, 1, you're going to then completely shut down melatonin production, you're going to then start secreting it again 20 minutes after when it should be naturally secreted, which means that you might not get up with the sunrise, which would then have a knock-on effect for your circadian rhythm moving forward. In the evening, you can even induce phase shifting by taking off your blue light glasses and exposing yourself to ambient sources of blue light. What that means is if you phase shift, your melatonin secretion will start happening later and later and later, regardless of whether you're wearing blue light glasses or not, because you're not wearing them optimally. I guess the long and the short of it, the good news is that you're not completely destroying your melatonin production, but the bad news is, and it returns back after 20 minutes, but the bad news is your phase shifting throughout that night.
In answer to the question red light bulbs, yes, you would need them everywhere that you are going to inhabit after you go to sleep. For instance, one thing that always happened to me no matter what I do a and no matter what help I see is, I always have to use a bathroom in the night. I always get up and need to go to the loo whether I--
Melanie Avalon: Me too.
Andy Mant: Yeah, exactly. It must be a genetic thing, but literally, it doesn't matter if I drink no water throughout the day, no fluid, I'll still get up and need to pee, and if I drink a whole liter before bed, the same thing, it’s always going to happen. I just biohack my environment. I've got red light everywhere in my bedroom and in my bathroom. So, when I get up in the night, I don't have to fumble around for my blue light glasses. I can just actually get the red light on, eyes can be open, and as soon as I go back to bed, my melatonin hasn't been touched. Always think of ancestrally, think of ancestral Andy 600,000 years ago getting up to have a pee against the tree in the middle of the night, he would have gotten up and he would have had some light source because of the campfire, what color was that? Oranges, reds, yellows. What do those colors of light do? They don't disrupt melatonin at all. They're relaxing, soothing frequency. I'm putting red light everywhere within my bathroom. It was actually something I looked into because of my wife, Katie, because she was wearing the blue light glasses and, something I didn't think about, wearing those glasses and she was like, “I've got to take my makeup off before I go to bed.” I'm going into the bathroom, taking my glasses off and then having my melatonin switched off as soon as I want to go to bed. I was just like, “Yeah, I didn't think of that.” And that was how we started to think about red light bulbs all those 18 months ago when we had that sort of epiphany moment of like, “Ah, we need something then to have a hack with this.”
In answer to the question, it has to be 100% red light, unfortunately. You don't want any of this phase shift and you don't want melatonin shut down in the middle of the night. It's just not good. I think it's a really easy fix to go in and get this stuff installed and make sure that you're not exposing yourself to that blue light when you wake up in the night or during the evening as well when you're wearing your blue light glasses.
Melanie Avalon: This is a question from me. Do you guys think you'll ever make a motion-activated nightlight that's red, that you'd like put in the bathroom, so then that would just go on at night in the bathroom?
Andy Mant: Yeah, it's definitely a really good idea to be fair, and we're always looking for new products. We would definitely add that to the R&D list. I think that'd be a great idea, like just sort of something that would just sit by the sink or whatever or just by the-- There is one thing I was thinking as well which was almost a light-sensing toilet seat as well. You could get to it, but it would be this sort of red, it would light up red, so you could-- Yeah, not going to-- you don't need to put lights on everywhere, but then I was looking at the EMF component of that as well and figuring that out. But yeah, little things like that always come into my mind. And that's a really good one as well, that motion sensor as well, so you wouldn't have to switch stuff on and you literally just walk in and away you go. Yeah, it's a good idea.
Melanie Avalon: So epic. In the meantime, I wonder if they make something I could put in your red light into a-- I wonder if they make a motion-activated socket that would just turn on the light bulb only?
Andy Mant: They should do. Yeah, that should exist.
Melanie Avalon: I'm going to look for this.
Andy Mant: Yeah, let me know, I want one. [chuckles]
Melanie Avalon: I know. Okay, this is a super random question. Stephanie wants to know, do contacts block any light?
Andy Mant: Ah, really good question, I love that. They do. They block one of the most beneficial invisible frequencies of light, which is ultraviolet light. They won't typically block any or filter any other colors. So, you're okay there, but they will filter a lot of UV. A lot of them these days, they have it all imported into it and you need UV light for various reasons through the eyes. I'm not saying go out all day long in the searing Australian sun and stare into the sun like that, that would be remiss of me. But you need a decent amount of UV light through the eyes to react with something called DHA which then helps to induce DC electric current within the body, which helps charge mitochondria and also decrease inflammation. You want to be careful there.
But going back to Wunsch as well. There's two differentiating theories on what junk light is okay, and you've got the mainstream media narrative, which suggests that junk light is artificially produced light, like from electrical sources from LEDs. What Wunsch goes and says, and I have to agree with him, is that junk light is any light that isn't a direct source from the sun. For instance, if you're sat behind a window, if you're wearing glasses, is the light then hitting your skin and your eyes naturally occurring light? No, it's not because there is always going to be some sort of filtration whether it's invisible through contacts, or invisible/some visible through a car window or an office window. That light isn't the light that our circadian rhythms and biology evolved under. We weren't sat behind glass 600,000 years ago. A lot of his studies at the moment-- which haven't been concluded yet, but some of the results are starting to come through is that actually junk light isn't just LED sources, is any light that isn't directly shining on us without sunscreens on, without windows, without sunglasses, without contact lenses, and that is going to have a pronounced effect on our biology probably in a negative way. We're just so fortunate he's doing more and more studies on this. We’ve got to think of junk light now really, not as just artificial sources, but manipulation of sunlight as well. Yeah, it's a really interesting question and a really interesting subject that, again, Alexander's doing a lot of work on.
Melanie Avalon: I realized I've made a few really rash very quick biohacking decisions based on I heard something related to this and the reason I'm saying this is, I listened to a podcast and they were talking about what you just spoke about, about how contacts block UV and how it relates to-- I think you were saying the DHA in our eyes and how it could actually hurt the health of our eyes pretty bad. Then, I was like, “I'm getting LASIK,” and I did. The second time I did that was I read James Nestor’s Breath, I was like, “I'm fixing my deviated septum,” and I had surgery. Yeah, I just thought that was really funny.
Andy Mant: Yeah, nice. I'll also send you Wunsch’s latest interview with Luke Storey on The Life Stylist Podcast because that will be well worth you having to listen to as well, so you can hear a lot of what he's saying because it was basically what I'm telling you guys now, but it'd be really good for you to hear some of the things he's saying. He talks about light angle as well, which is fascinating. He's got these two theories since we last spoke. He's got this one theory that the angle of light can actually have an impact on us at a cellular level as well. He has even suggested that we've evolved during the day with our light source being from above, not from the ground up and not from looking directly at us. His positioning of a lot of his light sources throughout the day are from above. Then, a lot of people say, “Well, how do we use our red light bulb after sunset?” Wunsch’s also said that, “Well, where did the light source come from?”
Melanie Avalon: The fire?
