133: Robert Soler, NASA Subject Matter Expert & co-founder of SKYVIEW: Shifting the Focus: Managing Your Day (Light!) to Improve Your Nighttime Sleep!

In today's episode, we delve in the often-overlooked factor that can significantly impact our sleep quality: light! 

Our guest, Robert Soler is a renowned expert in lighting and circadian health. Robert shares his journey from working at NASA as a Subject Matter Expert. He uncovered the science behind light and its profound impact on your sleep. 

Robert also provides actionable tips for seamlessly integrating light management into your daily routine. 

Tune in to this episode and shed light on how to optimize your relationship with light for better sleep and a brighter, more energized life! 


Robert Soler is the co-founder of SKYVIEW, the leader in human wellness lighting technologies, which recently launched their flagship wellness lamp, the SKYVIEW 2™, which utilizes patented technology to improve human health and wellbeing. Prior to his work at SKYVIEW, his most prominent work was at Kennedy Space Center, where he was the Subject Matter Expert for NASA’s circadian lighting system to synchronize astronauts to a 24-hour cycle onboard the International Space Station. He received a fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and currently serves on the light advisory committee for the International WELL Building Standard.

In this episode, we discuss:

😴 Managing light for better sleep

😴 Practical application of bright light

😴 Windows and daylight exposure

😴 The importance of personal sunsets

😴 Lux light exposure guidelines

😴 Circadian rhythm and poker players

😴 Blue blockers and sleep routine

😴 Transitioning and acting differently

😴 Circadian nature of our thoughts

😴 Lighting for better sleep

😴 Circadian hygiene

😴 Light as a game changer

😴 The philosophy of light environments

😴 And More!!


🎢 If you're waking up at 3 am & suspect blood sugar...​​

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Website: https://skyviewlight.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/robertsoler1?lang=en

LinkedIn: https://twitter.com/robertsoler1?lang=en


The information contained on this podcast, our website, newsletter, and the resources available for download are not intended as, and shall not be understood or construed as, medical or health advice. The information contained on these platforms is not a substitute for medical or health advice from a professional who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your individual situation.

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Welcome to the sleep as a skill podcast. My name is Mollie McGlocklin and I own a company that optimizes sleep through technology, accountability and behavioral change. Each week I'll be interviewing world class experts ranging from doctors, innovators, and thought leaders to give actionable tips and strategies that you can implement to become a more skillful sleeper.


Let's jump into your dose of practical sleep training.


Welcome to the sleep as a skill podcast. This episode, I had a blast recording. We got into the weeds on all kinds of interesting, I think, interesting topics in the world of sleep, but specifically one of my favorite arenas, as it relates to the power of both the light and dark. To massively impact, not only your sleep, but also your experience of life.


While you're awake, our guest is Robert Soler. He is the co founder of Skyview, the leader in human wellness, lighting technologies, which recently launched their flagship wellness lamp, the Skyview two, which utilizes. patented technology to improve human health and well being. Prior to his work at Skyview, his most prominent work was at Kennedy Space Center, where he was the subject matter expert for NASA's circadian lighting system to synchronize astronauts to a 24 hour cycle on board the International He received a fellowship from the National Science Foundation, NSF, and currently serves on the Light Advisory Committee for the International Well Building Standard.


I promise you we get into really interesting topics around For instance, the diurnal pattern of our thoughts, how our thoughts can be impacted by the type of light, dark rhythms you expose yourself to, how that could have implications on your sleep, your health, and many more topics in the world of helping to support your sleep and your health.


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Now invest in better sleep and in turn in a better, more energized life. And welcome to the sleep is a skill podcast. This is going to be an enlightening, oh my gosh, here I am with the silly jokes and enlightening conversation on the topic of all things light. Robert, thank you so much for taking the time to be here.


Yeah. Thank you for having me. This is a, quite an honor. Oh, this is going to be a fantastic conversation. I personally feel so just passionate on this topic of how we're setting up our days to improve our nights and to make a difference with our nights. And I think it's so empowering to shift the focus.


It's called the sleep is skill podcast. Of course, people often looking to improve their sleep. And for many of us, we might be looking to the nights and yet. One of the things that we want to focus in on with you is this topic of why that might be short sighted and there's an opportunity to switch the narrative and go to looking and investigating how you're managing your days specifically through the lens of the light that you're bathing yourself in.


So, One, how did you find yourself, uh, such a renowned expert in this field? Give us a little bit of a sense of how you got to where you are today. Yeah, so I started off my career, um, I had a passion for lighting, um, but then started my career off at NASA, um, helping put the first LED light on the International Space Station, but then I got in touch with the human research, uh, program and we were looking about how light could do so much more, um, and there it was all about.


Um, you know, colonization on the moon and Mars, and, you know, there are fundamental things that are important to, you know, just sustaining life there. And, you know, water, food, and light. Those are kind of the basic pillars of what is, um, is what's required. Um, and so, but at the time I was charted with this, um, this very big task of trying to help the astronauts on space station who orbit the earth every 90 minutes.


