Light affects your brain like a drug - Scott Nelson #141
I'm back from LA now. What a trip. The Bulletproof Conference was a chance to reconnect with friends and meet some new ones too. Many of the recommendations at the conference are pretty much the complete opposite of what we are taught growing up about wellness. It can seem overwhelming. Butter is okay, nicotine’s okay too (but certainly not smoking), and so on.
But many other hacks seem to be a mixture of the futuristic and the primal. As well as eating plenty of veggies, most of those gathered in LA are big fans of meditation and getting some natural sunlight in the morning. Hardly anything particularly revolutionary about that.
Light is a drug - eh?
Light is a big theme at the conference. Some speakers talk about how light affects your brain like a drug. Experts and exhibitors alike look at adapting your environment so that the lights help you to perform at your best, especially if you live somewhere cold, damp and grey, (sound familiar?). As well as our dearth of natural sunlight in a northern hemisphere winter, some of our offices and devices apparently emit five times more blue light than daylight, which really messes with our sleep and circadian rhythms.
Today I'm with Scott Nelson, a man who knows all about light, and in fact, has invented a device that is rather cool. And man, it's bright! Check out the podcast for more, and Scott's website here.
EP 141: Light affects your brain like a drug with Scott Nelson
Tony: Right, we’re recording, Scott, how you doing?
Scott: Good Tony, pleasure to be sitting here on this morning
Tony: It is, yeah. It’s just been a great conference hasn’t it?
Scott: It has been, yeah.
Tony: It’s Sunday morning, I think we should set the scene. Sunday morning and It’s 8:30. We’ve got bulletproof coffee, we’re sitting outside the Pasadena Convention Center and I think (unclear); we’re gonna talk about light and the impact of light on the human body and light almost as a drug which is being a bit of a theme of this podcast. And we’re sitting in this incredible Californian light aren’t we?
Scott: We are. It’s beautiful, beautiful morning and ideal to get morning sun at this time of day. Couldn’t be better to having this type of conversation.
Tony: Now Scott, where do you live normally?
Scott: We’re based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Tony: Minneapolis.. is that a hot place?
Scott: It’s not, it’s a… the summers are great but the summers are short.
Tony: Oh okay.
Scott: So right now, we’re probably 50 degrees as a high and then (unclear).
Tony: Oh right, yeah. But that’s like London, but you’re wearing a hoodie, I thought this is like the hottest we ever get.
Scott: I brought my Minneapolis gear to California but it’s nice right now but you get some nice heat out here during the mid-day so I’ll probably drop the hoodie here in a few hours.
Tony: Yeah drop the hoodie, drop the hoodie; it gets a bit cold inside isn’t it?
Scott: Yeah that’s right, yeah exactly.
Tony: Good. So one of the things of this conference has been light as a drug which kind of an interesting phrase which I’ve never heard before. The impact of light on the human body and I think it’s just something we do not think about very much at all. You’re very well qualified to tell us about this and perhaps first, we could look at why light impacts us in different ways.
Scott: Sure, absolutely and so to your point, I think there is a lot more awareness around the importance of light and certainly we proved that at the bulletproof conference here but to your, you know, the phrase you mentioned, light almost as a drug, there’s another fairly well known doctor – Jack Cruz, who actually I think, the phrase he uses, the light as a compound pharmacy. “compound pharmacy”
Tony: Wow, yeah.
Scott: So, light is clearly important and the way I typically like to sort of (unclear), like to use that most people is familiar with how our bodies metabolize macro nutrients; so, fats, proteins, carbohydrates, etc. But most people aren’t familiar with how our bodies metabolize light. And so different wavelengths of light have different impacts on the cellular level and how our bodies receive those type of light, those wavelengths of light and how we digest them. And so, light is crucial and I think so much of us and you can probably testify to this, we sort of have been ingrained that sunlight is bad and you know, make sure before you go out in the natural sun, slap on the sunscreen cause we don’t want that type of light but in actuality if you look at the science – light is incredible. UV light, too much uv light, obviously can be, you know, you can experience some downstream applications, but light in itself is pretty powerful especially with certain wavelengths.
Tony: So, sunlight, the obvious one to start with..
Tony: What, I mean, I kind of feel like I know, but I kind of feel like I don’t know what could happen when you go in the sunlight.