Andy Mant: Yeah, exactly. It came from the fire, came up, comes from the ground level up, so you want them in lamps, you don't want them overhead because naturally wouldn't have any circadian impacting light from overhead during the night. Wunsch also said-- I don’t want to spoil the interview too much saying everything that's good in it, but he talks about how the moon and the stars don't actually impact our circadian rhythms. They're more impactful for monthly cycles within humans. Another thing that he's also mentioned, and he's got evidence and results on this at the moment that will be published soon as well, is mercury resonance theory, and that is that fluorescent lighting works by having mercury in the filaments, and it spikes, I believe off the top of my head, around about 432 nanometers, which is a very high intense blue frequency. He has shown, again, I believe in maybe animal studies, that if you've got mercury within your body, so if you eat a diet high in fish, or you've got some metal toxicity, maybe you've got some fillings from yesteryear when they put mercury in your teeth, because light impacts us at a biological level and actually can bioactively activate, if that's such a phrase, specific compounds within our body, he's even saying that having that intense light at 439 nanometers from mercury in fluorescent lights can actually make mercury more volatile within the body and actually cause it to become toxic when it would just be led dormant, naturally, if it was in your body under the sun. This stuff's blowing my mind when I was listening to it. It makes complete sense, because each frequency of light activates or switches off or turns on specific processes or compounds within the body. When you think of it, that we're sat in a warehouse or hospital under this mercury-derived 432 nanometer blue light, it's going to activate and excite that metal within the body. What happens when you do that to mercury, it becomes toxic. He goes very deep in this conversation. I really, really suggest taking a listen as well, because there's some mind-blowing stuff in there that blew my mind.
Melanie Avalon: I will. This is so fascinating. Actually, this week, they're doing repairs in my apartment, and I had to stay in a guest suite. Which is, I realized how much I need all my biohacking things in my life when I have to go stay in a different suite with a different light exposure and everything. But intuitively, I really picked up on that with the angle of the light because I've noticed that even if it's the exact same color of light, if I turn on-- because like I said I was in an apartment, so I didn't have my normal lights. I turn on the lamp that's high level at night, I mean, it's disrupting. But if I turn on the overhead light, even if it's the same color, at least the way I perceive it, when I turn on the overhead light, it just feels so stimulating. It wakes me up so much more especially at night. So, that completely makes sense. The mercury thing, that's my personal passion project. Whenever I hear mercury, I'm like, “Friends, don't take mercury lightly,” because I had mercury toxicity myself and I think it's really hard. Most people don't really realize the amount of mercury that can be in different species of fish, like the difference. If you eat one piece of swordfish, it could be eating 300 pieces of tilapia, mercury wise. I always, when I hear that, I'm like, “I just have to share.”
Andy Mant: I know, it's unbelievable. One thing I learned about the mercury side of things, obviously, there's some fish that have less than others as well. I've been having a little look into it myself, given that I've got to eat a lot of fish now. I read somewhere that if the balance between mercury and selenium within the fish, yeah, a certain level, then that can be okay, as well. Yeah, I was just starting to scratch the surface on that a bit. I thought I just mention that so if you knew anything on whether that's true, or whether I'm on the right sort of rabbit hole on that.
Melanie Avalon: You are. You're definitely on the right rabbit hole because I've definitely gone down the selenium rabbit hole because lot of people say that the ratio of selenium to mercury is actually the only thing you need to worry about. I don't think it's the only thing to worry about. I still think if it's a high mercury fish, that there's probably problems. Then, I did research in selenium supplementation because apparently that can help. Then there's some studies that show it makes it worse if you supplement selenium. I don't know. I just don't know what to do.
Andy Mant: Yeah, I know. It's confusing. We'll have to just keep experimenting and testing. The issue is, I guess, our soils are so selenium deprived now, unless you live in Japan, that we're just going to have to eat a whole host of Brazil nuts, I guess, to try and balance it out. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: I did read, because I'm reading Dr. Alan Christianson new Thyroid Reset, and he talks about selenium because lot of people will say with Brazil nuts, “Oh, you might get selenium toxicity,” he pointed out there's never been any study that has shown selenium toxicity from Brazil nuts. So, just throwing that out there that that might be a good route to go. This is a super random question because this showed up in my mail today, actually, and you might not know anything about it. Have you heard of something called Taopatch?
Andy Mant: I haven't. No.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. I might have to just send you information on it later. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but it says it sort of works like acupuncture, but the mechanism of action has something to do with taking the heat from your body and turning it into some sort of light that goes back into your cells. Is this ringing a bell?
Andy Mant: No.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, I'll look into it more and send you some information, see if you have thoughts on it. I'm looking at the box right now, but something to do with light, but it might have something to do that with what you were just talking about with the resonance of different things.
Andy Mant: Yeah, I have heard of clothing that's out there that can reabsorb infrared light that's emitted from the body. Maybe it's something similar, I'm seeing the product, but maybe it's something similar like that where we give out a lot of infrared light during the day and specific clothing and patches you can wear that actually then push that back into the body. As your listeners would know with red light therapy, it's the 850-nanometer invisible frequencies of near-infrared light that are the most beneficial. So, if we're capturing those and re-putting those back into the body, you're going to decrease inflammation, you're going to activate more of the-- I guess, the phase four of electron chain transport, which is where cytochrome c oxidase mixes with oxygen. When you pump infrared light back into that process, you're going to optimize more energy production. It's maybe it's something to do with that. Yeah, I'd be interested to see the product just so I can have a look at it critically for the individual.
Melanie Avalon: I will find out more. Actually, I'm glad you said that because somebody sent me-- a company sent me a lot of infrared clothing. I don't think I ever tried it. I'm going to pull that out after this. Okay, so going back to all the light stuff. Conditions that it can help with. We talked a little bit about sleep. When I asked for questions, Andrea says, “I don't sleep well. I feel awake all night. A few hours before getting up, I seem to finally be able to relax. I try not to stress about it, but in the morning, it affects my mood.” She was wondering if blue light glasses could help with that. Then, we actually had a testimonial, Kathleen. I was asking for questions, so she just volunteered this. She said, “I love BLUblox, my deep sleep more than doubled when I started using them. I’ve got terrible sleep issues my whole life, things that help others sleep keep me up. My deep sleep is running anywhere from 11 minutes to maybe 50 if I was lucky. This has been a game changer. Thank you for bringing BLUblox to my attention.” Sounds like BLUblox can help with sleep. Is that one of the main things people really experience, is better sleep when they start using these?
Andy Mant: Yeah, better sleep, more energy in the day, because when you're having better sleep, you're going to have much more repair, much more autophagy, much more apoptosis and much more restorative sleep. You can have better learning, better cognition. The list goes on. Going back to the first question, which was the person that is not sleeping very well, and I'm glad that they've gone in-depth with telling us exactly what the issue is, because it's very obvious that she's got a reverse cortisol cycle, which is from a disrupted circadian rhythm for too much incorrect junk light exposure. The way you identify a reverse cortisol cycle is that you struggle to go to sleep, you feel a little bit more awake in the evenings, you struggle to want to get up in the mornings, you almost like-- when the sun comes up, you're almost like, “I want to go to sleep now.” You may be slumped during the day as well, like during the afternoon, maybe 3:00, you start slump a little bit. That's a reverse and disrupted cortisol cycle.