Yes. And they see a sunrise every 90 minutes. Um, and really our biology just doesn't know how to handle that kind of information. Um, and so, uh, my understanding of how it works is when we don't have anything that we could synchronize to, we kind of break free and we run on our own. Um, circadian cycle that's close to 24 hours, but not really, but you might have maybe a 24.


2 hour cycle. I might have 24. 1 hour cycle and that's just 6 minutes, but it continues to persist over and over again. Um, and so day 1 at 6 minutes, day 10 at 60 minutes, day 100 at 600 minutes. And now if we're trying to work together as a team, you're ready to go. And I'm ready to go to bed. And so team cohesion was a very big issue.


And so what we did is we created a lighting system inside space station to create a 24 hour cycle strong enough to kind of ignore what's going on outside so that everyone had something to synchronize to. That went up maybe four or five years ago but the data is starting to come back that their circadian rhythms are way more in line, they're getting better sleep.


Um, and it's really helping them out. So circadian rhythms, what you get during the daytime absolutely helps one, how you feel during the day and to how you sleep at night. Absolutely. 100%. Wow. What an amazing and fascinating background. And my understanding is that now you're looking to help support people to make a difference with their structuring of their day to be able to get that high amplitude light at night.


For anyone that's been listening to this podcast, they've Probably often heard us speak to just that simple mantra of kind of bright days, dark nights to improve overall health and well being, of course, but particularly sleep. But we get so many of the questions of the how to navigate that. Well, how do I get bright light?


I'm up in Canada, I work in an office space, uh, etc, etc. So the practical application of this, it sounds simple and yet can be really, really challenging, especially since some of those reports of people spending around, you know, 93% of their time indoors or in automobiles and being cut off from some of these natural rhythms of nature.


And you could even make the call out that's probably even more than that since the pandemics and the smartphones and all the things. So given the, some of those. Constraints or challenges, I wonder if you can help kind of talk to us about what this would actually look like for people to have this really land and not just be a thing of like, Oh, well, what do I do?


Just turn on, you know, flip on the switch of the light and then I'm good. Like help walk us through that. Yeah, so it's it's interesting. One of the things that we've been doing in our research is trying to figure out why everyone has circadian disruption. So I think it's really interesting. We talked about 93% of our lives are spent indoors.


Well, 90% of the global population has circadian disruption. That seems like a coincidence, right? But the reality is the way that we light our spaces were all designed for efficiency. So visual efficiency, and they didn't realize that there's this biological thing that's going on. So all these lights that are in the ceiling point down on the desk where we're supposed to see things.


And that's the most energy efficient way to do it. Um, and that is really kind of putting ourselves in the dark, biologically speaking. So we're really only getting a third of what we need from a biological standpoint from that daytime component that we need, um, every single day. So we're really putting ourselves in the dark on the daytime side.


I think at night, we're probably also 3 times, um, too bright. So it's a, it's like, almost literally 5050. Um, three times too bright during the night. Um, three times too dark in the daytime. And that's really that combination is what's causing so much disruption that we're having. Um, so I think that what we need to focus on is mostly the direction, the spectrum, the direction and the intensity.


So lights in the ceiling are really bad for, you know, providing that daytime signal. Lights should be kind of closer to to, um, that vertical plane getting into your eyes. You want it to get into your eyes screens. I get this all the time. What about the screens? The screens really aren't doing a lot for you.


It's not. Um, it's and it's so content dependent, but yes. The thing that you want to know the lights in the ceiling are doing really nothing for you. You need to have something that's more vertical. That's putting the light in your eyes. That's the biggest thing. And, you know, it is about sleep. Um, but these, so what we know is that there's these.


newly found receptors that drive the circadian clock. Um, but they also go to other regions of the brain and these aren't the ones that we see with. These are not the visual photoreceptors. These are called um in retinal ganglion cells but they're intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells. I'm sure this has come up on here.


Uh yes and yeah I wish there was different whoever is on the the board of naming things. Uh Some of the things that we'll be getting into, no doubt, it's like, can be a lot, but I hope people don't get lost in the terminology because this is so impactful and can make a lot of sense once we understand the how of the mechanics of it, so yes.


Please keep going. Yeah, so it goes. So it's basically these sensors or daylight sensors are looking for a blue sky signal coming. And when you get that blue sky signal, it tells us it sets your clock to start your clock to begin the timer for when you need to sleep later on. But also helps with daytime vigilance, cognition, mood, alertness.


We are diurnal creatures, and it helps us do daytime things. And that's very, very important. Um, and then when it's removed, that's the time to recover, repair and get ready for the next day. And so it's really as simple as that. But the, but the problem is that people don't realize that what they're getting during the daytime is just not enough.