Scott: Right, so, sunlight, it’s you know, you’re experiencing a broad spectrum of wavelengths of light. Some have different impacts and so, red and near infrared light, those wavelengths from the broad spectrum of sunlight have a unique ability to enhance the cellular production of ATP, which is kind of the energy currency of our cells.
Tony: And this podcast is all about energy so that’s good, yeah.
Scott: Exactly, exactly. So red and near infrared light, but that’s just a small percentage of the wavelengths from the broad spectrum of sunlight and I think most people are familiar with uv light and the potential dangers of overexposure to uv light. But also uv light has a unique ability of to help our bodies produce Vitamin D as well, and so, that’s crucial for most people. I mean, you know, you can get into some serious health problems with Vitamin D deficiency. And so those different wavelengths of light from the full spectrum of natural sunlight are pretty important for different aspects of our health.
Tony: So, sunlight obviously, we’ll put that in the good column…
Tony: So, let’s look at, I mean one of the things I have been talking about is, I work at a tv station in the UK, it’s a fantastic job, it’s all and it’s ended lighting on set is, you know, it’s quite a kind of – morning, it’s great isn’t it, everyone’s so friendly here, morning… the light is, it’s a very flattering light, but it’s an artificial light. What is the impact of it, if we’re going to work in an office and it’s strip lighting and it’s dark outside, presumably that’s in the negative camp in terms of the impact on our body?
Scott: Right, and there’s been a lot of technology specific to, you know, green energy and more efficient light sources; LEDs being one of those. I think it’s pretty, at least here in the states, it’s pretty hard to source, incandescent light bulbs are more, I mean you know, go to the local department store and almost every single choice you have is LED lighting. LED lighting is great in an efficienct stand point but oftentimes, the sources are delivering blue light as well at the same time and so, blue light can be good in the morning to help reset your circadian rhythm but an overexposure to blue light throught the day and especially at night is not ideal. Can help to, you know, too much exposure at night, and can impact your sleep in a negative way and so, you know, going to an office or going to a well lit studio like yourself, just a good idea to probably step outside and try and get some natural sunlight during the day to help counterbalance some of the downstream ramifications of that LED lighting that’s delivered through those sources.
Tony: And you talk about blue light of course, that’s the ipad at night in bed;
Scott: Yeah, exactly.
Tony: That’s probably the bathroom light as well.
Scott: Yup, exactly. And so, most people when they think it, they look at, LED, it looks white but the reality is, there’s multiple wavelengths being delivered from those LED sources. It’s not just bright light, there’s blue light coming from those sources as well and blue light during the day, and overexposure to blue light can be, you know, can have some downstream health ramifications, especially, if you’re getting too much of it and so…
Tony: And at night, your body thinks it’s the middle of the day.
Scott: Yeah, exactly, yeah. Suppressed melatonin production which you absolutely need heading into a, if you’re trying to optimize your sleep, and if you got your device without some sort of…
Tony: Night mode.
Scott: Yeah. Night mode or something like that, or even…
Tony: It’s quite (unclear), isn’t it?
Tony: Yeah, on the iphone, I use it, yeah.
Scott: Yeah, I keep it on almost throughout the day. Unless am trying to look at how an image is pixelated or something like that, I flip it off. But I keep that on almost throughout the entire day and you know, heading into the evening, I think there’s even more apps that you can buy screen protectors or screen filters, Iris, being one of those, that even help reduce the blue light even more so than just the night mode alone.
Scott: Iris, yes.
Tony: Is that an app?
Scott: Yes, it is. It is an app. You should check into it.
Tony: This is great.
Scott: I personally have limited experience with it but I’ve heard great things with you know kind of a more techie people that are actively playing around with it.
Scott: Allegedly, it blocks out a significantly more or significantly greater amount of blue light at night than just the night mode alone, exactly.
Tony: Cause night mode is still quite bright.
Scott: It is. It is.
Tony: Wow, that’s really cool, I will check that out. I haven’t thought about that before.
Scott: There’s a couple different apps besides that one.
Scott: But I’ve heard that’s a pretty good one, yeah.
Tony: And one of the things I’ve talked about on zestology, is (unclear) recently on blue blockers. And I’ve been trying different blue blockers, and they are big here as well aren’t they? People are wearing them, people who have these glasses that block out the blue light at night. So your brain during the day kind of sees this blue light, thinks its sunlight, so if your brain, your caveman brain at night sees the blue light it thinks it’s the middle of the day and you don’t want to go to sleep. So these orange glasses, the color of the campfire, it blocks out the blue light. I find them quite helpful. Do you use them?
