Frequently Asked “Local SEO” Questions

If you’re on this page, then you probably already know just how powerful local SEO is for your local business, if not then head over to this case study for Zane Pool Heating just to see how profitable this was for them.

For everyone else this post is designed to help answer the common questions i’ve been asked by clients over the past few years.

All the questions below have been answered as accurately as possible. A Few points to Note:

If you have a question that has not been answered below already, then please use the form at the bottom of the page.

There is some abbreviations used throughout this page to save space, their explanations are below:

  • GMB = Google My Business (Formerly Google Places, Google + Local or Google Maps Listing)
  • Directories = A directory like Sensis, Yellow Pages and White pages online
  • Citations = Are listings in Directories. They may not include a backlink, but always include NAP
  • NAP = Name, Address, Phone Number (These are the core identifiers for Google to rank your local business)
**Most Popular**
+

Why does my business not rank for certain keyword phrases?

This answer alone could take hours, as there are a lot of factors to consider regarding SEO. Here are some of the main points to consider:

  1. Keyword Selection – Which keyword are you searching for? There are literally thousands of keywords that you could search for and to rank for all of them would be highly unlikely to never, especially if you have not invested years of work and tens of thousands of dollars at a minimum. So typically we choose 5 of the top search keywords (In terms of volume of monthly searches) combined with intent to purchase type keywords. There is not much point trying to rank for “What does a swimming pool cost” when a local searcher will most likely be searching for “Swimming pool supply store”. The latter has the intent of finding a local store, where as the former is seeking information on pools.

Typically we will agree with the business owner on the top 5-10 most important keywords to rank for, then spend months trying to make this happen.

a. Your Website Pages are Not Optimised – This reason may very well be that your website has not been optimised to target any keywords. It’s a really simple mistake. You need to make sure that you’ve done some keyword research, you know what your customers are looking for, how they search online, and you include those keyword phrases in the page titles and the meta description, and the content on your website. A lack of content on your website (or local landing page) in this case is one of the most common mistakes.

That simple process of optimisation will, at least, tell Google what your website is about and ensure that the pages can be indexed and hopefully rank well.. If you launch a new website, you build a new website and put it out on a new domain and you don’t optimize, you’ll see no rankings.

b. Insufficient Links – The next most common reason I see for websites not ranking is simply because they don’t have enough links. Now, when I talk links, I’m talking quality links and the reality is a lot of small business websites just don’t have any links.

The owners have not even been aware that they needed to build links, but you and I know that links are critical for good, solid website ranking. So if you’ve got a new website, start getting all those foundational links you know you need to have; links from your suppliers, links from your customers, testimonial links, good quality local directory links, all that sort of stuff.

c. Little or Poor Quality Content – Quality and sufficient content is a critical factor in Google’s view, to improving your rankings. You may have just copied descriptions of products from a supplier’s website.

You may not have bothered to write your own copy. You might have told your web developer, “Just put whatever up on the website.” I’ve seen “lorem ipsum” Latin generic filler content on some websites where people have forgotten to take it off.

If you’ve got no content that’s unique, keyword rich, and about what you do or what you sell, why would Google rank it? Get writing. Make sure that you’ve got unique, quality, keyword targeted content on your website.

The same applies for images. A local website with no images (and images that have not been labelled with keywords etc) are important for Google to determine relevancy to the keyword being searched.

d. Under a Google Penalty – Another reason I’ve seen that some websites don’t rank well is because your website domain may be the subject of a Google penalty, whether manual or algorithmic.

This happens when you’ve dome some really spammy, dodgy link building in the past. You’ve outsourced your link building, you know, to those guys who sell you 10,000 links for $10? That stuff can get your website penalised.

So in that situation, moving to a brand new website is not going to save you if a penalty is in place. So there’s a ton of ways that you can check whether a penalty exists, just Google: how do I find out if I’ve got a Google penalty.

But that is, in fact, one reason why your website might not be ranking well.

+

Why is my business not showing on Google when I search the word “pool pump”

This is a great question and one that gets asked often.

