Light Hacking - A Complete Guide 2.0
HOW TO USE THIS THREAD:
Hi, I am right now in the process of researching and bulletproofing my home: regarding everything light and sleep... (and collagen formation, rejuvination, mitochondria, cyrcadian rythm, winder blues, energy, tissue healing, muscle pain relief, relaxation... you name it)
Since names, frequencies, ideas, products, concepts and knowledge have been thrown around losely in the various BP podcasts, forum posts, threads, youtube videos, all around the internet and on marketing sites of various companies .... - I wanted to - and am in the process of..getting order into the chaos for myself and creating a big-picture-frame that makes sense of all the given information and sciene that is out there; and will at the end provide a pragmatic frame of mind and blueprint on how to go about light hacking for optimal performance in your own home.
Since my knowledge is not "complete" at this point I wan't this thread to be HALF GUIDE (for total newbies) and HALF: my questions//your/our answers // a work in progress.
This can be difficult - hence, I appreciate your help. (Please shamelessely correct me on anything, provide sources, add content and knowledge.)
LIGHT what (we) I know
Living in nature makes this thread obsolete. Getting sunshine everyday and living in a hut without artificial lighting and not having and indoor job makes this thread obsolete. Meaning: Everything we scientifically found out and preach about light in a biohacking sense is backengineered from the sun and its full spectrum and the effects the different wavelenghts of this full spectrum have on the human physiology.
What is light? Light is a particle and a wave(length) at the same time. "Light" is the (tiny) range of frequencies / wavelenths the human eye is able to decode / "see" out of all the wavelengthes that we know of and that the sun emits / exist in the universe.
FUNCTION of light
In short ..The sun emits energy in form of photons. Photons are waves and particles at the same time. (http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=photons) Photons hit seaweed... [evolution..] ... Green plants emerge. Photons hit Chlorophyl ->Photosynthesis happens (http://sactree.com/assets/images/photosynthesis.jpg) Oxygen is produced, life becomes possible.
-Production of Vitamin D in your skin.
Evolution seems to have outsourced the energy hungy but majorly important process for our cell physiology of the vitamin D production to the energy of the sun and its collision with our skin since it (evolution) thought we're out in the sun anyways all the time. Then western modern civilization came and that did not work anymore. You should supplement.
Vitamin D is produced by the invisible fraction of the full spectrum, called UV-B. (UV = Ultraviolet, a wavelength between 10 and 400nm)
-Regulation of the cyrcadian rythm / (day and night rythm)
The presence of sunlight/certain wavelength ranges within the full spectrum trigger your body to wake up, excrete/spike cortisol, become energetic and stop the prodcution of melatonin.
The decreasing presence of sunlight and then the absence of sunlight causes you to start the production of melatonin, a powerful antioxidant, and makes you sleepy and wind down for the night and a restful and good night of deep sleep.
-Other cool stuff:
Healing with light and/or lasers.
Infrared lamps for healing muscle pain.
Cold red light for collagen formation.
Blue light as an anti fungal.
Blue light as an NO-releasing agent in tissue for more blood flow and healing.
The main problem, and hence the reason for biohacking light, is simply put, that we spend way too little time in natural sunlight given our northern western hemisphere lifestyle.
Other problems arise through
-BAD lighting in buildings that are far from optimal for performance and concentration i.e. flickering fluorescent lights
"the wrong light at the wrong time" or "Melatonin seems to be pretty damn important functioning as your inner clock its disturbance is linked to illness, i.e. cancer"
This problem can be divided into two sub problems:
1. Not enough of the right / necessary wavelenth at the wrong time
This refers mainly to the lack of full spectrum, and most importantly as it seems blue light, in the morning / throughout the day and therefore in too much melatonin throughout the day and can and does result in "winter blues", a lack of energy, or insomnia, through the disturbance of the rythm the sunrise-sunset-circle would naturally dictate.
2. Too much of the right light at the wrong time:
This refers mainly to light that is too bright and has too much of the "energizing" wavelength, again especially blue light, at the WRONG time... i.e. nighttime, before you go to bed, or even when you switch on the light to urinate at night or when there are artificial lightsources in your bedroom or shine into it.
Again, the player is melatonin:
Blue light interferes with the production of melatonin, which is a hormon produced in your pineal gland
and can be seen as the tact giver of your inner clock.
THE SOLUTION or BIOHACKING LIGHT
first,... there always is the lowhanging fruit:
The simple name of the game therefore is: Regulate and control your environment in a way so that you come as close as possible to emulating the natural cycle of the sun. In short: As long as you are inside throughout the day and in the evening, you want to try to expose your body to the same wavelengthes of visible light that the sun naturally would provide you with, given you were outside in order to increase sleep quality, better mood, prompt regeneration and have deep uninterrupted sleep.