Scott: We do. We do. Our kids use them; my wife uses them. I use them.
Tony: Do they?
Scott: Yeah. That’s one of the few bio hacks. We’re here at the bulletproof bio hacking conference. That’s one of the few where I’ve noticed a significant difference when I wear them versus when I don’t wear them. When I have them on at night, I will experience a lot more drowsiness which is great heading into prepping your body into a good night’s sleep.
Tony: That’s so cool. Do you use it every night?
Scott: We do. Yeah, I use it every night.
Tony: And then you brought your kids on this trip?
Tony: Did you bring the glasses?
Scott: They do. Yeah, they’ve got the glasses as well and we’re, we saw James Swanwick walking around earlier. I did a podcast recently with him too.
Tony: He was here at zestology too.
Scott: Yeah, we wear the swannies blue blockers at night. But yeah, they’re great. I couldn’t recommend them highly enough.
Tony: Okay yeah, cause I have them and I must admit, I don’t use them that much.
Tony: I’ve got what I think are the most stylish pair on the market. So, am sure that that’s stylish but they look okay. The retro look to them.
Scott: But it is interesting, you see a lot of people even walking around the conference here in Pasadena with those on. I mean they’re pretty popular here in the states.
Tony: Yeah. And then I’ve noticed that Dave’s actually brought out his own brand of blue blockers now, including, the ones am interested in, the ones for during the day. I’m not sure what frequency of light they block out. I think he was talking about how they block out the negative elements of strip lighting or something like that.
Scott: I’m not overly, I can’t speak to his glasses to a great extent. But I do believe, I think they may be blocking out green light, I believe.
Tony: Green light.
Scott: Which is at a different wavelength you know, so kind of back to your original question. All of these different wavelengths; blue, green, red, near infrared, they all have different impacts on a biological level and how our bodies are receiving that type of light. It’s definitely an interesting arena, this concept of light. But yeah I couldn’t speak to Dave’s glasses exactly. I’m sure there’s probably some science there, as to what he’s doing there, and kind of the message he’s trying to get across.
Tony: And I guess the best thing to do, ideally, would be to get our circadian rhythm reset. When it gets dark, we go to bed.
Scott: Exactly, exactly.
Tony: But I don’t want to do that, right?
Scott: Yeah it’s tough for most people but yeah, a good morning dose of natural sunlight, you know, that blue light along with the near infrared light. There’s a specially high concentration of that in the morning, as the sun rises so that blue light helps reset your circadian rhythm. That near infrared light almost recharges your cells, prepping them for the potential, for the reception of the uv wavelengths during the middle of the day when the sun is most intense. But then as the sun rises, there’s a lot more red and near infrared light delivered from the sun from that point as well. But yeah when you think about ancestral living, I think our ancestors spent a fair amount of time almost prepping themselves for night time. They didn’t have to worry about all of these artificial sources of light and there was a good block of time as they went into their sort of night time ritual where they prep their body for sleep. Most of us don’t do that anymore.
Tony: The only light was the fire or the moon.
Scott: Exactly. And so when you think about that, those, that’s really hard to achieve in this type of environment. So, all of these little hacks kind of helped to get us over the hump if we don’t have that 2 or 3 hours to prep for a good night’s sleep.
Tony: That’s really cool. Am gonna start using the light blockers a little bit more in the evening.
Tony: I haven’t tracked it, but I don’t know that I’ve noticed a significant different in my sleep when I use them, but you have.
Scott: Sure. I have. And I wouldn’t say, I personally am not, am not overly sensitive to light or different frequencies but that legitimately is one of the few bio hacks that I do notice a significant difference when I wear those at night for sure, yeah, so.
Tony: Now, let’s get into the geeky bit which is what I have been looking forward to.
Tony: You’ve been a health podcaster since 2009 haven’t you? and you’ve been a health entrepreneur since when?
Scott: 2007-2008. It’s a little bit before then.
Tony: Yeah. And now, you started a company which is based on light, haven’t you?
Tony: So, and I’ve tried to do, am lucky enough to have my own one now. Tried it twice cause it arrived just before I came away. I will tell you what my experience with it in a second but tell me about the company and what you’re trying to do with light?
