The Sleep Is A Skill Podcast

003: Science Behind Circadian Rhythm Lighting w/ Brilli, Dr. Doug Steel & Jill Sherman

Episode Summary

Have you ever considered what your indoor lighting is doing to your health and your sleep? In this episode, we get into the science behind light's impact on our sleep...and methods to improve our circadian rhythm through indoor lighting options. Brilli is the first company to focus on improving health, wellness, mood, energy and sleep through something we’re all surrounded with every day of our lives: LIGHT.

Episode Notes

In this episode, we discuss:


- How light affects sleep

- Function of sleep

- How modern life gets in the way of sleep

- Harmful effects of blue light

- Using LED versus incandescent lighting

- Benefits of using Brilli

- Essential features of light exposure during the day

- How blue light can help improve attention and alertness during the day

- Headaches induced by flicker


Links and Resources:




Dr. Doug Steel

Neuroscientist and Translational Scientist

Dr. Doug Steel has spent the last decade studying the effects of lighting on living organisms and translating his findings into practical applications and phototherapies. He has extensively studied the convergence of tunable LED lighting technology to understand non-visual neural pathways from eye to brain and has received training in medical sciences and neuroscience, theoretical and applied biotechnology, integrative neuroscience and brain-environment interactions. He holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from Columbia University and is currently the Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of NeuroSense


Jill Sherman

Chief Marketing & Digital Officer

Jill Sherman has spent much of her career creating and launching award-winning brands in the beauty, wellness and lifestyle sectors. She joined Lucidity Lights in 2019 to apply her deep understanding of the consumer to help develop and launch the Brilli brand, the first light offering the widest spectrum of well-being benefits without sacrificing light quality or energy efficiency. Prior to this role, she served as Global Vice President of Marketing at Patchology, Senior Vice President of Social Strategy at Digitas, and Vice President of Marketing at Tria Beauty. In 2017, she was awarded “Top Women in Digital” for strategy by Cynopsis Media.

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Episode Transcription

Unknown Speaker  0:04  

Welcome to the sleep is a skill podcast. My name is Mollie McGlocklin. And I own a company that optimizes sleep through technology accountability and behavioral change. Each week I'll be interviewing world class experts ranging from doctors, innovators and thought leaders to give actionable tips and strategies that you can implement to become a more skillful sleeper. Let's jump into your dose of practical sleep training.


Unknown Speaker  0:30  

Welcome to the sleep as a skill podcast. I can't wait to share with you my third episode with Brilli a company that is on a mission to provide healthy home lighting specifically for your circadian rhythm. So a little backstory, I recorded this episode a few months back, but in the light of this historical time, I knew that I had to release it now that we suddenly find ourselves in an unprecedent in time in history, were so many of us are suddenly inside more than we


Unknown Speaker  1:00  

really ever have been before to practice social distancing? So what is that doing to our circadian rhythm and our sleep? Our guests on this episode will really shed some light no pun intended on this topic. So the first person is Dr. Doug Steele, a neuroscientist and translational scientist, Dr. Doug Steele has spent the last decade studying the effects of lighting on living organisms and translating his findings into practical applications and photo therapies. He has extensively studied the convergence of tuneable LED lighting technology to understand and non visual neural pathways from eye to brain and has received training in medical sciences and neuroscience, theoretical and applied biotechnology, integrative neuroscience and brain environment.


Unknown Speaker  2:00  

interactions. He holds a PhD in bio medical sciences from Columbia University and is currently the founder and chief Scientific Officer of neuroscience. Also, my guest Gil Sherman is Chief Marketing and Digital Officer of Brilli. So Jill Sherman has spent much of her career creating and launching award winning brands in the beauty, wellness and lifestyle sectors. She joined lucidity lights in 2019, to apply her deep understanding of the consumer to help develop and launch the brilliant brand, the first light offering the widest spectrum of well being benefits without sacrificing light quality or energy efficiency. Prior to this role, she served as global Vice President of Marketing at patch ology Senior Vice President of social strategy at digitus and vice president


Unknown Speaker  3:00  

of marketing at tree of beauty. In 2017, she was awarded top women in digital for strategy by synopsis media.


Unknown Speaker  3:12  

Today we have the brilliant team joining us and we I for one, I'm very, very excited to dive in with them. Today we have Jill Sherman and Dr. Doug steel. And, guys, I'm really excited and grateful that you are able to make time in your busy schedules to talk about light and sleep. Happy to be here.


Unknown Speaker  3:35  

Excited to be here. Thanks, Molly. Awesome. Thank you guys. Yeah, so number one, I would love if we could take a minute to just really start at the beginning and start at the basics and hear your take on and you know, maybe Dr. Doug steel, maybe this might be your area of expertise. If you could just paint a picture for us of almost like one on one.