What that means is that blue light actually elevates your cortisol levels in the morning, which is typically called a cortisol awakening response in a healthy individual. It's almost like defibrillators on or the key in an ignition, it jumpstarts and you're just like, boom, straight into the day. Then, as blue light disappears in the evening and you manage blue light, that then signals to your brain to switch off cortisol production and turn on melatonin production. Melatonin is the complete opposite to cortisol, it causes you to be relaxed, de-stressed, and then you just go into this amazing sleep. Then in the morning, the cortisol spikes and away you go.
But when you start exposing yourself to blue light after sunset, over a long period of time, your cortisol cycles may switch, which means that you're more stimulated in the evening because your body believes that through all this phase shifting that we talked about earlier, that time at night, say 9:00, 10:00 at night is the daytime. So, we need to jack cortisol levels up, we need to be alert and awake, so we don't sleep. Then in the mornings, the body's then like, “Okay, right, cortisol has been so high for so long, we don't need to have it higher anymore. Let's drop it down a bit.” maybe it's a bit darker in her room, and then she'll start to feel sleepier in the morning. Whereas when you actually start wearing Sleep+ glasses from BLUblox after sunset, your body's then like, “Oh, there's no blue light present, it must be the evening,” which it is. Then you'll start to see over one to two weeks a reversal back to normal of that circadian cycle where she will feel more relaxed in the evening, and she'll start feeling more alert in the mornings and be able to get out of bed. She also needs to watch the sunrise in the mornings, might be a bit hard now because you guys will be going into winter, but at least making sure the first light she sees in the morning is natural light, whether it's hidden by the clouds or whether it's in full show. Then, doing those two hacks, two to three hours Sleep+ glasses before bed, sunrise in the morning, that problem will be fixed in a week or two easily.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. Actually, to that point, so this is a question from me. For my light exposure on the inside, I have your light bulbs, I have a lot of Joovv red and near-infrared light therapy devices that I use for a lot of ambient lighting actually. But I haven't like a daylight, one of those really bright, I'm assuming it's probably just blue light. I use it in the morning to wake myself up. Is there a detrimental potentially effect to that? Because it's really bright. I do have it over my head. Do you think with all of our exposure to blue light, maybe that's not ideal?
Andy Mant: Yeah, I mean, anything that isn't the rising sun in the morning is not going to be good. You want to be careful with long-term use of something like that. If you want to keep it in and you want to hack it, you're doing the right thing. Don't just have that lamp in isolation, have your red light therapy device next to it. You're balancing that spectrum out, if you're doing that, then that's going to be okay. Again, it's testing it out. I mean, personally, from what I've read and how it impacts me, I wouldn't. If I'm getting up in the morning, and the sun hasn't risen, I will put my Sleep+ glasses on because I'm always thinking to myself, what my ancestors would have seen, I would put those on because they wouldn't have seen any of the blues and not until the sun had risen.
Also, I live in a climate in Australia, where we have 300 days of full sun and no cloud in the sky. Yeah, so it's a lot easier for me. In the middle of the winter, it's like sort of 84 Fahrenheit, and full sun. So, we've got this beautiful climate. But having come from the UK, I understand that, it might be difficult to get outside when it's really cold in the mornings and there's not really a lot of sunlight present. It is difficult for people in northern latitudes. I think that even though it's not optimal, I think that it's something that you can do in the winter months, especially in the northern latitudes, as long as you're hacking it like you're hacking it. Which is not just having a piercing spike of blue light going into your eyes. You're balancing out, you're having the red light next to it. Maybe you got a few Lumi Bulbs on as well at the same time and is trying to mimic the sun as much as possible. Just be careful with it, but if it's for a few months, a year, then that's fine because the short answer is to everyone, move to wherever there's more optimal light and more optimal light environment, but that's not practical for majority of people. Yeah, I think these things are fine to do as long as you're aware of, I guess, any potential negatives and trying to mitigate those through various biohacks.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, yeah. This is great, because you touched on, we actually had quite a few questions about the whole morning thing. I'll just read these four questions, and then you can add any information to what you just said, but you touched on most of it. Missy said, “How important is it to wear blue light blocking in the morning if you get up before the sunrises?” Then, Cynthia said, “Is it necessary to wear them during the day, or just at dusk?” Angie said-- oh, she said she just ordered a pair last night and she's so excited for their arrival. She said her question would be, “Would there be any benefit to wearing them for some time in the morning or not?” Then lastly, Tamara said, “Is it good to block blue light all day or just a few hours before bedtime?” Using it, wearing morning in the day, which you kind of just touched on.
Andy Mant: Yeah, definitely. I'll recap. Look, you've always got to get in the mindset of thinking, “What would our ancestors have seen in the morning?” If they got up before the sun had risen, they would have had red light present, they wouldn't have had any of the blue light. They would have only have seen that at sunrise. You don't want to roll over 6:00 AM in the morning when the sun is rising at 8:00 AM and look at your smartphone or turn on your house lights because you're just going to tell your brain that it's midday, and you've missed out on all those morning hours of hormone release and suppression, and neurotransmitter release and suppression that's going to give us an optimal hormonal system. You're also going to impact your sleep later on the day because your phase shift, which means that you won't go to sleep until later.
What you got to do is if you're up in the morning, you before the sun has risen, you've got to be wearing the Sleep+ glasses. The ones you wear typically before bed, you'd wear them first because that's going to mimic what it would be like at nighttime for our ancestors, which would be prior to sunrise in the mornings. This is where the red light bulbs and the Lumi SummerGlo, the yellow light bulbs come in. If you start installing those in your house, you can then be quite selective about what light you're having on. So, you can put on the red light bulbs, and then you can put on-- you don't have to wear the glasses in the morning. If it's getting close to sunrise, you can put on the yellow lights because there's like 90% blue light taken out of those. You can also then when the sun is starting to rise, you can then take your glasses off and go outside, look at that light., and then you’ve trained your body clock to see the first sort of blue light you're seeing is from that sunrise in the morning. Whether it's from a cloudy day, rainy day, the light is still present out there. Obviously, it's better if it's not cloudy, but you can still get a similar benefit to in train and start that circadian clock correctly.
Now, during the day, it is absolutely paramount and I cannot stress this enough. Do not block blue light during the day, okay? You want to filter it, but you don't want to block it. When it's a nice sunny day outside and you look up at the sky, what color is that sky? It's blue. Okay. The blue light is it does beautiful things for us during the day from the sun. It tells us that-- dopamine and serotonin can be high, feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters keeps cortisol levels high, which causes us to feel alert and awake, which is a good thing during the day. It's also an antagonist to elevate cortisol, which is an antagonist, sorry, for any ultraviolet light damage that might happen to us during the day. Our bodies can't detect UV light, its mechanism is to detect blue light increased cortisol, which then mitigates any potential cellular damage from UV light, which could happen during the day. That's why blue light is brilliant during the day.