KNOWLEDGE or WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW making sense of "spectrum" and different available lighting options
visible light is the range between 400nm (violet) and 700nm (red), again: http://www.pion.cz/_sites/pion/upload/images/a14cf10a5583d19f7cfdebd63cf64382_electromagnetic-spectrum.png
Now the mission is to get as close to natural sunlight as possible during the day... and to protect us from melatoin-production-disrupting blue light in the evening or at night when it is time for sleep.
The lighting options are incandescent (banned!), LEDs, Halogens, Fluorescent lamps and full spectrum lights.
In regard to the spectrum, not all light is created equally. Here is a great graphic that shows what lighting options give off what kind of light:
The melatonin disrupting part light is all light up to 510nm. Since even the tiniest amount of exposure can dis or interrupt melatonin production you want to avoid all standard artificial light like the pest at night.
Blue light in the morning:
This is supposed to "set" your cyrcadian rythm, energize you and help with insomnia.
You are supposed to have it next to you for 5-10minutes in the morning.
It will usually be BELOW your eyes when used as recommended.
Now if you are really picky it MIGHT make a difference from where it shines into your eyes since in nature, the blue sky is above us. I personally really like the feeling it gives you in the morning and I try to put it above me on my mirror in my bathroom to get blue light from where it is "meant to come from".
Daylight lamps for better mood and often recommended against depression (+excercise) and seasonal affective disorder
Now, - I am not sure about it - but I think I have read that the therapeutical measurable effect, at the end,... 'mereley' comes from the blue light within the spectrum these lamps emit. So it might be that it might not really matter if you go with one of these or with pure blue light.
Standard Lighting in your home or Lighting During The Day
I am right now in the process of installing two 58 W T8 True-Light Fluorescent Light Bulbs in my appartment which is 35qÂ² or ~360 square feet, and was advised to do so by a light specialist.
These are more and more used in hospitals, for therapeutic reasons, in medical practices, schools, kindergartens, private homes, etc.!
The name of the game here is: Full Spectrum light bulbs/fluorescent light bulbs.
-Better seing, more contrast
-UV-A and UV-B exposure for Vitamin D/mood/blood flow
For the european market:
and the closest to resmble this in the US seems to be:
This kind of light closely resembles the spectrum of the sun at around noon and therefore does contain UV-A and UV-B which is desirable.
This kind of light should be on in the morning or during the day. It is not "comfortable" or "cosy" so you should have more reddish light in the evening to wind down and get ready for sleep
Blue Blocking Glasses or What the heck is Dave wearing?
So, what is all the buzz with Daves orange glasses? Are they blue blocking glasses? Why would I want to consider a pair of blue blocking glasses and which ones to get?
1. Daves infamous orange glasses are Irlen custom made glasses:
and therefore not specifically designed for pure blue light blocking.
But why even consider blue-light-blocking-glasses? The idea behind blue blocking glasses is to block out the wavelength that appear "blue" for the human eye, since as we now know, blue light is not just blue but will also inhibit your pineal gland from producing melatonin, the powerful antioxidant that makes you sleepy and promotes healthy, rejuvinating sleep.
Usage is simple: The idea is to wear them 1-2 hours before you plan to go to bed.
Recommended by Dave and very cheap:
Much more expensive (and I am still trying to figure out why)
Glasses from lowbluelights.com, an entire company solving the problem of blue light.
You might also have heard of Gunnars (http://www.gunnars.com/)
According to an eMail they have sent me, the amber version of their glasses blocks about 65% of all blue light.
Therfore it is important to note that these glasses are NOT specifically for blocking blue light.
These are glasses for heavy-screen-users. I personally rock a pair of the Intercept Smoke for when I am spending a large amount of time in front of a screen, like right now.
These glasses are designed for making it easier for your eyes since the light emitted by most screens can have negative effects on you. (learn more here: http://www.gunnars.com/how-they-work/
Lighting At Night
Subsequently, if it is a good idea to block blue light via glasses 1-2 hours before you want to go to bed, - it probably also is a good idea to not be exposed to blue light during the night (in case nature calls for example)..
Already introduced, https://www.lowbluelights.com/about.asp, an entire company dedicated to optimal lighting at night in order to not disrupt melatonin production. (Backed up by science)
Dave sells their night light:
So it is probably a good idea to either use either these lights, blue blocking glasses, or orange tinted light bulbs for when you plan to stay up late/read before bed/want to wind down for the night or have to get up at night to pee.
Hack Your Screen
This one is easy.
Simply get: https://justgetflux.com/
A program designed to color your screen and block out harsh blue light, according to your position on earth and the natural cycle of the sun.
If jailbroken, also available for iPhone etc. as far as I know.
Things I plan to cover are:
-Collagen formation light
-mitochondria production enhancing light