Unknown Speaker  4:00  

And why this is important, particularly in the area of sleep optimization. Sure, well, sleep is, is an essential function for humans and and I think we tend to think of it as a nuisance or a convenience, but the origins of sleep go all the way back to the very most primitive organisms. So even bacteria have periods of activity and periods of inactivity and some of the most primitive organisms that that display a sensitivity to light were very, very ancient sand worms that would lie under the sand and when they detected you know, sunlight or darkness, they would come up out of the sand to feed and then go back under the sand. So, sleep is coupled with another essential process, which is that of alertness and awakeness and attention. So the two are


Unknown Speaker  5:00  

are separate but very intimately connected. So one part of the sleep story that I think we'll we'll get to is it's not only about our need for sleep, and the quality of sleep, but it has a direct impact on our attention span and our alertness during the day. So sleep isn't just about sleep. It's about how awake we are, and then how, how well we're able to attend to everything in our world, like job responsibilities, family, relationships, and everything else. Sleep is also an underlying contributing factor to just about every kind of health disorder or issue. And what's really interesting is a lot of the chronic health problems we see today. Things like high blood pressure, diabetes, sensitivity to things like rheumatoid arthritis, the chronic conditions that were affected by almost


Unknown Speaker  6:00  

All of them have a sleep component or a circadian component. And so depression is another one, and mental illness. So sleep isn't just about the amount of time we spend with our head on a pillow. It's really tied to our integrated daily health experience. Hmm, oh my god, that's so all a comprehensive look at the importance of light and how it affects even you know, the smallest of creatures and can kind of have this ripple effect into virtually all areas of our health and well being. And it just really has you pause and get connected to the importance of light in a different way. So I really thank you for painting that picture. And so, considering we're dealing with we're at a time when you know, sleep deprivation rates are, you know, really at a high end projected to be rising in the future. What do you see


Unknown Speaker  7:00  

One of the main problems as it relates to the lighting that we're dealing with are the light exposure that the average person has throughout their day. And so what, in your opinion, what is the biggest problem that they're facing as they are looking to improve their light exposure and to improve their sleep? Yeah. First of all, you know, this problem isn't something that's affected human beings. For thousands or millions of years. This is a very recent phenomenon. Yes, it we only develop problems with sleep relating to light with the invention of the electric light bulb up until then, we lived in in synchrony with the sun and the moon. We did things by candlelight, or by fire, but none of those disrupted our circadian patterns and what's happened is lifestyle and the dizziness with what


Unknown Speaker  8:00  

We're engaged in our day mapping things out, has made sleep just one more thing to be slaughtered or scheduled. And another issue with that, without, with sleep not being taken as a critical process, it's sort of considered an optional one is that as a result of our lifestyles of constant engagement, constant processing of information, we're developing what's called cognitive overload. And what that means is we're bombarded with facts and information and impressions and communications and through use of things like social media. Now we're preoccupied with what is our standing in the social hierarchy. What does this person think of me? And you might wonder, Well, what does that have to do with sleep? Well, it turns out when we go to bed, all of that cognitive overload is running like a hamster on a running wheel.


Unknown Speaker  9:00  

In our head, and if we can't still our minds, and relax and decompress, then we really have trouble falling asleep. And it also affects the depth of our sleep. So sleep is about the essential role restorative role of returning our bodies to, to a ready state for the following day. But it's also about a lifestyle and a lifestyle change as and how like contributes as part of an overall wellness strategy for us.


Unknown Speaker  9:37  

I'm so interesting. Now your company and so I know both and Gil, you might have some take on this too. But your company is looking to kind of help fill the void in the current optionality around our indoor lighting kind of dilemma. And yeah, right. And so and I think


Unknown Speaker  10:00  

Love your website, by the way, you do such a great job of kind of painting the picture of a bit of what the current problem is, you know, just the practical application of this and what you guys are offering to help solve not solve this problem, this still has to be something that we all have to be mindful of, but to help in a way that's really unique and outside of the current consumer market. So I was wondering if, you know, either one of you could touch on this, but what is missing in the in the current lighting that is available if the if the stats are right that it looks like the average American is staying is largely indoors. You know, in these alarming numbers, some of the numbers pointed supposedly, you know that over 90% of their days are spent inside but even despite the percentages, we can all make the assumption that a lot of us are spending an inordinate amount of time inside. So if that is true, then our indoor lighting becomes so very important.


Unknown Speaker  11:00  

So what is not working about the current light sources? And what does really help bring in to this conversation? Doug, maybe I'll start with the basics, and then I'll hand it off to you. So something does sort of talked about earlier was this idea that our circadian rhythm is about 24 hour cycles, and that it's not just the light that we're exposed to here and there, but it's the light we're exposed to all the time. If you imagine the sun from sunrise to sunset, it's, you know, that those color points and intensities are changing, you know, every millisecond, right. And so we're then sitting indoors under light, that doesn't change, right? It's most likely tuned for energy efficiency, all of the energy is in the blue spectrum. And that's the light that we wake up to that we set under all day and that we go to sleep to and the body is screaming, I need more right


Unknown Speaker  12:00  

This isn't working for me. And so all of those amazing circadian cues that you would get from shooting outdoors when you're waking up artificially, and then you're sitting on the subway and then you're sitting in an office and then you're sitting in a car and then you're home. All of those circadian cues go away. And so much of our physiology is linked to light cues. And you know, we have become the population that just thinks of light as a commodity. It's just something that you flip on, but the nuances to the light spectrum, the nuances to color and chromaticity, and gloominess, all of these things, is you know, think of it like a vitamin, right there's, there's a million different types of vitamins that you can get. And the same goes for light right? There's a lot of things that can be good in light if it's tuned properly. That can you know, pull some of the the wellness benefits of sunlight, daylight fun evening sun, but that's not how light is tuned. Most ways tuned.