What has happened is, we've decided to strip out all the red light from our artificial light sources. We have decided to really put only a very small banding of blue light within LEDs, but put it at a very high-intensity level. What we need to do during the day? We need to filter the amount of blue light we're receiving down a bit. So, it's in line with what it's coming from the sun. To do that, you wear clear lenses that filter out about 30% of the blue light, so that’s blue light computer glasses from BLUblox. If you have a sensitivity to light during the day, so you get migraine headaches, maybe you're stressed, anxious, depressed, or maybe it's becoming a seasonal issue for you, like seasonal affective disorder that a lot people in the UK get, then you would wear the yellow lenses during the day.
Under no circumstances would you wear the red lenses during the day, unless you were traveling to manage jetlag. Or, if you are unfortunate enough to be working night shifts, and that's your sleeping time during the day. The best thing you can do is block blue light two to three hours before bed using the Sleep+ glasses, filter blue light during the day using either the clear lenses or the yellow lenses depending on your sensitivity to blue light. 90% of people listening to this will need the clear lenses during the day. 10% will have probably a underlying issue that they need a bit more blue light filtration during the day. Then also add red light back into your life as well. Use the red light therapy device you have to be able to bring some of that balance back, bring the red light back that’s been stripped out of your LED light sources. Add your salt lamp next to your computer, have some red lights around you, or some yellow lights around you like the summer glow lights. You’ll then have this whole holistic light management and hygiene approach that will just be really optimal. Then if you've got-- I know we're talking about blue light, but if you've got a red light therapy device, you can use the red light, the visible red light on that device anytime of the day or night. It's not going to impact you in any way, but positive.
When you're using the invisible frequencies of your red light therapy device, so your infrared, your 850 nanometers, you only want to be using that between sunrise and sunset because ancestrally infrared light is not present before sunset or after sunset or before sunrise, so at nighttime. You want to be very careful about how you utilize that light as well because infrared light is what gives the sun its warmth. It's present during the day and it's not present after sunset. In answer the question, Sleep+ glasses in the morning, before the sunrise is what you want to do. Lumi light bulbs installed in your house, so you're not going to impact your circadian rhythm if you wake up early. During the day, filter blue light, don't block it.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, this is incredible. That was a huge takeaway for me. I think on our last conversation, either on this show or on the IF podcast, about the Red vs NIR, if you're using it as ambient lighting or the timing of using it because people often ask me, they're like, “How often do you turn on the red light devices?” I'm like, “Well, it's sort of running 24/7, at least as long as I'm awake because it just makes me feel so good.” That light just has such a profound effect on my mood, my circadian rhythm. I didn't make that change, because I had been running the red and NIR, basically the whole time. Then I switched to only having NIR during when I would actually be exposed to it. You answered this question from Sunny. She wants to know the difference between your yellow, orange lenses versus the clear ones. The clear ones, they block about 30% of blue light. The ones that are attached with the yellow, like, what percent of blue light do they block?
Andy Mant: Yes, they block about 50%. Basically, the two daytime glasses, so the clears and the yellows, they do exactly the same thing when it comes to what they're addressing, which is digital eye strain. Both of those glasses will address dry eyes, watery eyes, headaches, and migraines during the day. Where the SummerGlo differs is that someone that has high levels of stress, anxiety, depression, or seasonal affective disorder, basically will mean that if they're exposed to high frequencies of isolated blue light, though, the feelings of anxiety, depression, stress, and sometimes migraines will be intensified. What we wanted to do was block a little bit more blue light during the day, but also put the color therapy in to elevate their mood as well. In essence, both the glasses do the same thing, the clears and the yellows, except the yellows do a little bit more for those people that need it.
We also found that a lot of people didn't feel comfortable wearing the yellow glasses in an office environment. We wanted to have an option for people that just wanted to wear sort of a pair that didn't distort color that didn't look like they were wearing anything biohackery because I know people like you and I, Melanie, and a few other listeners would have no problem, we’d wear whatever.
Melanie Avalon: No fear. I like my CGM on and I like all my stuff. Oh, my God.
Andy Mant: Some people will have an issue with that and sometimes the workplace might even have an issue with it. It might be working customer-facing and they want you to look a certain way, unfortunately, so the cleaners are great for that as well. Majority of people will be fine with the clear lenses, but if you want to go like full Melanie Avalon biohacking, then you want the yellows during the day. It's really weighing up which one fits best because we got asked that question a lot. We have it on our website. I've also done some YouTube videos on it. Just come ask us. We've got all my customer service, ladies, they hear me preach on about this stuff every day because I want them to know as much as I do, so they'll be able to answer, If you're unsure, just say that, “I heard Andy on this podcast, I'm still not sure if I want the clears or the yellows or what I need. This is my light environment during the day, this is how I feel when I'm under light. Can you suggest which one will be best for me?” And they'll be able to say, boom, you'll need the clears or you'll need the yellows. We take the guesswork out of that, we've got such lovely girls hear that absorb all this information in science and we'll make sure that you're picking the right ones. Definitely just drop them an email through the website. I just think that's the best way I think that takes the guesswork out of it and ensures that you're getting the right pair for yourself as well. Everyone on this planet needs the red sleep classes. That's a given, but it's the daytime one that does cause a little bit confusion because there are two options because we want to cater for everyone.
Melanie Avalon: I love that so much. I actually had a really good moment the other day because I think a lot people see the yellow lens and their first thought is that it's all about-- which it is about blocking the blue light, but they think that's the main thing. When it also has what you just said about the mood and helping with all of that with the yellow color. I was out the other day, this girl must have been wearing BLUblox because I was out and it was overcast, so it wasn't very bright at all. I saw this girl in the parking lot and she had on-- they looked like BLUblox and they were the yellow ones. I was like, “Oh, are those blue light blocking glasses? She was like, “Yeah, it's overcast, so I'm wearing them for my mood.” I was like, “Yep, those have to be BLUblox,” because otherwise pointed out that it was overcast and that's why she was wearing them. So, it was a good moment.
Andy Mant: Love it. Love that.
Melanie Avalon: Flip side of the spectrum, also in the same world of winter wear them. Irene has a question about wearing at night. She says, “I have a pair, I often wonder if I only wear them for a short time before bed, does that even help? Or, if I'm wearing them, I take them off for bed and then I quickly looked at my phone by accident. Does it ruin it or is having worn them for the past few hours created some sort of “bank?” I guess what I'm asking is, is it all or nothing, or is it cumulative?”
