If you have trouble sleeping, it could be caused  -- at least in part -- by using your electronic device too close to bedtime. That's because these devices emit short-wavelength-enriched light that has a higher concentration of blue tones than natural light does. Study after study has shown that blue light can impact melatonin production and sleep.  According to Harvard researchers, blue light exposure at night and the resultant shorter sleep can have  very serious health impacts, in addition to the heightened morning grogginess we're all too familiar with.

While phone companies are working to reduce the problem with self-dimming screens, a new wearable technology is available to help those struggling with insomnia, daytime exhaustion and time change adjustments. AYO is an eyeglass-type product that launched on Indiegogo in May 2015. The glasses are worn during your normal morning routine or whenever you need an energy boost. They emit blue light directly into your eye while you move around. The device is controlled from a smartphone app, where you choose which type of customized visual therapy -- Sleep, Travel or Energy -- to engage in.

Twenty minutes of AYO's blue LED light in the morning can help your body wake up and feel more alert. Wearing them in a new time zone can help you adapt to time changes 2-3 times faster. Their 20-, 30- and 40-minute programs can help boost energy and also battle winter "blues".

The idea of blue light therapy for treating seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and various sleep disorders is not new. However, AYO's variation on light therapy is distinctive in several ways. Unlike stationary or pop-up products, this is a wearable solution. Ayo glasses shine light directly into your eye instead of being near you on a table or desktop. This maximizes your exposure, and also makes it easy to take Ayo with you when you leave your home or office. Further aiding in portability is the case, which looks like a large pill and doubles as a portable charger, which is ideal for travelers.

The sample app allows for customization and the use of different use with multiple lighting levels. The light itself is UV and infrared free, and Harvard, Oxford and NASA have confirmed the therapeutic aspects. People on Amazon are raving about how easy and effective it is to use, and what a difference it can make. As one reviewer wrote, "I would literally fall asleep every day around 2pm at work; now, using Ayo, I only feel a little drowsy and all I do is pop the visor on for about 20 minutes -- and I'm back in the game. This thing is literally helping me keep my job!"

During the winter's darkest and coldest months, when most of us dread getting out of bed, who couldn't use an AYO to help "light their way" to a more productive day?  

Published on: Jan 9, 2018