Unknown Speaker  13:00  

To be energy efficient, and to turn on and off, and to meet the manufacturer's lifetime warranty date. So we have proposed that the population sort of rethink their relationship with time and light and their circadian rhythm. And basically swap out the light in your home with labor to be more in tune with your biology and with your circadian rhythm. So that, you know, this isn't like therapy where you you know, put your face up against a little light slam for 20 minutes a day. This is the life that you live with. This is the life that you wake up to the life that you have lunch with, like that you go to sleep to And the idea here is that you're giving your body the circadian cues that it needs throughout the day to optimize daytime activity both you know brain and physiology as well as help your body sort of naturally move into a state where the brain activity starts to slow the physical action.


Unknown Speaker  14:00  

Everything starts to flow and the body knows that it's time to start to actually prepare for sweet. Huh? Wow, did I get that dog? Yeah.


Unknown Speaker  14:10  

Yeah, Doug, do you have a shed any shed any more light puns? Yeah.


Unknown Speaker  14:16  

We haven't gotten into the science of this. And,


Unknown Speaker  14:21  

you know, when we think of the eyes, we think of vision. Light is entering our eyes, and it's its purpose to help us see things. Well, about 20 years ago, it was discovered that the eyes have a completely separate unique function. There are special receptors in the eye, that are particularly sensitive to certain kinds of blue light. And this pathway in the brain has nothing to do with vision. Instead, it goes to the part of our brain that sort of sets the master clock for the circadian rhythm in every tissue and organ in our body.


Unknown Speaker  15:00  

And so light is the main time setter for our daily rhythm. And it not only sets it on a daily basis, but in fact, and our brain have about a three day memory of previous light exposure. And so this three day history, combined with daily exposure is what contributes directly to our quality of sleep, our quality of awakeness and alertness, as well as in training, circadian rhythm.


Unknown Speaker  15:33  

One thing I'll say is that the very first approaches to this were to provide the right spectrum of light at the right time of day and so the idea was to provide high intensity blue in the early part of the day, and the high intensity blue exerts a very strong effect on our body. But the problem is that this


Unknown Speaker  16:00  

Usually it can be unpleasant. Blue is very harsh colors are rendered well. So if you put a high blue content light bulb in your kitchen or dining room, and first thing in the morning, you're blasting yourself with blue, and you look down at your cereal or your plate of eggs, the colors are just going to look really unnatural. It's going to look really unappetizing. So what happens is, people may want to use a high blue content like for sleep and circadian purposes, but it just isn't pleasant. It's a struggle. So I think what we're now seeing is the second and even third generation lighting products being developed by really, in which color quality and color rendering are given equal priority with the actual construct.


Unknown Speaker  17:00  

Crude blue content of the light. So as a result, you can think of it as the blue is sort of hiding in plain sight in these really products, but the color rendering of artwork on the wall, or your peas and carrots on a dinner plate still look really, really good. And so as a result, people are more likely to use products like that for a long period of time, as opposed you know, as opposed to the, what I'd call the cheap or bad blue. These might be the things you buy at a local home improvement store, where people actually unscrew them after a couple of weeks because they're it just makes their homes look off. Yes. Right. And that's a big part of this whole conversation is Yeah, applicability. Like having ensuring that people will really make this a regular thing, you know, you don't use it, then you're not getting a better. Right, exactly. And the inverse of what Doug was just talking about.


Unknown Speaker  18:00  

Is our you know our light for evening is the opposite right? It's richer in other parts of the spectrum but we removed the blue light because that's the part of the spectrum that suppresses melatonin and you don't want that at night. But we've also you know, made the light not just you know sleep aligned but we've also made it beautiful. So it's like that you also want to live within the evening to that point it's not just loaded with you know, red and yellow you don't want to walk into like the depths of hell. You know, you want to walk into a house


Unknown Speaker  18:32  

you guys say love that quote of the podcast that is amazing. Yeah, no and believe me that really resonates with me because I've been having a hard sell of you know, I'll be pretty extreme and I'll be talking to you know, clients and they're really pushing for post sunset we want candlelit we want you know, red lay and we went all these things and there are just times when that does not work in the


Unknown Speaker  19:00  

Modern day world you know, you have friends come over, you got dinner and yet things and there are, you know, there's a need to also have what you're speaking about of the optionality having a kind of just a beautiful environment that's also pulling for your health and well being at the same time. So that's really, really important. So, I guess, just scoot back for a little too, because I love some of the points that you just made of, you know, some of the science of the some of the importance of how this again does impact you know, every cell in our body. And is this true? And I'm almost just curious to get your take on, would you be aligned with this concept? I love it, how you called Brilli almost kind of this, you know, second and third generation of optionality around light. And you know, just that this concept that there is something new kind of on the horizon, to be offered of really an overhaul in our, the way we think about lighting and how it's been versus how it will be and of course,


Unknown Speaker  20:00  

I had was, there's a few theories that I've read about around different for so many years, of course, since Edison and you know, incandescence that, you know, we were certainly exposed to this kind of non native lighting that now you know, has shifted and changed our daily schedules to elongate them and to bring them more into into the night time. And some of my reading around the difference between incandescent and LEDs being that with incandescent, that there was, you know, so much more of a red light source there. And then as we begin, you know, in the 80s and 90s, shifting over as a society a bit more to these energy efficient lights and LEDs, that the spectrum of blue really shifted to much more blue rich blue, heavy and fluorescence. And there's a particular theory around that even coinciding with added sleep deprivation rates. Do you agree with that?