Scott: Yeah so, we started Joovv, almost 2 years ago now. Myself, my wife, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. Kind of a family, a true family, yeah it’s been fun, but we were…
Tony: That’s cool. Did you get funding or do you just do it all yourselves?
Scott: Now, we’re entirely bootstrapped by intention. We have fair, my entire background before starting (unclear), medical device, med tech space, so…
Tony: What kind of things?
Scott: Pacemakers, ICDs, coronary preferral stands, thrombectomy, atherectomy catheters, kind of your typical invasive procedures that are often done in the traditional hospital setting.
Tony: My brother-in-law sells colostomy bags.
Scott: Okay, there you go.
Tony: When he was growing up, he never dreamt it was gonna be his job, but he does love it.
Scott: Yeah, there’s certain fun aspects but yeah that’s my background. Kind of traditional med tech, or traditional medical device. So we haven’t, fortunately, we have been able to bootstrap this company, so far. No outside funding, we’ve experienced probably a faster growth than we even expected which has been a nice problem to have. But kind of going back to sort of the genesis of Joovv and what we’re trying to do is, myself and my brother-in-law, were first introduced to the concept of light therapy in the world of academia, it’s referred to as photobiomodulation. We were first exposed to that through our wives actually, they have purchased some red light therapy. I’m using air quotes here on the podcast. Red light therapy pack which is at a local salon, and they went consistently, almost every single day for about 8 weeks. Saw really good benefits and then my sister-in-law specifically asked, for their skin. They noticed, my sister-in-law specifically had some eczema that she dealt with really since the birth of her first child and that was almost completely resolved through red light therapy at this local spa in Minneapolis. So she was really soaked about it but having really go through a spa or some type of salon or a clinic can be really onerous if you wanna do it on a sort of consistent basis. It’s just not ideal for most people. It’s just inconvenient. And so, she asked her husband whose an engineer, Justin, to try to figure something out that they could use for home.
Scott: So, as a typical engineer, he kind of got to work on building a prototype and he had some different initial prototypes that he had built but as we started sort of digging into the arena of photobiomodulation. It almost became overwhelming how much science there really is in this space.
Tony: So not just for skin?
Scott: Not just for skin, not at all. And I say that, that’s something, someone like me that comes from a kind of a pure play medical device background. So am used to evaluating different therapeutic arenas whether it’s cardiovascular disease, periferovascular disease, etc. the concept of photobiomodulation is backed by arguably some of the most robust science that exists. And I would argue that even at a conference like this, photobiomodulation is supported by arguably probably by the most science here, out of all these gadgets.
Tony: All of the different health tech?
Tony: So basically, there’s been loads of research into the effects of the certain type of light that far infrared is it and near infrared?
Scott: Near infrared and red light.
Tony: And Red light.
Scott: Yeah. Yep.
Tony: And there’s more science for that than most things here?
Scott: Exactly, yeah.
Scott: And just as anecdotally, Dr. Michael Hemland, who is a PhD professor at Harvard runs his own photomedicine, he’s a photobiologist, he runs his own photomedicine lab. He alone has published over 300 clinical studies, him alone. So that…
Tony: Clinical studies?
Scott: Clinical studies, published and peer reviewed journals.
Scott: 300 studies. I have never as many physicians that…
Tony: You must be like, thank you Dr. Michael for doing our work for us.
Scott: That’s right. Exactly. So there’s a legitimate science to this space. Although, there’s not a lot of awareness, right? I mean we’re talking about light. Most people just aren’t aware of the benefits of light. Especially, with certain wavelengths of light. And on that note, we talked a little bit about red and near infrared light. There actually is a relatively narrow spectrum of light that has unique ability to enhance cellular production of ATP. So ATP, adenosine, triphosphate, that sort of the energy currency of our cells.
Scott: So specific wavelengths of light and what’s called the optical window or the therapeutic window have a unique ability to activate an enzyme called cytochrome oxidase, which helps to produce ATP synthase, which is a precursor to ATP. So at the end of the day, specific wavelengths of light are actually helping induce normal cellular function of ATP which leads to a broad range of health benefits.
Tony: It’s pretty scientific, my God.
Scott: Yeah. I didn’t want to lose you audience.
Tony: You almost lost me there.
Scott: You didn’t want to lose your audience too much but…
Tony: So what does it do?