And I think that one of the most striking things is, uh, we've, we've learned is that even windows aren't really doing a lot, you have to face that window in order to get what you need. If you're just looking to the side, you're getting like, it cuts it down by five. Five times. If you are looking in an empty space seven times, you're just not getting enough light.


Um, and so this has been demonstrated time and time again that those windows are great. And the one that's behind you is is wonderful, but you You gotta still physically get outside, right? Yes. And, and knowing some of these numbers that you're pointing to and how, uh, nuanced the physics of light becomes, you're speaking to, it's not as simple as what people might think, oh, okay, get some light and by day and make it.


darker at night. There is real nuance to this and to your point, the angle and then the spectrum of the light and the whole thing. So, okay, so how can people navigate what the practicality of this and like what this looks like throughout the morning, presumably looking a little bit different than midday, then afternoon and, and how can they have a normal somewhat life by, by bringing this all into play?


Yeah, I mean, one of the things that we've been we've been looking on. I mean, the idea of bright days and dark nights is a very simple concept. Yes. Um, but you have to align with behavior and what people are actually going to do. You should go outside every morning. Um, right when the sun comes up, you should totally do that.


You should probably get 2 to 3 hours outside every single day. Um, but People just don't seem to do it. So how do you get, you know, how do you meet them where they are and what, where their comfort zone is. And if you could come up with a lighting system, this is what we've been trying to do is come with something that is one automatic.


So it just works. You just, you just plug it in. You have to set it up, you know, on an app or something and it just runs. Um, so you don't have to do anything else. Um, and two, it's not too bright or too glary or too anything that people think of when they think about brighter days. They're like, Oh, that sounds awful.


Um, so we've done things with perception to make it look very nice. And we developed this product that kind of is designed to kind of meet you where you are. It's designed to kind of compliment whatever you're doing. Go right next to where you are majority of the time, right next to your monitor or laptop.


Um, and it provides kind of something. It provides high, high amounts of this sky blue signal. And what we've also learned with our works, um, we've been working with top researchers in the world. Um, there is a horizon effect that we see that these blue sky sensors are looking for that That signal to come above the horizon plane because that's where the sky is.


Um, and it's not what you're looking at. It's these sensors are looking for other things. What you're looking at is that is exactly where they're not. They're looking at what's going on in the in the environment around. So when you're on your computer, it's putting the sky blue signal. It creates a horizon plane exactly where you should be looking at your monitor.


Puts the blue sky above and just gives you that kind of. Sun and sky is signal that you need every single day. And then what's really cool. So we we've done this thing because if you've talked to anyone about light, it's always just the same color light. And we, we kind of looked at outside and we said, there's something more going on out there.


It's the combination of sun and sky. That's really important. And the majority of the signal, everything the biology is pointing to is that that sky is really the major signal that we're, we're supposed to be getting. And so, um, when you have it separated with the sun and the sky, then you could do more with it as the days and you could, you can kind of simulate a dynamic cloud cover, which changes that blue sky component.


But at the end of the day, that blue sky could start going purple. While that sun goes to amber and red and there's really interesting data about a specific circuitry that's looking for those changes at the beginning and the end of your day that kind of amplifies it's kind of the bookend of your of your morning and night, if you will.


Yeah. And we think that that's really. Really, really important. Um, it just also happens to be like really the coolest, uh, aspect of the light is that like you get your own personal sunset and I don't know anyone who, who doesn't love having that indoors. Totally. Now, I wonder what your thoughts are on this.


We were kind of chatting about different approaches to navigating light, you know, before we hit record and different aspects of this, but I'm sure you've seen Andrew Huberman blowing up of kind of bringing some attention to this topic of light. One of the things that he'll Call it, you know, there's lots of the lots of feedback on whether people are aligned or not aligned, but curious to your point around the sunset piece in alignment, the book ends him trying to brand or calling out what he calls a Netflix inoculation by viewing the sunset and having that kind of those signals to the brain that then we're moving into the nights and that being it.


Preparatory and helpful if you are going to still be exposed to some light. I loved your 3x too bright at night and 3x problematic to dim by day. Is there any validity to some of that thinking that then by having some of those cues of kind of that infrared light or that full spectrum light and the the dimming process by sunset that that can be helpful if we are going to still be exposed to some bright light at night or some light at night or is that too hard to say?


No, yeah, absolutely. There's been studies that have shown that the light exposure you get right before kind of that nighttime exposure really does help minimize. So they, we always talk about light history. So what you've seen in the in the weeks before, but also the hours before so it has a memory to it because it's really trying to figure out day and night as a relative.


Um, sense from a circadian standpoint. So it really is, you know, that bright light you get, like, kind of at the end of your day leading up to night, kind of tells that your system that this was day. So this thing is just kind of noise. Um, so don't don't think that that's daytime. And that's really the crux of it is the relativeness of day and night.