Unknown Speaker  21:00  

And do you think that now, so your product would then also help alleviate that problem? Because suddenly we're changing this spectrum, this kind of rainbow of colors that's offered in your in your light product? Yeah, that's a good question. There's a lot, a lot there. I know I tend to really do that. Sorry, it's really


Unknown Speaker  21:20  

fine. So the first LEDs that were ever invented were actually blue LEDs and, and the way that you got color out of a blue LED was to use a collection of FOSS fours or little Merkley particles that when they're hit with blue light, these phosphors then re emit light at a different part of the spectrum. So they get hit with blue and they emit green or they emit yellow. And what's happened is in since the days of the first, LEDs, which were all blue now we actually have


Unknown Speaker  22:00  

true authentic mint, Amber, red, line green, cyan, royal blue, purple, many different colors. And you know, those are being used to great effect in the theatrical industry where almost all theatrical lighting now is tuned led with rich spectral content. So what's happening now is this what had been an advanced technology is now migrating down into products that can be used in the home. So the the number of choices a manufacturer has to mix and match LEDs as well as the phosphorus that create secondary colors. Just gives you an artist's palette. ahead. What's really funny is brilliant, sort of like a test kitchen. You know where, you know in a normal test kitchen with Rachael Ray you might go in and she'd say sample these these five chicken cans.


Unknown Speaker  23:00  

tutorials and tell me which one you like well, really does the same thing with light and light emitters. They have light boxes, LEDs, FOSS fours and they create different mixes. They come up with the hard numbers of you know the characteristics, but they also do a lot with personal preference and individual preference. So what I will say about the LED is on the blue content, yes, LEDs contain a higher blue content than an incandescent bulb, but you can also use them in ways that minimize that blue and everything that's in the spectrum of an LED regardless of whether it's high blue or low blue is also found in natural sunlight. natural sunlight, probably has 10,000 to 100,000 fold more high energy blue than a blue LED so there's no aspect of blue light, that makes it in the


Unknown Speaker  24:00  

inherently dangerous. It's simply that people don't like using it. You know. And I think one thing I also say about this is, I mentioned you know that this non visual pathway was discovered about 20 years ago. Well, what happened was, everybody went running to the scientists saying, what light should I use? What light? And the scientists are saying, well use this high blue in the morning and use low blue at night? Well, the scientists are, we're answering the question of, what is the body going to respond to? They're not equipped to answer the question of what are people going to prefer? preference is a psychological quality. It's a consumer usage quality, it's a marketing quality. And so it wasn't until the science actually trickled down and got translated into home products that we really reach the point where


Unknown Speaker  25:00  

These products have highest stetic value, and highest that high use. Hmm, wow, there's a lot there. That was incredible. So now, for instance with Brilli, you know, now they're starting to be some of these smart lights coming on to, you know, into the conversation and, you know, the last few years there was some that, you know, you can link up to your phone and can do this, that or the other at your will to shift, you know, to the rainbow colors, anything that you want in your space, you can start to bring that in. So it's kind of becoming this new optionality. How just painting a picture of like, you know, a day in the life, how would something like really, you know, maybe automate or remove the questions of, of how to then shift our light in a way that will support and pull for this health and well being like, you know, so you wake up, and how do we use Brilli is it just sort of automated in the background? What is it How does the whole system


Unknown Speaker  26:00  

Some kind of look. Sure. So we have basically three product lines, we've got a charge F, which is your daytime spectrum. And the light has been intricately tuned to work after your time to feeding with them. And then come evening or sundown and we have wind down. And that spectrum has been tuned for relaxation and to help your body naturally purposely. And the idea of those pauses You know, there are rooms that we use primarily for daytime and primarily for nighttime. And they can be placed in those specific rooms. So I wind down in my bedroom I have charged up in my home office.


Unknown Speaker  26:42  

But for rooms that have shared views, right the the rooms that I used in my living room to Jen, we actually had tuneable downloads and fixtures that you can go from one end of the spectrum to the next. So you would go ask them


Unknown Speaker  27:00  

Morning for your daytime session, you would need to the Center for the afternoon and then you would move all the way down for the evening. So it gives you the sort of full sunup sundown experience. And you know, there's a lot to love about a lot of these lands that allow you to do you know, violet in green. We don't have like a fad because those parts of the spectrum aren't really providing the health and wellness benefits or circadian benefits. Those are really just fun. And we don't knock them because they're there a lot of fun and a lot of us have been saved to waste, Ambien, but really to get the health and wellness center set. We're just looking at tuning the lights, specifically around security and health. So you put a burly ball or fixture in your home and the light is tuned specifically for for health and wellness. I think part of the rationale behind that is again, I like Jill, I'm a fan of the tuneable


Unknown Speaker  28:00  

products and sometimes I like to put to tune a light behind the sofa and violet and do backlighting. But a lot of times I don't feel like being theatrical. If I've had a busy day, and I'm managing my Fitbit on my smartphone and 10 other devices, then tuning the light becomes a chore. No, it's another app. It's another thing and, you know, kudos to people that really get into micromanaging their life but a lot of us just want to know we have the right light at the right time. And you know, what really is taking it away. It's taking the tuning, you know, the manual decision making away, you know, you have the option with other really products of doing some tuning, but, you know, this is designed to just integrate into a wellness life.