First lets discuss two types of local searches, Implicit and Explicit. This relates to how you are using Google in the first place.

Implicit – The example here would be “pool pump” without a geographical term used in the search phrase, either before or after the words “pool pump’. It is implied (according to Google) that this may be a local search query, but not guaranteed. I say not guaranteed because Google determined whether a keyword has local intent or not.  In a lot of cases you will not see any maps listings for implicit keyword phrases. Take the example search query below. It would appear that Google is showing product listings (In the images on the right) but not local results. Meaning Google probably deems this search query as NOT having any local intent.

Implicit-search-result.png

Explicit – An example of an explicit search term would be: “pool pump Carlingford”. Meaning as a searcher in Google you are explicitly telling google that this is a local search query, and almost always Google will show different search results.

explicit-search-result-on-google.png

Now that we have a better understanding on how to search Google for local, lets look at some other considerations for why your business may not be showing.

  1. Your business (Website and or GMB Page) may not be optimised for the search phase you are typing into Google. A web page can usually only try and rank for a handful of related keywords. This is mainly determined by the content you have on that page, and any referring links to that page. Google is looking for relevancy to that keyword in order to show searchers the most suitable results that they may be looking for.
  2. Your competitors might be much stronger in terms of their Local SEO over time, thus pushing your results further down the page or onto page 2 and beyond.
Citations and Directories
+

How do you deal with call tracking in regards to NAP?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions in local search. I get seriously upset at Google for how they handle this. The short answer is you can’t do call tracking with your listings. If you put different numbers on different directories, then you send mixed signals to Google. Their answer is you can use call tracking on their paid products. Since Google My Business is free, I don’t think they are going to come up with a solution. All it would take is for Google to create another field called “preferred number” that you could fill out on your listing and it would display that number even though they would have record of your local number. It would also allow them to find any place online with the preferred number listed and attribute it correctly. In my opinion, Google is holding back the industry and crippling other directories by not allowing for call tracking. But they have every right to do it. That’s the worst part.

So what do I do? I keep the number consistent for NAP and I use an image on the website with a big number that is being tracked. That way, Google doesn’t index the number. The issue is this will only be used by the people on your website and not the business listings.

+

I’ve heard citation submission is being compared to manual link building of the past. Do you think businesses that submit information to directories will be hit by an algorithm in the future?

If they spam the listings, yes. Here is an excellent write up by Bill Slawski on a patent that was granted to Google on how they might determine “spam citations.” The main thing Google would look for is a business name with search keywords stuffed in it, or categories with location keywords being used. So, if you are creating/claiming local listings correctly and keep your Name, Address, Phone (NAP) information accurate and consistent, then I don’t think you need to worry. On the other hand, if you are filling out your listings like this…then worry:

  • Business Name – Keyword Keyword Location
  • Category one: Location Dentist
  • Category two: Dentist in Location
  • Category three: Best Dentist in Location
  • Category four: Local dentist in Location
+

What do you think about data aggregators like Localeze, Infogroup and Axciom?

Firstly, none of these data aggregators work in Australia. This is because publishers in Australia do not use the data provided by these services. So Scalability here in Australia is not possible via these data aggregators.

Otherwise I think that they serve a great purpose, which is to scale local information across many different directories. For a business that has 100’s or 1000’s of locations, I don’t see a very feasible way to do this otherwise. The problem with all the services is that they are supplying data to partner sites that they do not control. So, lets say you have changed your phone number multiple times over the years. Or maybe you changed addresses. Paying these companies might get a new version of the address submitted, but it wont take care of the bigger issue, which is bad business information still left on directories. Also, while the basic business data is sent to the partners this doesn’t mean that every listing looks pretty and has pictures listed with the full profiles filled out. You get the basic data listed.

Generally speaking, if you can claim and fix listings by hand, I would recommend that approach. If you don’t have the time or money to do that, then using the data aggregators is a solid option. In some cases, the combination of both would be the perfect option. In your major markets, do as much hand claiming as possible and automate the rest.

Google My Business Pages
+

Does having your full name displayed on GMB page turn customers off from leaving an online review?