You're trying to want to delineate day versus night as much as you possibly can. And those bookends seem to be like the big, big. Big thing. Yes. Thank you for that. It's really helpful back to what you're saying. And of course, I'm sure it's a challenge when you're speaking. I'm trying to get this message out for people and you knowing all the nuance of where people are living and what season it is.


And oh my God, it can get so fine tune of the differences in light patterns that people are exposed to and their schedules and all the things. But When you say it's three times too dark or dim in the day, is there any ballpark by which we can be looking to ensure we're having a lux light exposure? And do you see changes that we can kind of think of of what lux exposure we should get in the morning and then midday and afternoon kind of like?


Yep. Any of that that we can have as a guidepost? Yeah. Ooh. Okay. So there is a criteria that the, like the international, um, chronobiology experts of the world kind of got together and came up with a metric, um, and a criteria and it is melanopic EDI. Which is a terrible word, um, but it's the equivalent daylight illuminance.


Um, and you're supposed to get 250 of it. Um, so standard lighting that is not specially optimized, um, usually has about, um, for every one lux, it has half of a melanopic EDI. And so, if you need 250, so you need 250 all day long. So you need 500 lux and that's a ton of light and that's the, I think that's a big part of the challenge is that in the way that most people have done it, it's very hard to get that kind of light or it just feels uncomfortably bright.


Yeah. Um, so there's been a couple of people where we're big on trying to fix that. That's the, that's the idea of behaviors. And so we created a light source with this horizon plane, as I mentioned before. And so the, um, so it's three times more effective, um, which means that instead of 500 lux, you need, uh, well, like about 160, 170 lux.


Which is like totally like what you normally get in your work area. So that becomes now like it checks that box. It's not too bright. It's not too glary. It automatically does things. We've also striven very hard to make sure that it's beautiful. Um, and, and that's the key piece of making. So I think that we've worked with, um, tons of sleep researchers and they go, you know, light boxes.


They work, but try to get somebody actually use them. The compliance is so low. Yeah. They'll come in and they all they want is a pill. They don't want to do anything with light and it's either it's, you know, they don't have time for it or it's too bright and it's uncomfortable or they just, they're kind of embarrassed to like to take it to the office or anything like that because they feel like something's wrong with them.


So again, it was something that we, when we made this product called sky view, um, It was really important for us to make sure that was something you were proud to turn on every single day. And it was just a part of your routine and a part of your behavior. And I think that, um, as it relates to, you know, latitude and longitude, um, you know, when we talk about the importance of light, if you live in Seattle, you already know.


We don't have to convince you if you live in San Diego, it's not quite as obvious that light is so important for you, but we've done studies in Arizona, we've done studies in San Diego, and it shows time and time again that we're just not getting enough light. No matter where we are, even if you're in the, you know, some of the most beautiful places in the world.


Um, we're just not, we're just not getting enough light. Um, and that's, that's what we're trying to solve is trying to go, okay, telling people to get outside is a great idea, but if it doesn't work with behavior, they're not going to do it. So let's just meet them where they are so they could use it and they could get the benefits of it and they could get better sleep and they don't have to do anything to do it.


You have to turn it on. A hundred percent. Yeah, I know. I'm looking at images of your what you have all created and it is so beautiful. A hundred percent. Yeah, it's um, to your point, the meeting people where they're at being so important and just the pragmatics of So many people that might have a little bit out of the norm shift workers, and I happen to work with a lot of high stakes poker players, and I mentioned them a lot because they're quite a nice example of ones that are often in environments, casinos that are designed on purpose to confuse the circadian rhythm and be devoid of all of these things that we're talking about.


Just static lighting across the board, no windows, no clocks, all the things. And yet, and they can stand as a more extreme example, but I think to your point, what we're finding is that they might not be that far off in their environmental kind of struggles to many of us throughout the whole globe that are just inside so often and devoid of those cues.


So bringing these in. So you're saying the automaticity of what you've created, it's almost just guides, you know, how to think about it as much if I'm gathering. That's right. Yeah. And you know, there's a, you know, there's sleep and, but there's a, there's a best time for anything biologically speaking. So performance of cognition of athleticism, we do stuff with, um, um, professional sports teams all the time for jet lag mitigation, trying to shift your clock so that when game time is, is actually when


you are important to, to everyone to understand what your clock is saying. And aligning and that's why, you know, that's why we all know sleep is so important. It's, it's not, it's really about how we feel and how we perform during the daytime is why we give sleep so much credit, right? Yeah, absolutely. And for anyone listening, that's saying like, okay, yeah, I know to improve my sleep.


There's so many things I could do. I could work out, I could change the lighting, I could change my meal time. I could, you know, get the gadgets and the supplements and the, all this stuff. Can you just speak to the why that light in particular has a kind of potentially hierarchy on what we're doing to improve, to your point, not only sleep, but the other side of it, the flip, the, the wake piece, the how well you're doing and performing when you are awake.


