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How much do you know about your body clock? Is it in balance, or is it out of sync? Is it affecting the way you feel? How can you tell? If you are not sure how to answer these questions, you are certainly not alone. The answer is we cannot underestimate just how important our internal body clock is to our health; influencing everything from our sleep patterns and energy levels, to our mental wellbeing.
And more than this, we are now making great strides in understanding how our body clock is controlled, thanks to the pioneering work of Jefferey C Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W Young, whose 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for their discoveries relating to the circadian rhythm.
The door has been opened to a new wave of tech designed to influence how we adapt to our environment, and how we do so in a way that protects our health against the perils of jet lag, shift work, seasonal affective disorder and low energy levels. This is why the arrival of AYO Glasses is so exciting. And the potential benefits for you could be huge. Read on for our full review, plus our academic expert, Dr David Broome, casts his eye over the research backing up AYO.
Ayo glasses use advanced blue light therapy that mimics sunlight to stimulate the cells in your eyes, and help control your internal body clock. Ayo glasses can help you in the following ways:
Short Term Effects
When your eyes are exposed to AYO glasses’ advanced blue light, it suppresses the level of melatonin in your brain and signals for your body to wake up. As a result, you feel naturally energised and ready to get active.
Long Term Effects
With the right timing and intensity, 20 minutes exposure to AYO light a day is all that it takes to help optimise your body clock. Your sleep patterns and energy levels will be improved and your mental wellbeing can benefit too.
ADVANCED BLUE LIGHT STIMULATES EYE CELLS
AYO’s advanced blue light is similar to sunlight and is completely safe to use. As it enters your eyes it stimulates sensory cells called photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cells (ipRGCs).
REGULATES PRODUCTION OF MELATONIN SLEEP HORMONE
These cells then send signals to an area of your brain area called the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus, and the production of the sleep hormone melatonin is suppressed. This then helps your internal body clock to become optimised in accordance to your unique lifestyle.
ENERGY LEVELS AND SLEEP QUALITY ARE IMPROVED
When your melatonin levels become suppressed, you will feel energised. Following this, your melatonin levels will then actively rise prior to your bedtime, so you can easily fall asleep.
1. BLUETOOTH CONNECTED
AYO glasses are bluetooth-connected to your mobile device allowing you full usage control and better efficiency.
2. CAPACITIVE SENSOR
When you are using the AYO glasses, this sensor enables the AYO App to monitor your progress until your selected program is complete.
3. ADVANCED BLUE LIGHT THERAPY
AYO glasses feature special diffusion technology with multiple lighting levels. They use safe and scientifically-backed blue lighting technology which is easy on your eyes, and is UV & infrared free, with low glare.
4. AMBIENT LIGHT SENSOR
AYO glasses ensure an optimal level of light intensity thanks to an ambient light sensor. This accurately controls the intensity of external light in order to adjust the brightness of the AYO light at a rate of 0.1 sec.
5. COMFORTABLE TO WEAR
One AYO comfortably fits all. It has a fully adjustable nosepiece, which allows AYO to be worn over prescription glasses. AYO is non-distracting to your eyesight.
6. INTELLIGENT DESIGN
AYO is slim and sophisticated, and features a high-quality, lightweight frame of only 35 grams. AYO is fully portable and foldable for your convenience.
7. RECHARGEABLE BATTERY
AYO has a long-life battery, optimised for energy efficiency. The AYO case makes wireless charging a breeze.
1. Wavelength of light
AYO uses 470-475nm light with an irradiance of 250 μW/cm2. This has been proven to be the most efficient wavelength for adjusting the internal body clock.
2. Session timing
The AYO app calculates session timings for you. It also suggests when to use the AYO wearable and when to avoid light, so that you experience the maximum effect.
3. Session duration
Depending on the light intensity and personal data, the AYO app calculates how long the duration of each program and the sessions will be.