Andy Mant: It is cumulative, but going back to what I said earlier, you'll set it back 20 minutes, like you won't start producing-- you'll have that break in it. You're building up your melatonin, wearing your glasses, it's building up, you take them off, it drops to nothing. Then in 20 minutes, it carries on producing again and adding to the bank. What you want to do is just make sure that you've hacked your light environment, get the Lumi light bulbs in, turn your iPhone screen red, as soon as that sunsets turn it red, just google how to turn your iPhone screen red and read my blog on how to do that. Then you won't have any excuses to take them off. You need two or three hours minimum really before bed uninterrupted, in my opinion, to get the optimal benefits.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, and then also similar question, but to that same point-- Oh, and I want to say really quickly, before I forget. There are a ton of styles because we were talking about whether or not you want to look like you're wearing biohacking glasses. What's awesome about BLUblox, listeners, if you go on the website, there are so many styles, so you can really find whatever look you're going for, they've got it. It's not like there's just one option. Just wanted to make that known. They're not visors, they're not full coverage. Caroline says, “Blue light seems to get in during the evenings over and underneath the frame. How much can this impair sleep? It happens several times in the evening, as I can't sit completely still or stay in one place all evening. I've heard Andy before and I seem to recall he said it's extremely important not to get any glimpses of blue light. If we perceive getting blue light from around the rims, is that problematic?
Andy Mant: Yeah, that was a really good question. One that I have answered a few times before in other podcasts. It's actually all comes down to light angle and the placement of light-sensitive cells within the eye. We have things in our eyes called interpupillary retinal ganglion cells, so ipRGC. What those cells do is they sense blue light, and they are located very deep within the retina. When you actually look at angle of light, the biggest impact of light on those ipRGCs is from basically directly shining into your eyes from straight on. It all comes down to low angle again. The light that actually is shining in from the sides has-- I can't say no effect, it has minimal effect on melatonin production.
One of the biggest issues would be light from above, as well as we mentioned earlier from Dr. Alexander Wunsch’s research, that's a very unnatural angle to have light coming down on you from after sunset. It's just not ancestrally present. You want to make sure that you don't have those light sources from above, and if you do, that red ideally would just have lamps on after sunset.
We also recognize that some people that have a sensitivity to blue light or find that peripheral light being an issue, we actually introduced a frame a year ago that takes out all of the peripheral light. It's called Onyx. It's like pair of Oakleys, they wrap around, so no peripheral light can come through.
Melanie Avalon: That’s the pair I have, by the way. I love it.
Andy Mant: Yeah, that's the ultimate, so I wear those after sunset as well. They're just so good. To answer the question, try and limit your light sources from above after sunset. Peripheral lights not going to be a major issue for many people because of the location of the ipRGC light-sensitive signaling cells within the retina. It's deep within the inner retina. For those that still are, “Well, you know what? It still annoys me having the peripheral light come in and I want optimal like Andy and Melanie.” Then you up for the next frame, but the downside to the Onyx frame is that it's not the most stylish of frame, so you have to weigh up optimal versus style. To answer the question, very minimal effect on melatonin, but if you want to go that full hulk, then we have a product called Onyx which completely blocks out peripheral light.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, awesome. Some more questions about the glasses that you offer because you do offer the ability to get prescription made glasses, which is awesome. Mary Josie, she wants to know, “Do you make reading glasses?” Also, Christa wants to know, “Do you make progressive prescription lenses in the night red.” She says she has a very strong prescription and she needs reading correction. She doesn't want to wear her contacts to bed with the red glasses. With the prescription offers, reading glasses, to what extent can people get versions of blue light blocking glasses for all of that?
Andy Mant: Whatever they have prescription wise, readers anything, whatever it is, trifocals, bifocals, progressive, multifocals, prisms, reading magnification, we can do. We can do absolutely everything. Bifocals, if people want the line in there, we typically do progressives because there's no line that's aesthetically more pleasing. We can do the lot, which isn't a problem, we go all the way up to plus four on the reading magnification for general readers, and go higher if people have prescription. It's just a case of when-- when you go to the website, you look through all the frames that you want to choose from you choose your pair of Miki Sleep+ glasses that you love. Then when you go to “add to your cart,” you have to select whether you want non-prescription, prescription, or readers. If you select readers, then it loads up a drop-down list for you to choose your magnification from 0.25, up to +4, and they go up in 0.25 increments. So, you can get those reading magnifications, then you just add it to cart.
If you select prescription as your option, when you've chosen the Miki Sleep+ frames, or any frame for that matter, you then get greeted with another option, “Do you want single focal or progressive?” You would select which one will you would like. Then you have to then upload a copy of your script, that can be just a scanned copy or a photograph from your phone of the script from your optometrist. Or, you could just write it on a Word document, you'd upload that, send it through to us, complete your order. Then we just work with our lab to get that done for you, it takes about five days to create and then about five days to ship. In 10 days, you've got yourself a pair of blue light blocking or blue light filtering prescription or reading glasses from BLUblox.
If you've got a favorite pair of sunglasses or prescription glasses that you want us to add our lens technology to, you can also just send us your frames as well, we have that option. It's called Custom Blue Blockers, it's on each section. You just order through that, then you post us your glasses, BLUbloxify them for you and send them back to you.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, my goodness, I'm learning so much. I didn't know you guys do all of that. Speaking of frames, Chris said, “My dog ate my frames like the second week that I got them. Can these be taken to any eyeglass place to repair?”
Andy Mant: It depends how badly chewed they are, I guess. That's a horrible one. Yeah, it's a tough one. If the lenses are still working, if the lenses aren't cracked, if he emails customer service and mentions that I said this was okay, we can send them a replacement frame, because the frames are actually fairly cheap to produce because obviously, we get those produced in large volumes. It's the lens technology where the money is spent on BLUblox because it's so superior in its optics lab and really high quality. He wouldn't have to spend100 bucks again, we might be able do a new frame for him for $30 or something and ship that out to him, which means that, he's going to get a nice new frame, he's just got to pop the lenses out and put them back into the new frame. We might be able to do that. It's not really a service, we advertise on the website, but I don't think an optometrist is going to be able to fix a dog chewed frame. If he just messages our customer service and says that he spoken to me and I've said that this is okay, they'll just rush a new frame at him and he can just pop his lenses in into that.
Melanie Avalon: Awesome. Yeah, because I'm a little bit confused by his question, because he did say that the frames are still okay, but he said the frames were what got eaten. I don't know if he meant maybe the lenses? I don't know what’s going on, Chris. He did say it was what a mess. I will let him know what you said, so that's incredible. Two more questions about the prescription. Some people have prescription glasses, they're wondering if you will make anything in the future to modify pre-existing glasses? For example, Giovanna says, “Will they be willing to make in self-clip-ons, I need glasses all the time. I don't want to spend on prescription Blue Blockers because it changes every year, which will be expensive.” Then Diane says, “For those of us with prescription glasses, will BLUblox develop a clip-on version to use over our own glasses. That would be very convenient, and very economical, especially for those of us with complicated prescriptions.” Is that at all in the works, a clip-on?
Andy Mant: It's something we used to do before we did prescription glasses. Yeah, we used to do it. It used to be fairly popular. The issue we had was that we couldn't get-- we had to get those clip-ons from a different supplier, so they weren't blocking optimally in line with a science. We tried it, they were popular, but we've just like, “That's not our brand. We want to be optimal, and we couldn't get that optimal solution.” We pulled that product. I guess what we could probably think about doing because this question comes up five or six times a day about the clip-on, fit overs. Typically, is people that have prescriptions that change a lot, we don't have to, but what could be a good workaround is some sort of subscription service where someone that's ordered a pair of complex prescription glasses, or generally a pair of prescription glasses, it almost needs to be that if they need to then come back and get a second pair in a year time because that prescriptions changed. We could do some sort half-price deal for those types of people.