Yeah, I mean, it's fundamental. So, you know, our eyes are part of our brain, and when it senses this light, it's signaling directly all the regions of the brain that control mood, control cognition, set our clocks, um, provide alertness. I mean, it is fundamental, and it's a direct pathway. Everything else is kind of, and as we all know, it's what we evolved under.


So it's, it's, it is, Absolutely. And Nate, we're supposed to be getting more light during the daytime. Everything else we're doing for, um. You know, for supplements at night, melatonin, which I think is the absolute worst, um, you know, those are things trying to cope with the way that the fact that we've kind of messed ourselves up and we recognize that we're really hoping that appeals the magic pill is going to make something happen, but none of those things are things that we evolved to have.


Light is the only thing that we evolved to have. It is the most consistent time. Q. Um, it comes up at the same time every single day. Um, within minutes. Yeah. And, um, it's what we're supposed to be getting. And we've really kind of built these walls and thought we did a lot of good for us, but we missed the key thing.


The key. Fundamental communication that says this is when we're supposed to wake up. This is when we're supposed to sleep. This is when we're supposed to perform in between those times. And, you know, do everything the best we can. We're very complicated. And I think that, you know, we are, our bodies and our biology is this giant orchestra of things that have to happen.


And light is the conductor that's telling everything when to happen and what we need to do. Preach! And then there was light as the as the saying goes. Yeah, so important. Well, and you know, I think there's a few guests that are as prime to answer these next four questions that we ask every guest from a demonstration perspective, then you I'd imagine on helping us to like kind of break down what this really looks like in application.


So we do ask every guest four questions about how they're managing. Of course, their sleep is what we put it under, but It's this opportunity to see what would this look like in your daily life and how could this be totally doable? So the first question that we ask everyone is what is your nightly sleep routine look like right now?


Yeah, so nightly and I have um four kids Um, so okay amazing. There's what's for me and then really what's most important is what's for them. Um, um, so after dinner I have automated lights that kind of go from that day, day cycle, and it fades down to night. So there's biologic, biologically, they know, you know, it's starting to be nighttime.


Yeah. But behaviorally, they also know, like, okay. This is time to wind down and we start doing bath. Um, we get ready for bed. We have a routine routines. The biggest thing. So there's light. light routines, and then there's behavioral routines. So bath, um, prayer, stories, and then we always do, um, we reflect on our favorite part of the day.


So then this, this really keeps from, you know, rumination on, you know, stuff that they're upset about, like, Don't go to bed thinking about what bad happened. Go to bed thinking about the best part of your day. And then we all share that together. Um, so that routine has worked really, really well for us. So it's light and behavior together.


We always go to bed at the same time. Um, and then my wife and I have. But, um, a little bit of peace and quiet, um, for ourselves. Yeah. Um, so everything's always dark, um, and, you know, just a little bit of Netflix, which is, which should be fine. Yes. Given all the bright light you're getting by day. That's right.


That's right. That's right. Um, and it is better to be on, on a TV far away than it is a, you know, phone close to your face. Sure. And real quick, your thoughts on blue blockers, no blue blockers, let us know. Yeah, blue blockers work. The, the problem I have with them is, um, is it's got to be automatic. It's got to be at the same time every single day.


That's really my, that's my big problem with it. I think that the light is the, um, is the thing you need to have it automated. So at the same time every day, our lights are changing. Um, it's setting you up for success and successful sleep. And it's not like, Oh yeah, I got to put these glasses on. Yeah. And they look weird.


So, you know, like that too, my wife and I have to be on the same page with that. This is what we're doing. Um, and if we're not doing, I mean, it's, it's fine if it's kind of a belt and suspenders approach, if the lighting is doing everything automatically, and maybe it's behaviorally like reminding you like, oh, yeah, the lights like this.


All right, maybe I should put my blue blockers on, but I would not rely on. on blue blocking glasses. I completely agree. I know I just had this conversation with a client the other day. They're, they're very adamant about like, okay, well, give me the top down approach. Like of all these things, what do I need to get?


They're like, oh, the blue blockers first. And my call out was absolutely not in, in my estimation of the practicality of some of these things and the work and the high yields effects. It's. They can be that last ditch, especially if you're in an external environment, not of your own design, you're kind of at the effect of like, I just joined improv recently and it's great.


It's a little bit more of a late leaning ish. So it's like 630 to 830. And by the end of it, there's like fluorescent lights right over you and intense and, you know, it's all kinds of stuff going on. So those might be some of the times by the very end, I like pull out some of the, you know, least weird looking ones, you know, just to deal with some of that intensity.


But it's sort of like a band aid or what have you and instead to what you're pointing to is what I hope we see and I, I'm taking the wager that we'll see this in the future of what you're creating and a stand for of this circadian aligned environments across the board and hopefully make it easy like you're aiming to do so that these things just kind of happen and they happen in hospitals and they happen in environments where it really is just becomes a thing that we're all hopefully doing.


