LYS: Measure your light intake and manage your sleep-wake cycle

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An innovative new wearable has launched this week on Kickstarter. Called LYS, it aims to ensure its users are getting enough healthy light to balance their natural circadian rhythms and get a good night’s sleep.

In urban environments getting enough daily light can be difficult. This is a challenge our ancestors did not have to contend with. Most people today are exposed to the wrong light at the wrong time.

Nature has built into us biological clocks called circadian rhythms which help determine our sleep patterns, alertness and more. We don’t really think about it, but our bodies need a different quantity of light in the morning, during the day and at night.

In fact, circadian rhythm research just won a Nobel prize a few weeks ago. The $1 million cash pot was awarded to American scientists Jeffrey C Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W Young for groundbreaking discoveries of the mechanisms controlling the internal clock of living organisms.

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A mood boost isn’t the only reason to get enough sunlight. During the day, we need high levels of light to trigger our metabolism and give us energy to stay focused and productive. This is particularly the case early in the morning.

In the evening we don’t need as much light as we want to start feeling more relaxed and ready for bed. Our body temperature drops and tiredness increases. The trick is to avoid exposure to blue light 2-3 hours before bedtime. This is because blue light suppresses melatonin which may reset the internal clock to a later schedule. The light from most our devices is “short-wavelength-enriched”, i.e. it has a higher concentration of blue light than natural light.

This where LYS comes in. The coin-sized sensor is world’s first light measuring consumer device. It features miniature sensors that replicate the photoreceptors inside your eyes and keep tabs on your circadian rhythm. The wearable and app lets you know how much light you are taking in through the day, charts it all in the accompanying smartphone app and sets targets for the level of light needed at various times.

The UK based company says, trial data showed that those using LYS for three weeks decreased the time to fall asleep by 40%. It also tripled users’ perceived energy levels throughout the day.

The robust little wearable can be clipped onto virtually anything. The battery lasts for 7 days on a single charge and because its water resistant you can wear it come rain or shine.


Price: £59 and up

Funding open: 

£22,960 total funds raised out of £50,000 goal
34 days to go

Estimated delivery: December 2017

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