Say, they bought Sleep+ now, then a year later, they're like, “Well, I need another pair of Sleep+ with a different script, we would have some sort of loyalty program in place to be able to get that out to people, so they're not having to spend quite a lot each time to be able to get them. That's probably the workaround. Yeah, there would be nothing in the pipeline to actually offer the clip-ons or fit overs. The issue we would have, and again, it's from more of a-- I guess, a business perspective, you're almost undermining one product against another by having that option. You're almost saying we do prescription glasses, but you can also buy clip-ons, it's sort of saying you don't need prescription, you can just have the clip-ons. Yes, I don't know how it would fit, it's hard. I don't want to confuse people.
I also realize there is an issue here with because I get so many questions on it every day and customer service do, we have a template for it, that people want this kind of product? Maybe there is a workaround some way with it, I don't know. It's one that's definitely in the front of my mind. The supplier I have at the moment wouldn't be able to do clip-on, so it would mean finding another supplier to do them and making sure the technology is exactly the same, which would be tricky. But, yeah, it's good questions, and unfortunately, no, we don't. We do everything in any prescription. Typically, our prescription prices are a lot cheaper than going into an optometrist anyway, so that could be worth looking at that. Sorry, it's not really, really positive answer on that one.
Melanie Avalon: Some other quick questions about using with electronic devices. Norine says that she has a pair they help her get drowsy. She says, “I like to read on my phone at night, but it's difficult with the glasses on because they darken it. If I turn my phone screen brighter, will the glasses be just as effective for blue blocking and enhancing sleepiness?” I've wondered that as well. If you turn up your brightness on your phone, is it still blocking all this stuff?
Andy Mant: It certainly does. It's a really good idea and a really good workaround and well worth doing. What I would make sure to do, if you're turning up your brightness on your phone screen, and reading from your phone before bed that you cover your thyroid, so cover it with a scarf, because you don't want to be shining that light on your thyroid.
Melanie Avalon: I’ve never thought about that.
Andy Mant: There's not a lot of studies on it, but there's one in Japan that have shown that artificial blue light in isolation can actually disrupt T cell production within the thyroid. I always say, if you're using your phone for any length of time, especially if you're a woman because for some reason women experienced this a lot more than men, hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, make sure you get a like a silk scarf or something to cover your neck when your phone is being used because if you think about when you use your phone, you're basically just shining blue light on that thyroid, and it's so close to the surface of your skin, that it's going to disrupt hormonal profiling. Yeah, definitely something to consider. The blue light glasses will work just the same as if you have it on dim. Or if you have it on very bright, so, yes, you can turn that up on your phone. Or, maybe think if the screen is maybe too small, or you can't, maybe that's the issue, maybe look at a tablet to read from. Kindle’s a little bit more favorable as well because they don't emit as much blue light. There's a few hacks there.
One of the big things with light, and how the eye works in terms of keeping it healthy, is that if we read black letters on a white background, we are going to cause overtime a degradation of our eye and we can lead to things like short-sightedness, macular degeneration. If you flip the background to be black with white lettering, so invert the colors on your phone, you're not going to cause any damage to your eyes through reading text in that way, studies have shown this, and you may also be able to see it a lot more clearly because a black background with the white letters will be easier to see, wearing blue light glasses as well, as opposed to the other way round.
Melanie Avalon: I love hearing that. I love that. I don't know if the normal male on Mac does this, but the Airmail client that I use, it switches my mail at night to like a black background and white text. I found that really effective. Really quick about the thyroid. I've done a lot of research on the red and near-infrared light. The studies on near-infrared therapy, on thyroid on hypothyroidism are shocking. They found in studies the way people have been able to go off of their thyroid medication treating their thyroid with NIR, which I think that was one of the selling points for me back in the day when I was researching all of that, so that will be the flip side of the spectrum, healing our thyroid.
Andy Mant: Absolutely, every night I use red light therapy device on my thyroid, I will shine it on there for 10, 15 minutes. And yeah, it's works wonders. It really does. Yeah, keep doing that, please.
Melanie Avalon: I stopped doing it, I need start integrating it into my routine again. I think when I do my sauna session I should like-- I'll make that part of it. Hold it over my thyroid. One more electronic question. For people that watch TV at night, some people say, if they want to watch it, they don't want to experience any color change on the TV. I'm guessing that's probably not quite an option. Norine says, “Is there any future plans to develop the sleep glasses without any darkening and to make TV watching without changing colors?” Margaret says, she doesn't wear hers because of the color change with the TV? I feel like there's probably not [unintelligible [01:21:37] answer for that.
Andy Mant: Unfortunately, those individuals are choosing the path of potentially poorer health for watching television more aesthetically for them. I hate to say that it's true. The fact of the matter when it comes to light filtration is from a physics standpoint, you can't have-- you got to think of it right--
Melanie Avalon: [crosstalk] -possible.
Andy Mant: Yeah, it's physically not possible in this universe. The color blue means that it contains blue light, okay. If you're watching the telly and Jack from EastEnders, or whatever soaps you guys watch over in America is wearing a blue shirt, that shirt has-- LEDs are showing that as blue light. So, you have to remove that color, that has to be removed because you can't see blue. If you want to see blue, then you're going to have a harder time sleeping, you're going to disrupt your hormones. To be fair, a lot of people with blue light glasses that change the color, you're not going to put your glasses on to see red, it's not going to happen. The blues will appear black and the greens will appear a different shade of green.
Once you actually wear these religiously for three to four weeks, you're not going to see any different. When you first put them on and you watch your program, you are going to think it's different because you've been watching it for so many years and seeing all the other colors. But when you actually just create it as a habit, after three to four weeks, you'll take the glasses off, look at the TV, and you'll feel like your eyes are burning. That's how bad it actually is, the amount of blue light that's present. I think that answer number one to the question is physically impossible not to have color distortion because blue light needs to be blocked. The color blue should not be seen. Two, if you're favoring watching TV without blue light glasses in the evening over wearing blue light glasses in the evening, then there's not a lot I can do to help you, I'm afraid. You're going to be on the path to bad sleep, bad health and probably have a lot of issues later on in life. Weigh it up, if your soaps are more important to you than that, then amazing, go for it, totally up to you, everyone can do what they want, it's not an issue. If your health is more important to you, then you want to be probably sucking up the color difference and trying to get used to it really.
Melanie Avalon: I was thinking about this. I guess I haven't watched anything in “normal colors” in years because I'll often play something in the evening to wind down because I tend to always be on, and I find it actually very distressing, but I always watch with my glasses, but it really doesn't bother me. When you've been doing it this long, you get used to it, it's not really that much of a big deal. Few more questions about your company. For shipping, we did have a question. Do you ship at all to APO addresses, military addresses that are US addresses, but they are not in the US, or do you have plans to do that?