We'll have to see. Yeah. And real quick, because I'm on your site now, you have something called Nightfall light bulbs. Is that part of what you're speaking to? Oh, so you should go to the Skyview Light website. Oh, sorry. Okay, so. Yeah, so Nightfall, Nightfall's a product that we've, we developed. I, I thought it was a great idea.


Um, and then we did a really bad job of communicating, uh, what it is. It's really kind of a nighttime prevent. We have, um, and to be honest, like it does wonders for like outdoor lighting too, like to keep the light down and out of the sky, um, out of your neighbor's windows, um, out of our window, you know, I'm always surprised at how much light actually makes it into my window from, um, from the outdoor lighting.


Um, but I do have this in all my kids bedrooms, uh, this nightfall. Um, but I also have sky view and on every bedroom in the house, um, and we're, we're actually coming with a bigger building integrated one. That's like a chandelier size when that's going to go over our kitchen. And that is, um, that is something that is so, so cool.


The, the sunset part of it is, is nice when it's right next to your desktop, um, but when it's illuminating the entire, the entire room, it's just so cool. And don't you think too that there's something really cool from, you know, I work with a lot of entrepreneurs or people that can design their days. And I feel like there's something really neat from, uh, Parkinson's law of, you know, time expands to fit the, you know, kind of boundaries by what you said to it, or the takeaway that if we do have.


This kind of endpoint that we actually are needing to abide by to a certain degree where it is the sun will set and there is a argument to kind of transitioning and acting different in the evening than we would by day. I like to think that it could be a productivity. Producer or amplifier because you almost like the Amish, you know, that's like you got the sun's gonna be setting soon.


You got to get all your work done or have that sense of urgency. Now in the world of practicality, maybe you're going to go pass out a little bit, but I think there's something we said for that. Like you are saying that clear day mode, night mode, and that we are chained. We're kind of ending our days. Do you feel any of that element that that could be helpful for all of us that are 24 7 working?


It can feel like. Yeah, yeah, yeah, there's, um, there's actually a really cool thing that, um, from a circadian standpoint called the Wake Maintenance Zone, and it's really designed for exactly what you just said, which is like, if you think before electric lighting, the onset of darkness is when we went from being predator to being prey.


And so it was really important for us to get our stuff done and go, you know, find safety, survive the night to make it to the next day. And so, absolutely, there's an innate burst of energy. Um, it's not physiological, also neurobiological energy. We're smarter, more creative at this time. To get our stuff done, go find safety, survive the night.


Yeah, for sure. Totally! And the call out, like some of the research that came out recently, that they're coining the mind after midnight, out of some research in Arizona. And they were pointing to the circadian nature of our thoughts as well. And if we start trying to push too much activity too late, that could potentially be flawed in that our thinking patterns seem to go in a different direction.


And maybe our logic might start getting a little funky too late into the evening and certainly suicide rates and emotional regulation. I know this might be getting out of the scope of our conversation, but really fascinating stuff. No, I mean, there's, there's a, there's a study that came out, um, that showed, I think it was of 85, 000 participants mood, um, and specifically, like, dim days and bright nights are associated with all these psychiatric disorders.


Major depress, major depression, um, self harm, PTSD, anxiety. Um, you know, we're just, we just put ourselves in this environment that is we don't know what's day and what's night anymore and it's just really, really, it's really sad what we've done to ourselves, you know, 100%. I mean, that's part of the passion for me is that I had lived in.


Manhattan for years had no idea in my formative years of when sunset sunrise. Oh, who cares? You can live 24 seven lifestyle, all the things. And then also had been in Vegas on another spot of nonstop lights and ridiculousness. So all of these things, you can design whatever type of lifestyle you want for better or for worse.


And I think what you're bringing us back to is that there is this blueprint that we can. quite just drift off of because for the last few hundreds of years we've started to do that doesn't mean it's working. Yeah, so one thing that I do want to point out too is, um, kind of what you said, you know, about like poker players, for example, um, so the light itself can replicate what's going on outside, um, but it also could replicate any kind of schedule that reflects what you need.


11 p. m, like You know, having a light that tells you to go sleep before that is probably the probably a bad idea. Um, so, so it's also a modular to anyone's lifestyle. Um, I always think about, you know, when you're in New York and you know, you're going until 7 PM, but it got dark at 5. It's like, no, not time to shut it off just yet.


We need to have this longer day than what's going on outside. So I think it's important to kind of point out that, you know, there's stuff that. Ideally, we're replicating what's going on outside, but practically, again, thinking about behavior and what people are actually doing, um, that might not be the best way.


And I remember when I was in grad school, I, before I went to grad school, I was an early bird and I had to use lighting to kind of make myself. Um, you know, be more awake and alert for those night classes because we had the statistics class that started at 8 p. m. and I'm like, way, I am going to like, I have to like, you know, my eyes open.


