AYO Glasses, Advanced Light Therapy

The snapshot

Assessment of the Evidence, An Independent Academic Viewpoint

By Dr David Broom

Ayo Glasses

      The full picture

      AYO light therapy glasses stimulates the eye cells by transmitting blue-turquoise light that is similar to and mimics sunlight. On the products website (goayo.com) it is claimed that using AYO for 20 minutes a day will give you more energy, improved mood, beats jet lag 3 times faster and ensures better sleep within 5 days. The following is a review of the science that supports the claims through reading a white paper and numerous journal articles as well as reviewing the products website.

      After three years of prototyping AYO was launched in early 2017 with Professor Bert Van Der Horst, Chairman of Chronobiology and Health as its scientific advisor. Having searched and to the reviewers knowledge, there are no specific journal papers published to highlight findings that have tested the efficacy of AYO. These are not presented on the website either. However, the science supporting AYO is from the field of chronobiology.

      Its use can influence the circadian rhythm which is effectively the bodies 24 hour clock that works to a light-dark cycle that is synchronised with sunlight.  AYO's blue light enters the eyes and stimulates sensory cells called photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells (ipRGCs). These activated cells send signals to an area of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus in order to suppress the production of a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin regulates your body clock and typically rises before bedtime to help you sleep more easily. AYO effectively wakes the body up as melatonin suppression has been associated with increased energy (Cajochen et al, 2005).

      With regards to the product itself, the AYO app must be downloaded to a smartphone to fully control the wearable. This then controls the amount of light which has multiple levels from low to high and calculates the optimal session time. It uses a light sensor to control the external light intensity and adjust the brightness at a rate of 0.1 seconds. Blue light waves have a wave length between 450 and 492 nm and are the highest energy waves visible in the light spectrum. Reassuringly the product website states even the highest setting emits a level of light that is scientifically proven as safe.

      AYO can be worn by men or women and is available in a one size fits all frame. It only weighs 35 grams so is portable and is foldable for ease of storage. It has three main programmes i.e. 'Energy program', 'Sleep program' or 'Travel program' depending on the desired outcome and goal.

      There are personal testimonials on the products website in which people claim that using AYO improves energy without the need for or the additional calories in an energy drink, does have an impact on feeling jet lagged after long haul flights and helps improve mood during winter reducing the risk of developing seasonal affective disorder (SADS). AYO is reasonably priced at approximately £230 and should be used daily to encourage all off the aforementioned benefits. Just don't use it before bed time!

      References

      Cajochen, C. et al (2005). High sensitivity of human melatonin alertness, thermoregulation and heart rate to short wavelength light. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 90(3), 1311-1316.

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        Sheffield Hallam University

        Review completed and approved for use by Sheffield Hallam University

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