Yes… and no. I get why Google wants full names to be displayed. It keeps people honest. For instance, I know most of the business owners can reference their CRM to determine if the review was from a real customer. If I review a local business, I better be willing to stand by it because I see them around town. People won’t say a lot of really harsh things because of it. But does that actually represent the experience? Hard to tell.

Then there are the situations like DUI Lawyers where you just can’t plan on getting reviews period. Who would really leave a review with their full name? Could you imagine… “I was caught drunk driving and got away with it. This guy rocks. BOOM!”

It was a stand Google made. I respect them, but I think it puts some industries in a tough spot and negative reviews may not work as well for small towns.

+

How do you approach GMB pages for a local business with multiple websites that are for different services? For example, a lawyer with both a DUI site and a bankrupcy site. Should each site have its own GMB page or just one GMB page, which then would not link to one site?

You can’t create more than one listing in Google My Business for different services. So basically use a one-site approach. This is only for maps. Organically, it wouldn’t matter.

+

How would you do local optimisation for a business located inside another business?

This is directly from Google Places Quality Guidelines:

“Some businesses may be located within a mall or a container store, which is a store that contains another business. If your business is within a container store or mall, and you’d like to include this information in your listing, specify the container store in parentheses in the business name field. For example, Starbucks (inside Safeway).”

+

I operate out of home, and do not want to use my physical address. Suggestions on GMB pages?

I’m not a big fan of this whole end of Google My Business and hiding addresses. Hiding address was a guaranteed way to sink a listing. That changed. Around a year later if you are a service based business and check the box that says you service customers at their location, then you need to hide your address or your listing could get suspended. Now, if you have your address hidden and service customers at their location, then Google My Business is not a product you can use. There is a sticky post by Jade (Googler) that says:

The upgraded (merged) local Google+ pages are not currently supporting service area businesses. Please continue to manage it via Google Places for Business and hide your address as necessary, detailed in the quality guidelines.

+

I work for a company that has multiple businesses from one location. Will Google see us being spammy if we have the GMB Page pointing to the same location for those businesses?

This is a question that I have heard a lot of mixed responses on. But fact of the matter is the “real world” works this way. I ran two businesses that were separate Pty Ltd companies from a single location for two years. You can use the same address for both listings. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind, though:

  • If the businesses are in the same industry, just with different names, it generally will get flagged as spam.
  • You do run the risk of the listings having information merge and reviews possibly crossing onto the wrong listing (worst case scenario).
+

If my page was created as a brand page, should I and how can I switch it to a GMB page?

You can’t, according to Google. Hopefully they change this at some point.

+

If you could give one piece of advice when it comes to your GMB Page, what would it be?

Diversify. Don’t rely on Google My Business for all your business. Your listing will have issues, it wont always rank, reviews will disappear, bad things will happen. If your local strategy is simply “get my listing to rank,” you will fail. I know that is harsh, but I am tired of taking phone calls from businesses who are “on the verge of closing because they rely on Google for 90% of their business and their listing disappeared last week.”

Google has rules of its own and its always geared around profits for Google. Does that mean we should not be on Google? Of course not, as Google still holds more than 80% market share when it comes to search. The key is to build your digital capability so that you rely less on Google and play in more places online.

+

We have verified 2 locations with Google, but 1 location is still “under review” for the last six weeks. Any tips you can offer on how to get that one approved and out of “Under Review” status?

This is a link to a Google Troubleshooter for verifying listings. In a move that completely shocked the local SEO world, Google is now offering phone support on verification issues. My guess is that a monetisation strategy in local will follow soon. In the meantime, if you have issues with verification, follow the steps on the link and you will get fixed up.

+

With GMB, what does a company use as an account login to GMB if they have multiple locations and businesses and don’t want to sign in as a person?

My advice is to setup a dedicated Gmail account for all Google Products such as GMB, Analytics, Search Console, Tag Manager etc. One of the benefits on the new platform that was rolled out in 2015 is that it will support multiple admins. The feature allows you to add managers to each of your GMB pages.

Links
+

Do you recommend a list of backlinks that should be applied to a local business to stay under the radar, yet still be effective enough to move up in the SERPs?