Yeah, so it was, uh, it was really challenging for me. So I did. I knew how to do this. So I changed. I changed the lighting to basically help me assist in being better. At 8, 9, 10 o'clock at night, um, and it works like a charm. Absolutely like a charm. No, and thank you so much for calling that out because we're talking about different things.


There's kind of a spectrum here of optimally aligned circadian rhythm, you're mimicking as much as possible, you know, sunrise and sunset and all that great stuff. Fantastic. And there is a real even like safety component, if you will, among many other things of for shift workers or people that have very different schedules to us.


And if we are getting the wrong message across it, there is a singular way to manage these things. This can be problematic for people that are truck drivers, that are the doctor that's going to be operating on you at 4am or what have you, all of these things become so crucial. And you can make the argument.


Even more important for the shift worker to really dive in to the skill set and understanding this more. But thanks to more companies like yourself that are trying to help make it as easy as possible to fit into their lifestyle and bringing it back to your genesis of your, the origin of your, some of the work that you've done.


I mean, what more difficult environment than astronauts, sun rising and setting every 90 minutes. Like, you know, we can even help support circadian rhythms in very less than ideal. scenarios. So all is not lost if we are, you know, kind of on a different schedule than others, we can definitely make this work for them.


If I'm hearing you right. Yep. Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. And then our next question would be, what does your morning quote unquote sleep routine kind of look like in your life? Uh, how could that one impact sleep? And two, what would we see from you? Yeah, so I have my nightstand, the sky view. So I didn't mention that at night.


It's already kind of an evening night mode. But then it's sunrises in the morning to wake me up. Nice. And it is again, the coolest thing because. The sunrise doesn't start yellow or red before that sun comes up. The sky is purple and gets kind of it gets fills the air if you will. Um, and so it starts out with this very purple sunrise that starts and it's just.


So peaceful and so, um, energizing really, because it starts kind of like working with our, this, um, cortisol awakening response that gets us, gets us going. Um, it's really designed to wake us up in our lightest part of sleep. So if you have just a gentle nudge, if you're in deep sleep, it won't wake you.


It's not enough to wake you up. If you're in light sleep. It will wake you up and you'll wake up feeling refreshed. So it does a lot of really interesting things together to make you feel like you don't need a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. And I know there's a lot of people who talk about delaying that coffee response is really beneficial.


So light is a great way to do it. Yes, that natural coffee. Beautiful. I love that. Okay. So, utilizing the light in our environment to help with that wake up piece and to those people that often say, I wake up so much earlier than sunrise. That would be one of your call outs in their case to utilize something like that.


Something like that will, um, will set that rhythm so you don't get enough light if you wake up before sunrise. So that's that's something that's perfect. I know that, you know, in a lot of places you got to be traffic. So you're waking up earlier just to just to be able to commute to work. Yes, absolutely.


Okay, so then we see that in the first half of your day, what will we see on your nightstand or if you're traveling or what have you kind of proverbial nightstand, the ambiance, gadgets, apps, anything to call up? Yeah. Um, I've got an aura ring to track. I've got my sky view. Um, I, I actually have a pair of those blue blocking glasses, but I don't ever use them.


Um, and then I have, um, so night shift for, for the cell phone, but also, uh, efflux. Um, and if we've heard of that, um, efflux is actually a lot better, but, um, yeah, they just go to, to deeper reds. Um, and that's really all I do. And then of course, routine, just try to maintain a consistent, um, bedtime schedule, wake up at the same time.


Uh, those are, those are the key pillars of circadian hygiene. Uh, and everyone wants the something besides that they're like, okay, yeah, I know consistency is in my butt. What about, you know, the fancy fill in the blank gadget, gizmo, et cetera. And to your point, it's like the consistency, you can't cut around how important that is.


And what I also liked what you shared too, is In some cases, there might not be like an ethics or morality to, it might make the most sense for people to have potentially a late leaning schedule if it's going to be more consistent, right? That's right. That's right. That's absolutely right. If you want to be a night owl, You know, just have the light kind of follow you because you don't want to, you know, have light that's outside of what your behavior is.


You want it just to follow your behavior. That's the best thing you could do for yourself. Beautiful. Okay. And our last question that we ask everyone is what for you in your life has made the biggest change to your sleep game or said another way, maybe the biggest aha moment for you in managing your sleep today.


Well, I guess I kind of already talked about the routine is like is the game changer. It really is. Um, and I, you know, sometimes I write myself notes so that I, um, or reminders in the morning because sometimes I'll think about something and that'll be the thing that keeps me up. I don't want to forget about that.


So just grab my phone and writing a reminder to remind me at, you know, 8 a. m. That is also another big thing that I do to, um, to make sure that I'm. Um, that I'm not thinking about all night long. I love that too. So, it can be underestimated how impactful those things can be, those strategies to just, Empty out our brains, but get it into practicality, into reality and existence somewhere in your calendar, reminder, alerts, whatever you got to do so that it can be bracketed and we can deal with it the next day.


