The Science behind Ocusleep

Our eyes are the window to our world. As it turns out, they are also critical for regulating our day-night clock. The human circadian rhythm is governed by a complex interaction between real world light and our brains internal clock setting mechanisms. Normal outdoor light, as well LED light, smartphones, TV’s, and other electronic devices stimulate our brain to stay awake and alert. This happens when the blue and green components of the light source stimulate specialized retinal cells in the eye, to message our brains that melatonin should be suppressed and body temperature maintained. These cells, called intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), comprise only 2% of all photoreceptors in the retina. Nevertheless, they are extremely active in controlling a wide array of non-image forming inputs to the brain.

 

Light in layers

The ipRGCs contain a photopigment, melanopsin, which is responsible for the detection of the light. In a process called phototransduction, a biochemical cascade takes place which results in the depolarization of the axon and transmission of the light signal to an area of the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). As the axons exit the eye through the optic nerve, they then pass through the optic chiasm, and finally reach the SCN. This specialized monosynaptic pathway is called the retino-hypothalmic tract (RHT).

 

 

how blue light affects melatonin secretion

 

 

Once the SCN has received information about external light through the ipRGCs, It can then signal the melatonin secretion process in the pineal gland. This process, which establishes the rhythm of the daily 24 hour cycle, is known as circadian entrainment. The SCN is also directly involved in sleep temperature regulation and the release of cortisol. Exciting new research has not only validated this process, but has also shown there are additional neurological pathways that are impacted by the light transmitted through the ipRGCs.

 

Clinical studies supporting the efficacy of Ocusleep™ glasses

1.Burkhart Kimberly & Phelps James R. (2009) Amber lenses to block blue light and improve sleep: A Randomized trial, Chronobiology International, 26:8, 1602-1612, https://doi.org/10.3109/07420520903523719

2.Ari Shechter, Elijah Wookhyun Kim, Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Andrew J. Westwood,Blocking nocturnal blue light for insomnia: A randomized controlled trial,Journal of Psychiatric Research,Volume 96,2018,Pages 196-202,ISSN 0022-3956,https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2017.10.015

3.Masahiko Ayaki, Atsuhiko Hattori, Yusuke Maruyama, Masaki Nakano, Michitaka Yoshimura, Momoko Kitazawa, Kazuno Negishi & Kazuo Tsubota (2016) Protective effect of blue-light shield eyewear for adults against light pollution from self-luminous devices used at night, Chronobiology International, 33:1, 134-139, https://doi.org/10.3109/07420528.2015.1119158

4.Yuichi Esaki, Tsuyoshi Kitajima, Ippei Takeuchi, Soji Tsuboi, Osamu Furukawa, Masatsugu Moriwaki, Kiyoshi Fujita & Nakao Iwata (2017) Effect of blue-blocking glasses in major depressive disorder with sleep onset insomnia: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, Chronobiology International, 34:6, 753-761, https://doi.org/10.1080/07420528.2017.1318893

5.Ostrin, LA & Abbott, KS & Queener, HM. Attenuation of short wavelengths alters sleep and the ipRGC pupil response. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 2017; 37: 440– 450. https://doi.org/10.1111/opo.12385

6.Zerbini, G, Kantermann, T, Merrow, M. Strategies to decrease social jetlag: Reducing evening blue light advances sleep and melatonin. Eur J Neurosci. 2020; 51: 2355– 2366. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejn.14293

7.Stéphanie van der Lely, Silvia Frey, Corrado Garbazza, Anna Wirz-Justice, Oskar G. Jenni, Roland Steiner, Stefan Wolf, Christian Cajochen, Vivien Bromundt, Christina Schmidt,Blue Blocker Glasses as a Countermeasure for Alerting Effects of Evening Light-Emitting Diode Screen Exposure in Male Teenagers,Journal of Adolescent Health,Volume 56, Issue 1,2015,Pages 113-119,ISSN 1054-139X, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.08.002