Loaded question. Let me first talk about “staying under the radar.” I used to have this mentality when it came to link building, especially in local, as it’s so freaking hard to get real links in this space. When you can get to the point that the links you build have nothing to do with ranking on Google, you will sleep better and succeed more.

Here’s why: link building for increasing page rank is against Google’s guidelines. They will continue to interpret that statement unfairly, and with major bias and small businesses will fall on the wrong side of that list forever. So do these things for links and you will be fine.

  1. Quality Guest Posts(try to get them locally) – I started writing on my blog, and no one came to read it. So I started writing for other websites and I didn’t do it to get a link; I wanted to get recognised in my industry. I wanted people to know who I was. That lead to speaking events, stories on other websites and mentions + posts on other blogs. I can tell you I got more business from the things I wrote or said speaking than I ever did off my rankings (and we have had a lot of good spots).

Rankings are a by-product of building your brand. link penalty for it). It’s more expensive, slow, and not easy, but it’s always worth it.

  1. Citations– These are links. Most directories allow for a naked URL to show. Most importantly, people search for businesses on directories. If you fill them out and do a proper job of it, then you will look better than your competitors. You will stand out, you will have reviews on your listing and it will get indexed and the link will count for your business and it will help. We have 17 Local directories that we primarily submit NAP data to. We choose these 17 because making changes in the event of a move, or change of information is simple, real time and accurate, so as not to confuse Google.
  2. Microsites– Not dirty copied content microsites that just switch out a location name. I’m talking unique sites that serve a purpose like this one. The point of this site isn’t to link back to a main site. The point of the site is to share and gather testimonials for this business. Having it on its own URL makes finding and sharing the site offline easy.
  3. Social links – Ranking for money keywords on Google by using Social links should not be your primary objective. If you create enough social buzz you will have more way more business than a top local search term raking.

If you focus on the above, you won’t fly under the radar. You will fly way above it and not even care.

+

In terms of links, do you need to build links to your GMB page, Yelp page, etc., or is linking building primarily targeted to the website itself?

People link to things that are awesome. At least they should. So links to directory pages don’t make a ton of sense in a “perfect world” and probably don’t represent a reason to rank a business higher than another business as most of these links would be built by the business owner and not earned.

Now that Google My Business pages have a social layer to them, it makes sense that they could get links, get mentioned, etc. From experience it can help you rank higher in map results, but it will make your actual Google My Business listing rank higher for your brand name. Same with Yelp, I think the main reason a Yelp listing should be linked to is as a way to say “check out our Yelp listing for reviews.”

The type of links that help your map listing rank higher are ones that point at your website.

+

Is it worth building a local microsite?

If the microsite is only for the purpose of the link, then no, it’s not worth the time. If the site serves a purpose for the brand and brings visibility, then yes.

Local SEO
+

Are citation directories likely to get hit by an algorithm update? How are they different from other directories?

I do think that some citation directories have been hit by a Panda update. Most business information is copied info. This is why you are seeing less and less directories ranking on local search terms. What separates a good local directory from a bad one? Local, unique content. What is the best way for a directory to get this content? User generated reviews. I think this is why Yelp does well in the search results still. Also, to be fair, local directories weren’t made for spamming links. They were made for providing websites and users with business information and listings. They run moderation in many cases (phone verification or post card verification). So, even on a bad day, you couldn’t group them in the same category as a directory of websites that was strictly for getting a link.

I do think that the local directory business is in a tight spot, though. Google has basically declared themselves the “ultimate directory” and the one directory to rule them all and all are subjected unto them. Unless you can pull a Yelp and get a deal with Apple Maps, or pull a Zagat and get purchased by Google, how can you possibly stay relevant? It is time for local directories to reinvent themselves.

+

Are there any strategies to get lost GMB reviews to come back to a local business that changed its location?

