Chronobiology and Circadian rhythm
All life on earth, human or animal, operates on 24-hour rhythms. Research on the mechanisms controlling these Circadian rhythms has been awarded with the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2017.
Light affects our body
Our daily intake of sunlight governs our body clock by triggering the suppression of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone. It controls cell regeneration, hormone levels, or metabolism and determines our sleep and wakefulness. If our lifestyle is misaligned with our body clock because we work in shifts, travel overseas or do not get enough sunlight, our mental and physical well-being suffers.
Why this special blue light?
Blue light with a wavelength of about 470 nm stimulates special receptors on the retina. They are independent from our visual system and exclusively in charge of "photic entrainment", the unique process of setting the body clock by means of light. >Numerous scientific studies prove the effects of light on our circadian system beyond doubt. In a complex photo-biological process the blue component of light suppresses the production of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone.
Why 500 blue-light-lux?
Traditional bright light therapy works with the full spectrum of fluorescent white light which requires 10.000 white-light-lux to be effective. Pocket Sky only generates blue wavelengths that are necessary to stimulate circadian entrainment. Therefore, a much lower intensity of light, in our case 500 blue-light-lux, is necessary to achieve the desired effects. That's also why Pocket Sky is so much smaller and portable than any other solution on the market.
The importance of correct positioning
To illuminate the light-sensitive receptors on your retina, the blue light field must cover the eyeball. Therefore check yourself in a mirror and make sure that the position during the exposure time is correct - otherwise the desired effect will not be achieved! Always use the shortest nose piece possible.
Do I have to look into the light while using Pocket Sky?
Not all the time, but make sure to do that occasionally. You can read, work, work out, or do whatever while using Pocket Sky – but also look into the light during your session.
How long to wear Pocket Sky for one session?
Pocket Sky lights up for 20 minutes. According to scientific findings, this period of time is sufficient to trigger the intended effect. After 20 minutes the Wearable switches off automatically.
How many sessions (20 minutes) a day?
People have individual levels of melatonin in their body – some more, some less. For most, one or two session per day will be enough. We recommend using Pocket Sky not more than a total of 60 minutes (or 3 sessions) within 24 hours.
How long does it take to start the effect?
All human beings are different and so are the effects on their organism. Most people will immediately feel activated by Pocket Sky and their vigilance and mood will improve. After two or three days of usage they will also experience a shift in their body clock, for example when travelling to a new time-zone or when working in shifts.
Would it not be sufficient to use a normal LED screen instead of Pocket Sky?
Although modern screens emit blue light, their "performance" is many times lower than that of Pocket Sky. It therefore takes much longer to - perhaps - achieve the desired photobiological effect. When you look at a screen, you often change the distance to it. Since the light intensity varies with the square of the distance, there is no standardized effect. Pocket Sky achieves a standardized effect by illuminating the light-sensitive receptors on the eyes from a fixed distance, which reliably ensures the biological effect.
Experts about us
The Institute for Sleep-Wake-Research has initiated numerous studies with the focus on sleep and alertness.
Since bright light is one of the strongest “Zeitgeber” to regulate our circadian clock and thereafter our sleep-wake rhythm, the application of light has a wide range of therapeutic properties.
Pocket Sky is a user friendly and easy-to-apply tool for ambulatory light exposure and may be beneficial for stabilizing the sleep-wake rhythm as well as improving wellbeing during periods of low exposure to natural light. Therefore, the ISWF will use Pocket Sky in studies to apply blue light to enhance alertness (e.g. on the road, during nightshift) or as a tool to boost fitness and performance (e.g. for sportive activities).
Future Market Insights, Seasonal Affective Disorder Therapeutics Market: Global Industry Analysis 2013-2017 and Opportunity Assessment 2018-2028, press release 18.2.2019.
Inaccessibility at workplaces or during traveling has been a shortfall of light box therapy over the years. To help patients suffering from SAD explore non-conventional alternatives to seasonal affective disorder therapeutics, Austria-based med-tech startup, Active Wearables, recently launched a wearable device – Pocket Sky – providing light therapy, practically anywhere. The Pocket Sky will potentially serve as a portable and lightweight light therapy solution to patients of seasonal affective disorder. Such innovations will continue to innovate the seasonal affective disorder therapeutics market landscape.