Andy Mant: We do it all the time. Yeah, it's totally--
Melanie Avalon: But he is in Germany with an APO address?
Andy Mant: Yep, no problem at all. Absolutely no problem. We do that all the time.
Melanie Avalon: She said she ordered and they canceled her order because they cannot ship to a military base PO box in Germany.
Andy Mant: Hmm. What was her name?
Melanie Avalon: Lydia.
Andy Mant: Okay, I'll look into that, because we ship there every day pretty much, all over the place. Yeah, hopefully she's got the right company because, yeah, the [unintelligible [01:25:21] ship all day every day to APOs all over the place. Africa, Middle East and Afghanistan, Iraq, places like that. We definitely can. It's not a problem.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, that's great. She's going to love that. Also, Monica wants to know, because for every pair of glasses, you guys give a pair of glasses to someone in need. Monica wants to know, what exactly is happening with that? What type of glasses are people getting?
Andy Mant: Yeah, absolutely. What happens with that is restoring vision, who we work with. We have a buy one, gift one pledge. What happens is that when someone buys a pair of glasses from us, we gift the monetary equivalent of a pair of reading glasses to restoring vision at the end of each quarter. They then use that money because all they do is buy reading glasses for people in developing world. They're not getting our product, but we're funding their mission to get standard reading glasses for these people who-- they need them to be able to just-- they don’t need prescription, they just need reading magnification, so they can see better to be able to work in the factories they're working in to provide an income for their families and put their kids through school, things like that. It's just one of the most simple things that we take for granted over here, like a pair of reading glasses, but they're just not available in these developing countries. They can't afford them. That's what we do. it's a monetary value for each pair, that then goes to restoring vision. Then, they use those funds to purchase reading glasses and put them on to people in the developing world. That's definitely something that's dear to our hearts.
Melanie Avalon: That is so incredible. I'm glad she asked that because I was wondering about the specifics of that. Now I know even more. Just a few more rapid-fire questions. Barb wants to know-- and you touched on this a little bit already, for those people who do shift work or work at night, she says, “I would like to know how the glasses can help those of us who work nights?” For shift workers, how might they use it?
Andy Mant: Yeah, it's a really good question. Shiftwork is something that can be hacked, but it can never be optimal, unfortunately, because we haven't evolved to work at night under artificial light, it's just a simple fact of the matter. If they can change from night shifts today, please do so, but the issue you've got is that so many amazing people, like nurses, doctors, security, they all have to work nights to protect us and keep us healthy. Secondly, I'd like to thank those people that are listening that do work night shifts for damaging their health to make our world a better place and make us healthier. That's huge. There are hacks you can do.
When you're working under artificial lights, after sunset, you would need to be wearing the SummerGlo lenses throughout the shift because you still want some blue light, you don't want to block it, but you don't want to have too much of it coming into your body for your eyes. What you do also need is you need that color therapy boost because your hormones are going to be a little bit all over the place, and shift workers typically have more depression, anxiety, and stress levels and people that work during the day. The color therapy within the SummerGlo lenses is going to be a huge help. I guess the hacks come really after the night shift after that one's happened. It's more a case of you need to then mimic the nighttime, so you need to go outside and get a lot of sunlight after your shift and before your shift as much as you can because you're going to be sleeping during the day when natural lights present which isn't ideal, we need a lot of natural light. If you start depriving yourself of natural light in between your shifts, you're going to really, really accelerate a lot of issues at a cellular level. So, getting outside.
I always say to night shift workers ground yourself to the earth, barefoot on the grass, on the sand, because you're going to have a hell of a lot of inflammation working under those kind of lights after sunset. Grounding yourself to the earth is going to reduce that inflammation. You need to utilize a lot of red light therapy, a lot of it. Sitting down after your shift and getting red light on as much of your body as you can near-infrared and red because, again, you're going to be full of inflammation. If you can stomach it, ice baths and cold showers, but I know a lot of people can't. Red light therapy is probably a bit better, a bit warmer.
What you want to do is you need to create a sleep sanctuary for yourself. After you've done all that stuff after your shift, you need to be getting in that 100% dark room, you need blackout curtains, you need 100% blackout sleep mask, you want your room to be nice and cool. Make sure it's the right temperature, get a chiliPAD or something to sleep on, or put the air conditioning on in your room and set it to that temperature for optimal sleep. Then once you wake up, make sure you wake up in good time for your shift, so you can go outside, and you can get more natural light before you start your shift because then your body will think, “Oh, that's my daytime. I've got the light through from the sun through my eyes, and I can start my night shift.” If you implement those hacks, you're going to be in a good place.
A molecular hydrogen is also a really good thing to take. I won't name any brands, but you google molecular hydrogen and start supplementing on that. Glutamines also good as well to help mitigate any inflammation and reactive oxygen species in your body. Ultimately, unfortunately, night shift is really not good. There's a huge study on it, nurses’ study where they looked at women that work night shifts, and almost an increase in all-cause mortality for them, their risk of dying from anything was increased quite substantially from working night shifts. You want to mitigate as much as that, bring that risk factor down as much as possible by implementing those types of hacks. If you can, try and not work night shifts, but I know that's not possible for many people. For that, I salute them as well and say thank you for what you do because without you working those night shifts, the world would be a worse place. I thank them for that.
Melanie Avalon: We get so many questions on the eating side of things on the Intermittent Fasting podcast from nightshift workers and how to make all that work. it's just really not the ideal situation. So, that's why I'm so grateful for all these things that we can do to mitigate a lot of the potential problems with that. I should have asked this one earlier when we were talking about the electronic devices. Do you have any plans for-- Nicole wants to know, “Will you make anything that attaches to devices?” Like put over your computer or phones or TVs.
Andy Mant: You can hack a lot of this stuff where possible. I've got a company that produces optimal products, and yes, we want to make money because we wouldn't have a business otherwise. But I also like to give free things back to people as well. I don't want to just upsell, upsell, upsell to people when there's actually things out there that you can do for free. Your computer screen, for instance, get something like Iris or f.lux installed on your computer, and you can eradicate a lot of blue light that way for during the day. You don't need a screen protector. You use f.lux nice in combination with the glasses and you're onto a winner.
Your smartphone, just turn it to night shift mode during the day, and then hack your phone by googling how to turn your smartphone red after sunset. Then, you don't need a screen protector for that. That saves you some money. It's free things to do. The TV's a little bit more complex because I guess you wear glasses anyway by watching it, so it's not too much of a problem. You can hack that as well. If you run your favorite subscription service, say like Netflix through your computer, with Iris or f.lux installed on it, and then attach that computer to your TV and watch Netflix that way, then you will automatically have a filter applied to the TV as well, which will help mitigate any damage against blue light from hitting your skin. We probably wouldn't create those products because I don't want to take money from people unnecessarily when there's free ways to do these things, the glasses, the bulbs, the sleep mask and the red light therapy are things that people need. Whereas I think the screen protection and things like that would-- I feel so bad because there's free ways to do these things. I'm just taking someone's money for capitalist gains, and I don't want to do that.