There have been so many issues with reviews since Google My Business was rolled out. Really, if the reviews being lost aren’t spam, then it comes down to the way business information is stored in Google’s system. Your business Name, Address, and Phone number make up your online identity to Google. When one of these things changes then what can happen is Google starts thinking that there are two identities and sometimes your data (reviews or citations) will be stored with the wrong identity. Here is Google’s advice on moving:

If a business no longer exists at a location, you can mark it as closed or moved on Google Maps. Follow these steps to have the listing moderated:

  1. Find the closed or moved business on Google Maps.
  2. Use the Report a problem link from the Google Maps result.
  3. Select Place is permanently closed
  4. If the place has moved to a new location, give us the new location’s information in the comment box.
  5. If your business has moved and you manage the business’s new location, you should add the new locationas a separate listing in your GMB dashboard.

Word is that if you move, you lose your reviews. There is a discussion on Linda’s forum on this very subject where a couple of Googlers dropped in. In the example that is mentioned in the forum, the old business listing shows the old reviews and says it has moved locations and shows (and links) to the new address. The reviews have transferred so they exist on both listings as well. Hopefully this means that following Google’s advice will help you keep your reviews, but sometimes the same path leads to different outcomes in the Googleverse. My best advice is never change your name, never move your address, never change your phone number.

+

Can you suggest a good NAP maker site?

Here is the best schema site for coding your address and here is a great article on how to do it. For even more fields, you can check out the actual local business section on schema.org

+

 

+

Do you know if optimising for local negatively affects online national organic search results, if you have both a local presence and a national online eCommerce site?

It doesn’t. Mainly because, if done properly, you would have pages that represent your national search ranking ambitions and you would have completely different pages for local stores. Take Walmart for instance. They need to rank with local store information, but also want to be able to show up for product or category searches for eCommerce. They have a location finder that leads to individual pages that provide store hours, local coupons, and directions. Here is a local Walmart page.

The thing that they do well (and I see this is a future must) is being able to show your local store inventory while browsing products. I have worked with brands that have a decentralised approach to local. The eCommerce team does everything they can to ensure that no one goes to the location to buy anything because they are rewarded for eCommerce sales, not store sales.

This is not what I would call “Customer Centric”. You shouldn’t care if a customer buys something online or in a store front as long as the item is purchased. Give customers the choice, and you will always win. This is also the best way to compete against Amazon and other major players, in my opinion. They can’t (yet) get me an item within an hour of my decision to purchase it, but a local store potentially could.

+

Do you recommend a list of backlinks that should be applied to a local business to stay under the radar, yet still be effective enough to move up in the SERPs?

Loaded question. Let me first talk about “staying under the radar.” I used to have this mentality when it came to link building, especially in local, as it’s so freaking hard to get real links in this space. When you can get to the point that the links you build have nothing to do with ranking on Google, you will sleep better and succeed more.

Here’s why: link building for increasing page rank is against Google’s guidelines. They will continue to interpret that statement unfairly, and with major bias and small businesses will fall on the wrong side of that list forever. So do these things for links and you will be fine.

  1. Quality Guest Posts(try to get them locally) – I started writing on my blog, and no one came to read it. So I started writing for other websites and I didn’t do it to get a link; I wanted to get recognised in my industry. I wanted people to know who I was. That lead to speaking events, stories on other websites and mentions + posts on other blogs. I can tell you I got more business from the things I wrote or said speaking than I ever did off my rankings (and we have had a lot of good spots).

Rankings are a by-product of building your brand. link penalty for it). It’s more expensive, slow, and not easy, but it’s always worth it.

  1. Citations– These are links. Most directories allow for a naked URL to show. Most importantly, people search for businesses on directories. If you fill them out and do a proper job of it, then you will look better than your competitors. You will stand out, you will have reviews on your listing and it will get indexed and the link will count for your business and it will help. We have 17 Local directories that we primarily submit NAP data to. We choose these 17 because making changes in the event of a move, or change of information is simple, real time and accurate, so as not to confuse Google.
  2. Microsites– Not dirty copied content microsites that just switch out a location name. I’m talking unique sites that serve a purpose like this one. The point of this site isn’t to link back to a main site. The point of the site is to share and gather testimonials for this business. Having it on its own URL makes finding and sharing the site offline easy.
  3. Social links – Ranking for money keywords on Google by using Social links should not be your primary objective. If you create enough social buzz you will have more way more business than a top local search term raking.