Unknown Speaker  29:00  

style. I'm so well said Yeah. I mean, so part of the structure of this company of soup is a skill. You know, I'll be working with different clients and small groups, and the amount of lighting questions that I end up getting when they really when clients begin to take this topic seriously. It's you know, and they're tired. They you know, and to pull this in. And to make it seamless, it can really occur for people is just overwhelming. When you really start dialing in, oh my god, there's different lighting in my office versus, you know, how much light Am I supposed to get in the morning? Does that does getting sunlight does that impact things? You know, some will be trying light boxes, you know, and wants to know the proper number of Lux that they should be getting exposed. I mean, there's just so many things that if there are more options out there that can remove all of the those questions and cognitive overload


Unknown Speaker  30:00  

As we're discussing, I think that's really, really exciting. So, from that place, so I'm curious, then as far as I would love it, maybe Doug, if you could maybe provide in or provide some wisdom or knowledge on this topic, if there's this idea partly around the ratio of our light that we're exposed to, of, you know, of getting a proper amount of light exposure during the day to kind of anchor our circadian rhythm versus the light that we're exposed to in the evening. And, you know, say the difference between if you've been out on a beach and you're getting tons of light exposure throughout the day, then the, you know, maybe more nominal, or the amount of blue light that you're getting in the evening, arguably wouldn't impact your sleep quite as much versus if you're just sort of inside, not, you know, being attuned to this lighting topic and you're kind of in the dark and then you turn on a flood of lights in the sky.


Unknown Speaker  31:00  

The evening that ratio gets a little messed up and your body has a bit of a confusion on the time of day. But could you help kind of clarify for us how that works? You know, the impact that has on our body? And yeah, yeah, please. So there's there's a couple of ideas here. So first one is what we call circadian health, which is getting our bodies in tune. And true, accurate circadian tuning is really difficult because there's a lot of light and other environmental factors that we don't have control over. So if you're in an airport, you don't have control over the lighting in the airport, but you're exposed to it. So you you know, for actual circadian entrainment, you pretty much have to be in a laboratory environment where every everything is controlled. But the good news is if you get the pattern right, for normalizing


Unknown Speaker  32:00  

Sleep and awakeness then your circadian rhythm tends to be in good sync. So the rule of thumb, the hard and fast rule is the number one preferred lifestyle is we're all living outside exposed to sunlight, or in a windowless house. You know, there's nothing that's better than sunlight in terms of intensity spectrum, time of day, duration of exposure, all of that. But the problem is, most of us don't live outside. So we have to recreate it indoors as well as we can. So what are the essential features of light exposure during the day? Okay, starting in the morning, it's important to get at least 20 minutes of high blue content light so this would be a brightly lit room that will boost your


Unknown Speaker  33:00  

cortisol release which is a hormone that contributes to awakeness and alertness. And having that exposure first thing in the morning is what really sets sends a signal to your body. Okay, this is the rhythm we're in. And then over the course of the day, you can diminish the amount of blue a bit, you can change the intensity, and it won't have that big an effect on your sleep that night. The important thing is after five or 6pm, you want to start exposing yourself to light with low blue content, and in the two to three hours before your bedtime. Your absolute bedtime is less important than the fact that you're exposed to low intensity, low blue content light in the two to three hours before you fall asleep. And that's the ideal solution. Of course, we sabotage


Unknown Speaker  34:00  

By looking at tablets and smartphones screens that do contain a lot of blue, and there are apps to cancel out some of the blue in those devices. But with those bookends of high blue in the morning, low blue at night, you're basically setting yourself up for good sleep. Now, I'd like to address something else for a minute, and that is alertness and awakeness. And attention span. So if, during the day we've had, if we've had bad poor quality sleep at night, then we one of the benefits of high blue content light is we can use it throughout the day to give ourselves a boost or a perk up so we can increase the amount of blue and the intensity of the light to give us bursts of of increased attention. And if we've slept poorly,


Unknown Speaker  35:00  

The night before, then, all of the efforts to give ourselves a boost simply bring us to a point of keeping us awake, we're not really able to exceed a normal level of attention. Whereas if we have normal sleep throughout the day, we can take advantage of high blue content to give to overcome the post lunch dip. So if we're working on a report or a project, we can actually increase the amount of blue for a period of time between, let's say, 10 minutes and an hour or an hour and a half, to actually increase our focus and our productivity during the day. But we can only get that bump. If we have good baseline sleep. Otherwise, all of the efforts of the body during the day are going to just keeping us awake. Right, that's such a good point. I love how you called it. Yeah. Getting a