Scott: Yeah, so what does it do? So I wanted to mention that because the benefits are so wide-ranging because of that core mechanism function at a cellular level. So everything from skin health, so like reduction of wrinkles, increase in tone and texture, the aesthetic benefit, I think all of us kind of enjoy. But the benefits go much deeper. Muscle recovery, reduced joint inflammation, increased testosterone, enhanced cognitive function, increased retinal function, so increased vision, it’s healthy for vision, the benefits are almost endless to kind of rattle off, but all of those I have mentioned are backed by published clinical literature and I think that’s the most important thing. This is not kind of woo woo science. There’s a lot of legitimate science to support the benefits that I’ve just mentioned.
Tony: And it all really comes down to energy, doesn’t it?
Scott: Energy. Yeah. Which is sometimes kind of hard to measure for most people. You can’t see it. It’s hard to feel , you know. But there’s definitely a legitimate science to back how important energy, specifically light energy is to our overall health.
Tony: So, it’s your brother-in-law, whose the engineer?
Tony: He’s trying to design this light, and how long does it take him to knock something up in the garage?
Scott: Yeah. Our first prototype actually were so much similar to a couple of gadgets here at the conference. What we quickly realized is that there’s some important, probably, 3 important things to consider when you look at a light therapy device. So, a way to kind of hack, you know, the amount of light that you should receive during the day if you don’t have adequate exposure to natural sunlight. And so those 3 important things are making sure that a device delivers the clinically proven wavelengths so ideally, if it’s delivering red light, it’s kind of a mid 600 nanometer range. About 630-660 or so. And then the mid 800 nanometer range which is the near infrared. And it’s near infrared, so infrared wavelengths are actually pretty broad. I don’t want to get too geeky here, but they range all the way from about 800 nanometers to 5000 nanometers. And so, what we’re talking about here is specific to near infrared light. So using clinically relevant wavelengths is pretty important, making sure that the device can deliver an adequate amount of energy.
Tony: So he was having the (unclear) to work all these out?
Scott: All these out ,yeah.
Tony: And at this point, was he thinking about a business? Or he was just doing this because his wife was enjoying the treatment and wanted to help with her eczema?
Scott: Yes. Some of the first prototypes were really just for his wife, yeah. For my sister-in-law to use at home. She saw such good benefits going to the salon, it was really just to solve her own need. And so, but the first prototypes didn’t work that well. And so, as we begin to dig in at the science, look at the clinical research, talk with folks like Dr. Hemland, etc. like those 3 things became the, sort of, rose to the forefront. Wavelengths are really important, the radiance or the intesity of the light is really important. Making sure that you get adequate dose of the energy. And then the treatment area, most devices are pretty small, handheld devices, and we wanted something that can treat a much larger area of the body. So those are kind of the 3 things that we tried to optimize with our devices. Wavelengths, intensity, and treatment area.
Tony: So, I am lucky enough to have one of these now. It arrived just before I came out here so I’ve used it twice. You kind of know my experience already, but I will tell you my experience.
Scott: Sure, yeah.
Tony: Firstly, you switch it on and it’s the most incredible light you have, it’s like nuclear war has broken out in your bedroom. It’s fantastic. It’s really intense pinky red light and it fills the whole room. It looks like it’s doing something straight away.
Tony: I used it twice and I’m not ashamed to admit both times, I did it naked. I read online, I read Ben Greenfield, he’s pretty respected bio hacker and backs a lot of his work with some rigorous knowledge and scientific studies where possible and he said, he exposes his entire body to it. When I say his entire body, I mean every part of it. So I thought, am gonna do the same thing. So I did 5 minutes in the front, 5 minutes in the back. Both times I used it, I slept very well and genuinely a lot deeper. Is that something that tallies with other people?
Scott: Yeah, that’s a great point. And sometimes, it’s hard to tell is it just the light? Is it just placebo? Or are there other dynamics involved in? sometimes that kind of stuff is hard to sort out. But, there is clinical studies that support the use of this type of light therapy for enhanced sleep. And specifically, am thinking of a group of female chinese basketball players that use red and near infrared light before sleep and this was, this quantitative data that backed it up, their sleep was enhanced significantly versus those that did not use light therapy. And so, that’s just one of the many studies that showcase what this type of therapy does induce better sleep at night.
Tony: And what about exposing my balls to light? I mean, there’s no other way to put it. That’s what I was doing. Is this a good idea?