If you focus on the above, you won’t fly under the radar. You will fly way above it and not even care.

+

Do you recommend creating a landing page for both the Service and the City (meaning a landing page for every city and service)?

Yes. When it comes to services pages, I would also recommend building them out on a per location basis if you can do it with quality unique content. For example, let’s say you are a pest control company that offers bed bug treatments. You already have local landing pages for each of your offices that shows your address. If you build out a bed bug page for each market, you could add local testimonials and talk about the places around the city that have been having bed bug problems. You can link to local news sources talking about the problem and you can give localised advice on your pricing and service. This is a better experience for the user than an overall bed bug page for all your locations. Very few people are doing this, and it’s a great way to capitalise on long tail search.

+

Does having your full name displayed on GMB page turn customers off from leaving an online review?

Yes… and no. I get why Google wants full names to be displayed. It keeps people honest. For instance, I know most of the business owners can reference their CRM to determine if the review was from a real customer. If I review a local business, I better be willing to stand by it because I see them around town. People won’t say a lot of really harsh things because of it. But does that actually represent the experience? Hard to tell.

Then there are the situations like DUI Lawyers where you just can’t plan on getting reviews period. Who would really leave a review with their full name? Could you imagine… “I was caught drunk driving and got away with it. This guy rocks. BOOM!”

It was a stand Google made. I respect them, but I think it puts some industries in a tough spot and negative reviews may not work as well for small towns.

+

Due to constant algorithm changes, is it now more cost effective for local businesses to use Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising versus trying to rank locally?

I would say no, in most cases. It completely depends on your business model and industry and the currently level of competition. Google just launched Adwords Express+ and this will drive everyone’s cost even higher over time in local ads. So, if you have a solid organic strategy in place compared to churn and burn, I think your organic side exponentially grows where as the only way to grow PPC is to spend more.

The key is to stop looking at rankings as the purpose of your SEO work and just expect it as an outcome of good outreach. If you do a guest post, it’s not just a link; it could be reaching a community of potential customers that aren’t searching for you yet, but will become a brand search later. Referral traffic goes up, you get some great links, and the outcome is better long-term rankings. But the point was to reach the audience on the site and the link is just a bonus. When done properly in a local market, this approach will be the trump card.

Additionally, I think that most businesses can benefit greatly by doing both organic local search and PPC. The key here is to setup your tracking and analytics properly, in order to determine what your cost per lead and cost per sale is. The better you understand your numbers as a business owner the more advanced you can get with your online marketing.

Onsite Optimisation
+

Can you suggest a good NAP maker site?

Here is the best schema site for coding your address and here is a great article on how to do it. For even more fields, you can check out the actual local business section on schema.org

+

Do you recommend creating a landing page for both the Service and the City (meaning a landing page for every city and service)?

Yes. When it comes to services pages, I would also recommend building them out on a per location basis if you can do it with quality unique content. For example, let’s say you are a pest control company that offers bed bug treatments. You already have local landing pages for each of your offices that shows your address. If you build out a bed bug page for each market, you could add local testimonials and talk about the places around the city that have been having bed bug problems. You can link to local news sources talking about the problem and you can give localised advice on your pricing and service. This is a better experience for the user than an overall bed bug page for all your locations. Very few people are doing this, and it’s a great way to capitalise on long tail search.

+

Should website testimonials be on a “testimonials” page, or along the sidebar? Do they need to be unique from the testimonials given on a GMB page and other local sources?

I think that testimonials can be on both the sidebar and a full page. It doesn’t make sense to have more than one or two testimonials on a sidebar or a landing page, but having a massive page of testimonials can speak for your service quality. When it comes to the content of the testimonials, if you copy them from Google My Business, Yelp, or other directories, this is duplicate content. It might keep a page from ranking on (your brand name + reviews), but I doubt you would trip a Panda filter with it. Instead I recommend a much more sophisticated solution that looks at Net Promoter Score (NPS) where separate reviews can be collected and published.