Unknown Speaker  36:00  

booster perkupp from light, you know, it's such an interesting, you know, idea for many people that haven't considered, you know, just the physiological response that can come from from light to that degree and using it strategically. Like that's so important and to your point around ensuring that you have that foundational amount of sleep to really use it to extract Yeah, capacity. Yeah, that's very, very important. And so with that, this is something where do you envision this to be? For where you see this idea going? Do you see that this is something where you would love to see this in hospitals where you would love to see this as, you know, something to really help facilitate, you know, general health and well being for people that, you know, really just because of system, whether they're shift workers or they're sick or what have you, they're not able to get outside or the average person that you know, is largely just inside regardless that this could really


Unknown Speaker  37:00  

make a real difference in some of these numbers that we're seeing of, you know, chronic and persistent health problems.


Unknown Speaker  37:08  

Yeah, well, what you're getting into now is addressing other markets. So first of all, the focus with Brilli has really been on wellness integrating into a wellness lifestyle for people who are living in normal residential environments. In the future, you know, really may get into other categories of products, but to address some of, of what you've brought up. First of all, as regards shift work, shift work is probably the toughest nut to crack in our area. You really need specialized knowledge of how to do it. There's a number of studies going on right now, in this. I'm happy to say that looking at my crystal ball, I know of three specific technologies that are in


Unknown Speaker  38:00  

development by really hardcore, therapeutic science companies to address shift work. So I think well, we'll crack that nut in in coming years. hospitals, ironically, are probably the toughest environment to address and there are a couple of reasons for it. First of all, somebody has to be responsible for choosing the light, tuning it, turning it off and on assessing patient outcome, whose job is that the patient isn't going to do it the family isn't going to do it. Doctors and nurses are busy they're not going to do it. So there's no way to integrate healthy lighting into a hospital practice where I think the real market potential is is once you get released from the hospital especially with the increasing the the trends in healthcare


Unknown Speaker  39:00  

You're going to be released to a home health environment. You know, you're going to see already hospitals doing much more extended care and telemedicine in the home, that's where recovery is going to take place. And I think that this sort of scientifically based lighting is ideally suited for recovery in the hall. I think where we're at on the knowledge curve is we know enough about the science to apply it to everyday environments, but the specialized environments like shift work like hospitals, you know, another one or factory floors. You want people to be relaxed, but vigilant on a factory floor, you don't want the error rate to go up but you don't want to be throwing their biological rhythms out of whack. So we aren't able to address everything but we have a good time.


Unknown Speaker  40:00  

A lot on a lot of it. So that was really well said, Thank you for that. And he to be able to bring this into, you know, the average person's home is super exciting. So say someone and invest in this and they bring this in what can they anticipate as some potential benefits? And how long does it take to start to see the difference? I love what you said about, you know, kind of this three day memory within our bodies of our light exposure. How long does it take to start to notice a change? Yeah, well, that can be answered in a few different ways. So there's the physiological answer, which is how long does it take your body to respond? And then there's the psychological response, which is, how quickly do I respond to a change in the environment. So the psychological effect is almost immediate. I mean, it's as soon as you turn it, you screw in that that ball board or wire in that product.


Unknown Speaker  41:00  

You'll see a benefit. It depends on what your baseline health level is. If you're basically healthy, then and you have good activity levels, you get exercise regularly, then, yeah, I'd say three days is about the length of time. Because at that point, your, your light memory is, is established for other kinds of, of work indoors. It might take longer. Mm hmm. Those are sort of the bookends. Yeah. And I noticed on your website you mentioned about, you know, not as a as a blanket like, yes, this will help with headaches, but it does kind of point to that that can be a response for some people that they've noticed that that can alleviate some of those regular, you know, chronic I have a lot of clients that complain of that, that throughout the day, they'll have these headaches, of course dealing with sleep deprivation, but also with some of the lighting that they're exposed to weather.


Unknown Speaker  42:00  

There's fluorescent or just some of these harsh lighting environments Is that something that Brilli also can help address? Yes. Oh, headaches induced by light can be due to a number of things, it can be a person being sensitive to a particular wavelength or part of the spectrum. It can be due to flicker coming from a mold or a light, it can be due to glare. And all of those factors have been taken into account with the entire product line. It was part of the the criteria that were laid down as sort of non negotiable, yes, the design of the product. Jill, do you want to say anything more about that?


Unknown Speaker  42:44  

No. And that point, and you know, going into this venture thinking about, you know, how do you create the best wellness lighting, we figured that you weren't going to just address circadian rhythm but think about the entire process.


Unknown Speaker  43:00  

button. So what are the wellness statuses do anything similar? And definitely eye strain headaches caused by indoor lighting, all of those things were definitely specked out as criteria for the lineup. And Awesome. Well said, so actually dug well we have you to it's so exciting to have, you know, someone to cue in from a neuroscience perspective as well. And I was wondering if you could explain a bit more about why we want to avoid that flicker and what that does to our brains. And a little bit more than that, because I know that's Yeah, area. Um, it's a tough area of study. But I think the leading school of thought is is that within the brain, there's a lot of signals being conveyed from one part of the brain to the other. And in some cases, you have signals that are going from point A to point


Unknown Speaker  44:00  

B and B to C and C to B and D, and E goes back to A. So you get these little circuits of circular signaling. And what happens with flicker is a couple of things. First of all, flicker at certain frequencies can actually reinforce some of these circular circuits. So they get instead of you, so that the brain becomes fixated on these circuits and they amplify. So it's like a spinning wheel, and it spins faster and faster and flicker makes it harder to put a break on it. So what can result from this is in extreme cases, it can trigger epilepsy, but or other people it can trigger obsessive thoughts or ideas that you can't get out of your head. You become fixated on things and flickered.


