The Science Behind Smart Sleep

How ZEEZ Works

BIOLOGICAL CLOCK AND CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS - Every living being has a biological clock. This is real, it exists. Our biological clock is our innate timing device, composed of specific molecules (proteins). Our biological clock produces circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are cycles that tell our bodies when to sleep and rise (among other things). They are affected by environmental cues, with light being the primary such cue. Changing the light-dark cycle can therefore speed up, slow down, or reset our biological clocks and circadian rhythms.

There is a tiny region of the brain in the hypothalamus (called SCN), situated directly above the optic chiasm, that is responsible for controlling circadian rhythms. Our SCN controls the production of melatonin, a hormone that when increased, makes us sleepy. Information about incoming light is first received by our optic nerve and the cells tat contain melanopsin, which cells relay the information to the SCN (from the eyes to the brain). Controlling circadian rhythm is the very fundamental science underlying ZEEZ.

STANFORD UNIVERSITY STUDIES - ZEEZ might not have been possible at all without the innovative published findings of two scientific studies by Stanford University. In the first study, Dr. Zeitzer and colleagues found that light therapy works best at night, even through closed eyelids, because the body’s circadian rhythms are more sensitive to light at night. A second study found that short flashes of light are more effective than continuous light and could - for example - speed up the process of adjusting to a different time zone before a trip (ie - eliminating jet lag).

BLUE LIGHT: Numerous studies have shown that for those who suffer from circadian rhythm disorders, the use of blue spectrum light is a superior non-pharmacological way to help them "reset". People exposed properly and at the correct time to blue light are more active, with greater energy. ZEEZ emits blue light through LED's.

The inside of an early functional ZEEZ mask prototype, as it emits pulses of blue light.
The inside of an early functional ZEEZ mask prototype, as it emits pulses of blue light.

TEMPERATURE CYCLE: Our body temperature fluctuates up and down in small increments through the day and night, controlled by circadian rhythms. When we sleep, our temperature lowers. The lowest temperature we reach, is called our nadir temperature.

ZEEZ adjusts circadian rhythm, through closed eyelids, at night, by using short, carefully spaced, tested, and calibrated flashes of blue LED light. The light gets absorbed by retinal cells containing melanopsin, which tells our brain to naturally suppress the production of melatonin. Depending on the desired result, this is timed to take place relative to when we achieve nadir temperature.