The energy boost during the day is clear and I can say that AYO is certainly a very useful aid towards improving your daily energy levels"
Steve Harper, Well Professor Tech Guru
Set up: The AYO glasses are very simple to set up. Simply download the dedicated app and activate Bluetooth on your smart phone. Then, once AYO is removed from its clever charging dock, it automatically switches on as you open the arms of the glasses. This also activates the AYO Bluetooth and it automatically connects to the app. From here you use the app to control AYO. It’s very straightforward to navigate your way through the app after this.
Easy of use: The AYO looks like a pair of normal glasses, but with a very small lens underneath the frame. You put them on just like a normal pair of glasses. If you already wear prescription glasses the AYO is designed to sit on top of your glasses, and it won’t obscure your view. If you are wearing them without glasses underneath, you can adjust the nose piece to allow the AYO to sit in the upper part of your field of vision and not directly in the middle of your line of sight. So correct positioning is important as the AYO light must still be able to enter into your eye, whilst at the same time allowing you still to see ahead clearly. But this is easy to achieve.
App: There is an option of using AYO for Sleep, Travel or Energy. To get going you just have to tap on what you want to use AYO for. From here you can control what you want it to do and for how long you want to use it for. The app is well designed and very easy to navigate. Most of the programs start at around 20 minutes, but you can adjust this up to a duration of 40 minutes.
When using the sleep function, you have to input information about the time you go to sleep, and when you wake on work and non-work days. The app will then calculate the best times for you to use AYO or get outside to soak up some sunlight to help regulate your melatonin levels.
The travel section enables you to input where you are going, and it will then advise you when to use AYO or get out into the sun in order to help you combat your jet lag more effectively.
Build quality: AYO is made from plastic, but to a decent standard. It feels sturdy and well put together. The charging dock is also built from plastic but has the same quality feel to it. We particularly like the way you place AYO into the charging dock, where a magnetic contact holds the device in place while it charges.
User Experience: The overall user experience of AYO is impressive. The glasses do look rather sci-fi when you put them on, especially if you catch a glimpse of yourself when a program is running, but that doesn’t take away from the effectiveness. Interestingly, when we initially tested AYO for an energy boost during the day, we noticed real improvments although one of our team didn’t notice much change in how he felt. The set up was correct but because he wears prescription glasses, he had the AYO over the top of these.
We were conscious that the lenses in his glasses had an especially high quality blue light filter and we were curious if this was the reason. We spoke with the team behind AYO and they confirmed our initial thoughts. It appears that whilst most blue light filters within lenses are aimed at a 450nm wavelength of light and would not interfere with AYO, which operates around the 470nm wavelength range, the high end filters in his lenses were likely affecting the function of the AYO. Sure enough, since he used AYO without his glasses, it made a great difference. The energy boost during the day is clear.
Jet Lag: One of our team is a frequent international flyer and tested the AYO glasses to see if they helped with Jet Lag. This particular test was on a long haul flight from London to Hong Kong, which has an 8 hour time zone difference and he usually finds this trip very bad for jet lag. Once you enter your flight times and destination details, the AYO app then calculates when you need to use AYO (or be in the sunlight), as well as prompting you when to stay in the dark. This was particularly useful on the plane itself when he was prompted to use the AYO glasses in a dark cabin. It was hard to stay in the dark until 10am on the second day after arrrving, due to an 8.30am business meeting, but overall the tailored schedule the app generates was very helpful.
Though he did suffer from jet lag (especially on the first night upon arrival) it was considerably less than on other trips from London to Hong Kong and there was virtually no jet lag by the second night, which was a first for him. So it doesn't eliminate jet lag completely but it does considerably help beat it.
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The AYO glasses are good. And we were impressed with their overall design and effectiveness. Whilst they may make you look like a character out of star trek, this is perfectly appropriate. The AYO glasses represent the next frontier in personal wellbeing control, and what better place to start than with your body clock. Say hello to sci-fi, and goodbye to poor sleep, low energy and jet lag.
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Review completed and approved for use by Sheffield Hallam University
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