Scott: I think Ben Greenfield sort of put us on the map when it comes to using light therapy for (unclear)
Tony: It’s so catchy isn’t it? It’s what everyone’s gonna think about.
Scott: He’s great but to his point, there is science to support the production of testosterone using light therapy. So I know Ben uses the, one of our devices, kind of this big full body device. He uses that one and he also uses the smaller one, but he uses it on a daily basis. Shining, I think while he’s working, shining right on his man parts.
Tony: Yeah, it’s like shining up from below (unclear) and what is it actually doing? Is it as simple as producing testosterone? And is that like a throwback to caveman times when they would walk around in the sun naked? Am trying to work out how that relates to being primal?
Scott: Yeah. That’s a great point. That when you think about our ancestors, most of them walk around without a lot of clothes on, but having said that, there’s a couple theories as to why certain wavelengths of light are increasing, naturally increasing testosterone levels, Dr. Ollie Suvijarvi, he actually hosts the biohackers summit over in Finland, great guy, he’s actually done a fair amount of work publishing some different theories but, at the core, I think pretty respected opinion is that these wavelengths of light stimulating cellular activity within your cells, within your testicles, so by stimulating that activity, you’re helping those lighting cells produce more testosterone. And so, that’s probably the most respected theory as to how light therapy, or photobiomodulation, ups to increase testosterone.
Tony: And my girlfriend was very excited by it as well. It’s not because I was exposing my balls to your light, she was actually fairly horrified. She’s like put them away for God’s sake. She’s used, she’s done a similar thing that your wife has done, and I think it’s self (unclear), you sit with a lamp on your face. I did it as well. I did it once. I have to say, I thought it was a bit of a gimmick, I don’t really get it. It wasn’t red. It was kind of a whiter light.
Scott: Okay, yeah.
Tony: I don’t know what it is. But, I don’t really understand what I was doing. And actually, I asked them, I said, could you explain a little bit more about what’s really going on with it? I really don’t seem to know. You’ve quoted a lot more respectable standing doctors, am sure it will sound a lot better. But in terms of the skin, that’s quite exciting for people.
Scott: It does. That’s probably one of the areas that is supported by the arguably the most clinical literature, is the skin health. And most of the clinical studies are pretty qualitative in nature because it’s not like you’re measuring with data, the amount of collagen in a cheek or something like that, right? Most of it is kind of using before and after images, granted that they’re, the data is analyzed by pretty respected dermatologists and plastic surgeons but it tends to be more qualitative in nature but yeah, red light specifically, most of that energy within the red spectrum is absorbed in the dermis and epidermis of your skin. And so, by enhancing again, normal cellular function in those 2 tissue types, you’re actually helping those cells to produce more collagen which helps to reduce the wrinkles, reduce fine lines, reduce age spots, etc. so, that is the one area, that does require consistent usage. So, most of the clinical data, the trials are over the course of 6, 8, 10 weeks. And so, typically, takes a little bit longer to notice the skin health benefits but my take on that is that, there’s some truth to that but also, we look at ourselves every day in the mirror so it’s harder to notice the subtle changes. But it does take some more consistent uses, so back to kind of the consistent usage aspect, that’s one of the reasons we believe light therapy fundamentally should be a home used type of product. It’s hard for most people to get to a clinic, to a spa in any sort of consistent basis. So, if you can get the right type of wavelengths with the right intensity at home, that’s ideal.
Tony: I’m vain enough to want to help with the skin a little bit.
Scott: I do in some way.
Tony: I (unclear) botox.
Scott: Yeah, absolutely not.
Tony: And it sounds like it’s cheaper than having (unclear) what they call stem cells.
Scott: That’s right.
Tony: Stem cells injected in the face.
Scott: Although, he looks pretty good.
Tony: He looks amazing.
Scott: He does.
Tony: He looks 10 years younger than last year.
Scott: Yeah, that’s definitely something I noticed with his skin. So, yeah.
Tony: Say, something, I want to ask about the Joovv, I can’t quite remember. That’s right, I was gonna ask you about being primal and the Joovv, do you think that some people would say, it’s not very primal sitting in front of a bank of light?
Tony: It’s hardly short of outside naked. Is it the same as that?