So well said. And now for anyone who is hearing all of this, and then some of the systems that could help make it easier for us to manage our circadian lighting. And hopefully, I hope that brings some kind of intrigue and fascination to what I believe to be one of the next big things in wellness being circadian health and the management of this and how this can kind of serve as this cool blueprint for well being.


How can they follow you and the work that you're doing and the products that they might be able to bring into their own home, et cetera? Yeah, I'm, I'm not a social influencer, but my LinkedIn, um, I try to get everyone on in my network to, um, to the latest research, um, latest developments that we, we know are coming out.


Um, so that's kind of where I, I, I roll in LinkedIn, Robert Soler. Beautiful. Okay. Amazing. Well, we'll definitely have that in the show notes and the name for your company for where they might be able to purchase some of those products or any call outs there. Yeah. Skyview light is the, is the product. And I, we just did a study with the fortune 500 company, you know, just using in the office.


And, um, the results are are phenomenal. You know, it's once you try it, I think that a lot of people just kind of discredit light. Once you try it, you go, wow, I had no idea that this thing was missing in my life. I think that that's that's what we're really kind of pushing. So skyview light. Um, you know, nothing like warms my heart other than more than like seeing people like taking something that I developed the years of research that went into it and, you know, going, wow, this is really changed my life.


I love that. Maybe we can get to a point where. You know, I don't know, depending on the different circles that people are running in, but certainly in the wellness space, a lot of people are seeing the life changing elements of say psychedelics or certain things that are in vogue at different times. I foresee a future where light becomes that thing where and the light at the right times for them and then darkness on the flip side can't have light without darkness.


So having that piece of the puzzle and that becoming that game changing drug like effects in a lot of ways that they could leverage into their lives thoughtfully and mindfully and then in conjunction with some of these products and things that can make it more seamless. Yeah, that's right. And the way that I see it to the employer cares about all these benefits just as much as the people, right?


And so this, this, this is going to be a part of the wellness program, you know, the wellness, um, supplements and stipends and stuff that people have, you get a yoga class, you get gym classes, you get your wellness lighting. They should all be synonymous. They're all, they all have the same benefits, except the light.


You don't need, you don't need to actually participate in, uh, in going to the gym or, or doing anything. You just need to sit next to it. Okay. Yes. Oh, my God. Oh, now I'm going to get way out here. But do you ever see the movie Parasite back in the day? Remember that big movie? I didn't see it. I have those four kids, man.


It's just, uh, yeah, you can't be doing any of that stuff. I've seen all, you know, all the animated movies that have come out over the last 10 years. Oh, I got all the Disney lineup. Okay, fine. Well, I was going to say for anyone that's seen Parasite, highly recommend seeing even from the breakdown of, The light environment we see this class dynamic where it's kind of pointing to class concepts and this higher class this um, you know, kind of this group that has more finances at their disposal and unfortunately being at having access to light and then on the more kind of impoverished side of things being in these dark and kind of slum environments and having darkness be where they're hanging out in and again I'm taking this way out here and I'll close on this note but My point is that I think there's something to be said here for the democratization of great light and unfortunately the I think there's been this problem for those of us that are you know we see people having to work multiple jobs and they're finding themselves in just a circadian nightmare and maybe not even having any realization that that is the case and I think there's an opportunity for us to help support people's health and well being by means of light.


Yeah, you know, I will. I, I didn't watch the movie, but you just, everything you bring up always reminds me of something like an instance. Chickens. I already love this. Okay, go ahead, chicken. So they have what is known as pecking order. They will literally, the biggest chickens will go where all the light is and they'll peck the little chickens out of it.


And they'll like literally like get the brightest light on them and like fight for that light with all the other chickens. And there is like a. A whole pecking order where they find their class of like the bigger, stronger chickens get the most light. And then the, the other ones like fight for their light.


It's a, it's a wild phenomenon. So in the world of chicken lighting, you have to make it as even as possible. Otherwise, if you have like blobs of light where it's bright and dark. Be That's this, it's chaos. Chaos because they are trying to p each other, um, and keep all the, all the light for themselves. Wow.


It's wild. I did not know about that. Okay. You blow my mind. That's so good. Alright, well maybe someday down the road we can have a part two of the philosophy of light environments. Right. And it's impact, it's far reaching impact. So good. Uh, well you are a delight and I love the passion and the commitment to making a difference in this area.


I think it's. So untapped and so important. So thank you for doing the work that you're doing and, and for also taking the time to help educate and share your knowledge with people listening. And for myself, I'm so grateful. So thank you. Thank you again. Yes. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.


You've been listening to the sleep as a skill podcast, the number one podcast for people who want to take their sleep skills to the next level. Every Monday, I send out something that I call Molly's Monday obsessions continuing everything that I'm obsessing over.


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