Unknown Speaker  45:00  

Seems to act as an irritant that can trigger mental fixation, where and then you can break that pattern with modulating the intensity and the color of light over time in a way that sort of mimics natural daylight. And then the other reason that flicker is harmful is because our eyes are constantly trying to readjust to the brightness in the environment. So the pupil gets larger and smaller, and there's a lot of the neural processes involved in control of that. And when you're exposed to flicker, you're asking the brain to readjust on a millisecond basis to differences in the light intensity, and it overwhelms the brain's ability to figure out what's going on.


Unknown Speaker  45:50  

And actually, there is a natural equivalent to this too. It's called pixelization. So if you let's say are walking or riding


Unknown Speaker  46:00  

A bike in a park. And the sun is filtering through the trees and you have shadows cast by some of the leads. And you get an irregular pattern that's being projected onto the sidewalk, a combination of bright spot and shadow. That combined with the speed of walking or riding a bike can actually cause What's something called pixelization. That has the same effect as flicker. It's like nature's equivalent of flicker. So that some there actually been some lawsuits have filed by people who fell off their bicycles in a park because they said that there was too much pixelization no way that's Yeah. So it's something that just as an aside, outdoor lighting manufacturers now take that into account when they're doing Park lighting. And yeah, the National Park National Park Service is also looking at it. Oh my god.


Unknown Speaker  47:00  

That's really interesting some of those things, very eye opening more puns on this on this episode. And the other thing too about flicker and headache in general is that. So, headache can have many different causes. It can be due to a constriction in the blood vessels in your brain it can be due to a high concentration of nitrites or sulfites. So, a lot of of bagged vegetables like the salad bags


Unknown Speaker  47:34  

are treated with sulfites to keep the leafy vegetables green and that can trigger migraines in some people. And it turns out that light quality appears to be involved in the pain response to these different causes of headache trigger. So I think we're we're probably five to 10 years old.


Unknown Speaker  48:00  

way from having lighting solutions that that address that. Wow, that's awesome. Yeah, I've heard some interesting, that kind of confusing recommendations for people around that complain of this light sensitivity, too much like gets them give them headaches. And that counter counter intuitively for many is the idea that what is actually needed is more light exposure. Do you agree with that? And is that again, something that, you know, this product can help normalize? Well, I think lightning in general has been designed and is specified based on what's perceived as the greatest common good, what provides the benefit for the greatest number of people, and it doesn't allow for taking individual preferences and needs into account. So this is an area of concern, particularly in things like commercial and office lighting and the federal


Unknown Speaker  49:00  

government's actually doing research on determining optimal office lighting and the current thinking. It's not yet a design guideline or recommendation. But the current thinking is to diminish the intensity of overhead lighting in offices by two thirds. And rely just on light coming through the windows and give everybody a task clamp where they can choose the light bulb, and then tune it dim it to their level of preference. So you provide the necessary light for the environment, which can obviously be tuned up in the case of an emergency to full intensity. But I'll give people the ability to create individual light environments to suit their preferences. Wow, that's really a very good point, the ability to customize that based on what they've got going on individually. That's really cool. So Jill, I'm wondering if you could also just shed some light


Unknown Speaker  50:00  

A little bit of information as far as your connection to Brilli how really kind of came to be. And you know, on a personal level, why you're, you know, really connected and committed to this company.


Unknown Speaker  50:14  

Sure how the founders actually been working on this sort of beautiful light technology for quite some time. If you think back to early LEDs, you know, the light spectrum was pretty awful. And people did not like bright light. And so really figuring out how to beautify the light spectrum was sort of core to the initial invention. And then as more research around, the impact of indoor light on our executing health began to emerge. Our founder, john Gosha, really decided it was time to sort of pivot and take some events, like beautification technology and really try to figure out how can we make healthy life


Unknown Speaker  51:00  

He's like ultra beautiful that, you know, people want to avoid having their home. And so that that's kind of where the the new technology came from. And, you know, it's fascinating when you think about the early days the company, you know, we had, you know, our scientific advisory boards pretty amazing. We've had a lot of great input on getting the play spectrum right? from you know, former heads at


Unknown Speaker  51:28  

GE and Ostern. Obviously, we've been talking to Doug are passionate neuroscientists on that we, you know, we're also working with has, you know, you know, working with Dr. Shelburne, on over at hunger sleep lab. It's just really exciting times, you know, to be sort of early in this, this concept of getting our light right, so that you can, you know, live healthier lives and I think that's why I'm really committed to this cause because


Unknown Speaker  52:00  

I think, you know, we we've really thought about sleep and how through the lens of uncomfort for a long time, if you just took the you know, the right master as typically just get the right temperature or you could just get the right softness, but we haven't paid much attention to the physiology of sleep and the importance of making sure that everything is doing biologically aligned. And so, you know, with life in such a large role in our circadian rhythms in our body's ability to, to wake up and to fall back to sleep every day. You know, this just seems like that piece that's been missing from the health and well being conversation.