Scott: Sure. That’s a really good point. And so, we would never promote the use of our lights versus natural sunlight. We fundamentally think that ideally, if you can work it in your daily routine, a good healthy dose of natural sunlight in the morning. Some decent exposure throughout the day, ideally, some more natural exposure to sunlight in the evening is great. The problem is most people just cant work that in. We all have day jobs, busy lives, kids, etc. activities, it’s hard to do that on a consistent basis. We would never say use this instead of natural sunlight, but when you look at the full spectrum of natural sunlight and specific to the critically important wavelengths; red and near infrared wavelengths, you’re only getting about 3% of those ideal wavelengths from the natural sunlight. That’s a pretty rough estimate. So, you get a really broad spectrum of other wavelengths of light from the sun and so, our devices can help just like supplementing with the protein powder or a collagen supplement or a fish oil or something like that, this is just another way to supplement your light diet so to speak with the right wavelengths of light.
Tony: And then, kind of, it doesn’t, in the light space or elsewhere, it didn’t have to be specifically light based I thought because you’ve worked in health tech for so many years. I’d love to know what you’re most excited about in terms of biohacking health or just technological advances that can help us live with more energy and vitality?
Tony: Is there one thing in particular, you think are really cool at the moment?
Scott: Yeah, you know am really into, it’s not necessarily gadget per se. I’m really into the concept of fasting and promoting autophagy, (unclear), I know it’s kind of a widely considers, you know, one of the pioneers in the traditional paleo movements, he’s done a fair amount of work with respect to this – Dr. Rhonda Patrick, is a big proponent of fasting but it’s necessarily a bio hack or gadget per se. it’s something we can all do for free but am really interested in that space. And I think the more awareness that sort of, focus on the importance of fasting, not just the…
Tony: Do you fast?
Scott: I would do intermittent fasting, I try to squeeze my food consumption into 6 hours a day or so, sometimes, it can be kind of tough with family, with kids, etc. but that’s a goal for me but I have not…
Tony: And would you count a bulletproof coffee as part of that 6 hours or not?
Scott: No, I wouldn’t consume bulletproof coffee and consider that fasting so..
Tony: Yeah, good.
Scott: So I wouldn’t consume butter and any sort of…
Tony: Oh right, so that’s what you would say not intermissive fasting?
Scott: Yeah. I would think so.
Tony: Cause I would have coffee in the morning but it’s alright am still fasting.
Scott: Yeah, exactly. I have a cup of coffee but it’s black, so I don’t put anything else in it.
Tony: Yeah, okay.
Scott: So, but yeah, I would like one of my own personal goals is to actually experiment more with longer fasting windows. I wanna do the 3 or 4 day prolonged water fast. I was first exposed to Tim Ferris podcast, he’s kind of, he mentioned when he was battling with lyme disease, but that’s a whole arena that I think is pretty interesting is fasting and the importance of fasting especially, prolonged fasting, either a monthly basis or a quarterly basis or something like that. I think that’s kind of interesting and specific to gadgets, I’d like to see a lot more science with some of these stuff. I think this is my first time at the bulletproof conference and this is certainly another knock on the conference by no means, Dave has done a phenomenal job at this. But sometimes you can get overwhelmed with all the different gadgets, all of the different toys, and am not entirely sure how much science is actually supporting some of these stuff. So, a couple of other companies that are non-light related that are really into the same stuff. They really wanna, their big proponents of science and making sure that all of their products are supported by really good clinical data, clinical evidence, and so, that’s something that’s really refreshing for me. And I hope more and more companies are trending inthat direction.
Tony: Yeah, am the same. I wanna see, I am someone who is very evidence based. I like facts. I like science. I like order and reason. And I like to be shown why things work. And if that’s the case, then I’ll do it.
Tony: And if not, if it’s a bit too hoopy dippy, I can’t get onboard.
Scott: Yeah, absolutely. I was the same way even first learning about light therapy and photobiomodulation. I was kind of like what? It was kind of like foofoo bread. It’s really doing much and…
Tony: I googled photobiomodulation, I was like, I’ve never even heard of this word before.
Scott: Exactly, and so, yeah, that’s, I, it’s always refreshing when you meet other people that kind of align in that sort of thinking. Not that you have to have a gazillion clinical studies by no means but I think the more we see other companies kind of trending the direction of making sure their claims or their products are tested and proven on a either scientific level or even ideally on a through published clinical literature, that’s ideal.
Tony: In the last half hour, the sun has actually got quite hot here. I think we’re getting a good dose of sunlight.