Melanie Avalon: I love hearing that so much. Actually, that brings us full circle. Svetlana, she says she does have blue light blocking glasses, but they're not the BLUblox brand. She wants to know what makes BLUblox different than other glasses. This ties into what you just said because I do get a lot of questions from people wanting to know what the cheap alternative is to blue light blocking glasses as far as buying blue light blocking glasses. I mean you already talked about this in the beginning, but just to bring it all full circle and bring it home. Why should people choose BLUblox as their choice and make the investment in that for their health when it comes to blue light blocking?
Andy Mant: Yeah, absolutely. The biggest thing for us is that people buy a brand that is been backed by science and rigorously tested. Unfortunately, every other company that's out there doesn't do it. If there were other ones out there, I'd say go find them, it doesn't have to be bought from BLUblox, but if you're going to buy a pair of blue light glasses to wear before bed, I would ask for a third-party lab-tested spectral analysis report showing that 100% of light is blocked between 450 nanometers. If they can't produce that, then it's probably because it doesn't block between that or they're just jumping on the blue light bandwagon and have no idea what you're talking about. If you asked that to us, we'll send you a lens report, and you can look at it and go, “Yeah, everything's blocked between that spectrum.”
What you'll find with the cheap pairs is that they're mass-produced in China in a factory. They're just using a plastic lens that's orange filters, most blue light, but not enough of it to optimize your sleep. Where ours are made, and they're made in Australia in an optics laboratory. It's a three-tiered QC process using the highest-grade lens you can possibly buy. Then, we've applied, depending on what clear, yellow or red, we apply a specific tint to that lens. Then we spectrum test that lens to make sure it's blocking 100% of light.
The last study in 2001 claims to be the melatonin disruption zone for the Sleep+ glasses and various other studies for the yellow and clear. When they come to us here in our distribution hub, we then test them again using another spectrometer. If they pass that test, they can go out, if they don't, they go back to the lab and they're remade. With China, you won't get that. You'll get an order of a company that orders 1000 of them. Half of them won't-- all of them will be probably different blocking than each of the other ones, and none of them will block in line with science, unfortunately. You'll just be left with something that suboptimal. If you buy a cheap pair, you'll end up buying them again, because they'll break or they won't be optimal. You'll hear this podcast and be like, “Bugger, I bought the wrong pair of blue light glasses, I need to actually now invest in a proper pair.”
You got to look at it as an investment. I hate it when people say, what's the cheap alternative? Because would you do that with food? Would you go out and look what’s the cheapest food? Okay, right, it's fast food. Brilliant. I'll just live off that. Is that going to be good for your health? No, it's not. Whereas if you live off like organic, whole foods, yes, it costs a bit more, but you're going to save a lot in health insurance when you're older and not got horrible diseases. The same is true for blue light glasses. You’ve got these amazing frames, really high quality, the best lenses science-backed in the world. This isn't something you have to buy every year, this is something you've got for life. You might spend $100 on a pair of BLUblox glasses that will last you 20 years, that's nothing. That’s $5 a year to optimize your light hygiene and have the best, most optimal sleep hormone production that you possibly can.
There's just too many brands out there at the moment that are just getting a load of product from China. They're going on Alibaba, they're buying this stuff, badging it up with their branding, and then just trying to sell it. That is just not what we're about. We're about evidence-based, using the current technology educating. I've been on over 120 podcasts now talking-- maybe a small amount about BLUblox, but a lot of it about how light works at a biological level, and how you can implement these hacks in order to improve your health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, you can't do it if you're using suboptimal product that has been made in China, because those guys are in it for the business as well. They're mass producing this stuff, selling it around the world. Whereas our price point is higher because ours are made in Australia, higher quality, and they're backed by science, no one has access to the tents that we have. These are in-house produced tints that we've taken months and months to refine and get right. We just take pride in releasing the most optimal product. We test them every single pair before they go out. I think, as well just to cap it off, we gift back as well. You might buy yourself a pair of cheap blue light glasses on Amazon, that probably won't work very well, and you've helped yourself, which is amazing. Help yourself and you've got that privilege to be able to buy something like that, but someone in the developing world doesn't have that same privilege or access to something that will help them. By helping yourself by buying BLUblox, you're actually helping another person that can't help themselves in the developing world. We need more of that. We need more people, more brands to be able to start giving back to these people because it's our responsibility at BLUblox and everyone in the world to help those that are suppressed by other governments that can't buy these simple reading glasses just to be able to provide an education or an income to their children and family. Those are probably the most three most important factors. If BLUblox isn't for people, then I hope I've empowered people to ask the right questions to make sure they're getting the right product if they choose another brand.
Melanie Avalon: That is so, so incredible. Like I said, I do get that question a lot. I really have to advocate getting BLUblox for everything that you just said. You know the quality you're getting, you know you're blocking the blue light that you need to be blocking. There's the donation to the people need with the reading glasses. I, personally, have experienced so many benefits and I'm so grateful that we connected. I don't remember when it actually happened. I switched over all my glasses to you guys. I couldn't be happier. Also, grateful because you do have a special offer just for my audience. For listeners, if you go to melanieavalon.com/blublox and use the coupon MelanieAvalon, that will get you 15% off. So, there's that savings. I'm really, really grateful for that. By the way, I'll put all this information in the show notes. BLUblox is spelled B-L-U-B-L-O-X.
Andy, thank you. I just treasure our conversations so much. It brings me to the last question that I ask every single guest on this show. You might remember it from last time, but it's just because I realized more and more each day how important mindset is surrounding everything. What is something that you're grateful for?
Andy Mant: I am grateful right now that I live in a country that has pretty much suppressed COVID-19, and I can move freely around and have done for the last six months. We haven't had a community infection for six months in Western Australia. We've now opened up borders to the rest of Australia and we can start moving freely around the country with no restrictions. We've been moving around our state for six months with no restriction. I know, my heart goes out, my heart bleeds for people that are in Europe and the US right now and with these lockdowns and restrictions, and I'm just so grateful that we're in a country that's very isolated, and we're an island that we managed to shut down anyone coming into our country as soon as it started to escalate.
As much as that's frustrated me in terms of, we can't leave Australia to travel and probably won't be able to for another six months. Our freedoms are still intact here. I'm just so grateful for that. We're coming into a beautiful summer where it's just going to be lovely and hot. Lots of sun, and we're just going to just thrive, I think. I'm very grateful for that right now.
Melanie Avalon: That's incredible. I didn't realize that about Australia. Wow, that is definitely something to be grateful for. Well, thank you so much. This has been so incredible. I'm so grateful for everything that you're doing. Like I said, these conversations are just the best. I know my listeners are benefiting so much from all of the empowerment and the knowledge and the products that you're providing. Thank you. Hopefully, we can talk again in the future.
Andy Mant: Absolutely. Thank you again for letting me come on and speak to your amazing community. I hope this conversation helps empower people to improve their light hygiene in one way or the other.
Melanie Avalon: Perfect. All right. Well, thanks, Andy.
Andy Mant: Thanks, Melanie.