Unknown Speaker  52:43  

So well said and I'd actually on that, on that point, what is the meaning behind the name of the company? The brewery is actually from the urban dictionary and brewery is playing for brilliant. I love that. It is just


Unknown Speaker  53:00  

Perfect is brilliant. And I was wondering if you could just share what has you be committed on this topic? What is this topic move you what makes it worth your time?


Unknown Speaker  53:13  

Well, there's a couple of things. I, early in my career worked at three different pharmaceutical companies. And I was at most recently in the neuropharmacology. department, and I was involved in developing drugs to treat neurological and psychological issues. Everything from appetite control to stroke to psychosis, depression, schizophrenia, and I work in the pharmaceutical industry, you get up close. Yeah, and asked to see all the problems with drugs and medications have side effects. A lot of them have a problem with compliance, which means people stop taking them and other things.


Unknown Speaker  54:00  

And the thing that really struck me was that about 85% of all drugs used in children have never been tested or approved by the FDA for children. So I think that one of the things that really hooked me was relating to migraine headache and use of light for headache because right now, there are about 18% of all girls and 13% of all boys suffer from chronic migraine headache, which is defined as 15 days or more a month of incapacitating headaches of five hours or longer. And so what happens is, parents of these children, see them suffer don't have a good way to treat them. You can't give them adult strength drugs. And to be honest, a lot of parents give their children a double adult strength dose of NyQuil every morning and send them off


Unknown Speaker  55:00  

to school, and there just has to be a better way. And you know, I've done measurements. In schools, the light, light is usually an afterthought. It's one of the last things that's installed in the school. So it's already working out of a diminished budget, you've got bad spectrum. You've got, you know, a lot of flicker a lot of glare. And so I just I'm very interested in alternatives to drugs and light has the benefit of being completely safe in children. It's much easier to continue using it to comply with it if it's just a light bulb. One interesting thing is a no lighting effect causes tolerance. So if you think of drugs, like opiates, you know, addicts need to take more and more and more to get the same boost. Well, like you nobody develops tolerance to light. The dose that works today is the dose that will work a year from now


Unknown Speaker  56:00  

So I just think that light is the way to go. And what I like about the approach that really is taking is it's going straight to the consumer. You know, we may not be able to treat migraine and other headache conditions in schools but by golly we can sure treat them in the hall, or I'm sorry, I take that back. We don't treat them. We simply offer a lifestyle choice that people can use that may be effective for a child in experiencing less distress. So we are not marketing a treatment we're providing a lifestyle alternative. Wow. No, that is really well said because I can I can hear in your sharing between the both of you that you see the results of bringing this in for people and you know, just that this is not just about a light bulb. This is about a whole lifestyle.


Unknown Speaker  57:00  

really being on the cutting edge of what's possible, you know, in upcoming years to really start to bring more and more people into this conversation that this actually really could be a big part of, you know, piece of the puzzle around why we're having these, you know, chronic problems with our sleep with our health with our mental, you know, faculties with so many areas of our life and that, you know, to this is a very, for many years, overlooked or misunderstood topic, you know, not to, you know, just many people just didn't know, and it's really an exciting time. And you know, I'm really grateful that you guys were able to take the time to, to help educate and to create a product that can help people bring this in more regularly. That is one of the number one problems I find when I'm working with people here at soup as a skill is, you know, I yeah, I'm very light fanatical and you


Unknown Speaker  58:00  

You know, we'll talk about this topic to ad nauseum. And yet, people want to know, okay, so just how can I bring it in? How can this happen on a regular basis in my environment, and to be able to point them in the direction of something like, this is really exciting. So thank you for what you guys are, what you're doing. Yeah, be happy to contribute.


Unknown Speaker  58:22  

And, you know, I want to just thank you, again, for taking the time to be here to share all of this and where can people find out more about you? Where could they? Where could they purchase some of these, you know, the options that you have for lighting? How does the whole process what does that look like? Well, at the current time, really, products are available through the really website website. Okay, great, perfect. Okay, so really, if they were to go to the brilliant website, that is where all their questions can be answered. And by the way, that's how I was connected with you guys.


Unknown Speaker  59:00  

And the customer service was incredible. The website is beautiful. And there's actually a lot of information on there to just learn, you know, if you want to geek out a bit more on this topic and get some nice visuals, absolutely check that out. And it's at be brilliant, calm. Well, thank you again, I really do appreciate the time and looking forward to hearing more as you guys continue, you know, in the industry, maybe we can get kind of a part two down the road and, you know, go further on the science topic. Definitely, very much. Thank you.


Unknown Speaker  59:37  

You've been listening to the sleep as a skill podcast, the number one podcast for people who want to take their sleep skills to the next level. Every Monday I send out something that I call Molly's Monday obsessions containing everything that I'm obsessing over in the world of sleep, so head on over to sleep as guild comm to sign up


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