Tony: The final question is, what is one book that you would recommend that has, it might be something that has had an impact on you, or something that people might like to read and one tip to living with more energy, vitality, and motivation. So one book, and one tip, what would you go for?
Scott: So this is not completely not health related, it’s a little bit more business. It’s actually not a recent read. But am a big fan of Ryan Holiday’s work. His first book that he actually published was, what was the title of it, Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of Media Manipulator. So, I read that back… great title right? He’s a fantastic copywriter. I love his work. I think his most recent was, he’s a big fan of (unclear) and he actually helped Robert Green with a lot of…
Tony: Oh cool, am reading a Robert Green at the moment (unclear)
Scott: Yeah, Ryan has been instrumental on a lot of Robert Green books. But that book in particular, is my first kind of exposure to, deep exposure of kind of how media works. I know you’re in media, but it’s just kind of, he, I like his work and his writing style so that’s probably…
Tony: I’m not a manipulator
Scott: No, no, no..
Tony: Only a little bit.
Scott: It was more actually about how companies can try to manipulate media, so it’s kind of a fascinating read for me.
Tony: Oh wow, yeah, that sounds great.
Scott: Yeah, it’s just interesting. It’s a little bit older. I think I read it back in 2010-2011. But it’s still a great read. So that’s probably a book that sort of like I tend to gravitate towards when it comes to business but the other question..
Tony: Yeah, good. And then, there was this tip so, like a tip for living with energy and vitality, anything that you think would work for people?
Scott: Yeah. I would just, we kind of talked about this in a little bit, I would just try and encourage everyone to, every morning, get a healthy dose of natural sunlight. Ideally, grounded to the earth. Barefeet, in the grass, something like that.
Tony: What if it’s cloudy? I mean in London, it’s cloudy a lot.
Scott: Yeah. Unfortunately, that’s the case in Minneapolis and Minnesota as well.
Tony: We’re still getting daylight.
Scott: Even though it’s not as bright, you’re still getting that, the clouds are gonna block a little bit of that light but still getting some morning sunlight ideally grounded to the earth, with that’s something we haven’t touched is the concept of grounding as well but..
Tony: I suppose some of those grounded flip flops, they look good.
Scott: They look cool. I saw them the other day. I mean, that’s just a free tip that anyone can do. I, myself, sometimes miss out on that but it’s just a good daily practice. Rebalances your circadian rhythm. Almost recharges your cells by kind of grounding to the earth. Totally free.
Scott: Yeah, it’s just a good way to start the morning as well.
Tony: Yeah, that’s awesome. I’m trying to think what should we call this podcast. Something that it’s like gonna draw people in without it being too clickbaity. I’m thinking light as a drug or something like that?
Scott: Yeah. That’s not bad.
Scott: Yeah, yeah. Light your new pharmacist or something like that.
Tony: Ohh, I like it.
Scott: We can probably (unclear) about light.
Tony: Think about it, it come bites me at the end of the day.
Scott: That’s right. That’s right.
Tony: Where can we find out more about you and about Joovv as well?
Scott: So, Joovv, our website, I would encourage everyone to go to our website. I think we did a pretty good job in providing a lot of education in there – Joovv.com; if you’re into science, there’s a little navigation tab called learn – that’s where all of our content that’s all sourced by published literature specific to light. So go to that tab if you’re really into science. If you wanna stay high level, go to the reviews. We’ve got close to I think a hundred reviews on there. You’ll hear from customers who has purchased our device, unsolicited, in their own words, what they think of it. So if you wanna stay high level. It’s kind of fun to scroll through there and see how light has impacted people in different ways, far greater that you even expected.
Tony: Yeah. And talking reviews, when I get back, I will be able to use it in the depths of the English winter for a month or two. I would get back to you…
Scott: Would love to hear back.
Tony: And you know, report back on how…
Scott: Yeah, would love to hear back. Ideal time to make use of this (unclear)
Tony: Yeah, exactly.
Scott: Same thing with where we’re from. In Minneapolis, Minnesotta, we’re heading in the dirt of winter, so yeah, it’s that much more challenging to get natural sunlight.
Tony: Yeah. Daily dose for my balls is gonna be wonderful.
Scott: That’s right. And your girlfriend’s gonna be happy at the end of the day.
Tony: Might be (unclear)
Tony: So, thanks so much. It’s really been fun chatting with you.
Scott: Absolute pleasure Tony. Thanks for having me on.
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