+

What to do with NAPs for businesses who have multiple office locations?

I recommend to have a “locations” tab in the main navigation that would go to a page like this:

zane-web-location-search.png

Then, you can have the addresses as links that point to your local landing pages. Both address (on the location page and on the local landing page) should be coded in schema. This method works great up to around 100 locations. If you have more locations than that, you should consider a store finder and build your local directory with a state folder so your URL structure would be mysite.com/locations/nsw/sydney

So you’ve searched, scrolled and read through the existing questions but your question still isn’t listed above?

Ask it below, and I’ll answer it as soon as possible.

The Simple Guide to Optimal Health for Homo Sapiens

Homo sapiens are naked, hairless, sweaty apes with big brains and this is how we evolved to live:

  1. Wake up with the first light of the day.
  2. Watch the sunrise.
  3. During daylight eat one (maybe two) meal of local seasonal fresh food including a large amount of seafood.
  4. Be naked in the sun and barefoot on the earth all day.
  5. Swim in the ocean.
  6. Do moderate exercise collecting food and fresh drinking water
  7. In the hottest part of the day seek shade and rest.
  8. In afternoon potter around.
  9. Watch the sun set.
  10. Go to sleep on the earth in darkness.

Humans lived every day like this on the East African rift for 300 000 years in perfect synchrony with the daily and seasonal rhythms of the sun, the earth, the moon and stars. Humans absorb light, store light, use light, convert light and release light. Every aspect of human cellular function adapted to efficiently harvest energy from the sunlight, magnetic fields, water, marine DHA in this environment. This is the authentic human life. Living this way will keep you healthy into old age. Any change or variation to this daily routine will subtract health from you. Why?

  1. Wake up with the first light of the day. Humans have detectors for light in the skin (melanopsin) that detect the first rays of morning light before sunrise and wake you up by releasing cortisol.
  2. Watch the sunrise. Sunrise and the all the varying frequencies of the morning sunlight are absorbed by the eyes and skin to build hormones, neurotransmitters and set the circadian rhythms of every cell in the body. Every sunrise is different, and cells pay attention to daily, monthly and seasonal variations.
  3. During daylight eat one (maybe two) meal of local seasonal fresh food including a large amount of seafood. One meal consumed during the day allows for beneficial intermittent fasting for the rest of the day and ketosis at night during sleep. Humans evolved larger brains and immune systems than our primate ancestors using the DHA & iodine from the marine food chain that humans adapted to eat. The availability of fruits and vegetables varies with the seasons. Photosynthetic food is information for your cells about the seasons.
  4. Be naked in the sun and barefoot on the earth all day. Humans are hairless primates to increase the amount of sunlight the skin absorbs – all frequencies of visible sunlight to make hormones, vitamin D, neurotransmitters, Vitamin A, molecular hydrogen and oxygen. Humans properly exposed to sunlight get 2/3 of energy from sunlight and just 1/3 from food. Covering the solar panel reduces the energy that melanin can produce. Humans have sweat glands in their hands and feet to increase the conductivity of the free electrons from the earth’s magnetic field. Every cell in the body tunes to the earth’s magnetic field (7.83 Hz).
  5. Swim in the ocean. Homo sapiens are aquatic apes that evolved to eat seafood. Swimming in the ocean provides another source of free electrons.
  6. Do moderate exercise collecting food and fresh drinking water. Humans have a great need for a daily supply of fresh clean drinking water. The human body is 60% water and water molecules make up 99% per volume of the cells inside us. Water inside us is a repository for light and forms a battery of electrons, photons and protons that are transported around the body for use in cells. Dehydration is a serious health issue.
  7. In the hottest part of the day seek shade and rest. Just like all the other animals in the wild.
  8. In the afternoon collect what you need for the following morning. Just potter around doing stuff.
  9. Watch the sunset. The eyes and skin pay attention to the waning frequencies of light at sunset to prepare the hormones of the body for sleep. The absence of light at night is a signal to facilitate regenerative sleep at night.
  10. Go to sleep on the earth in darkness. The absence of light is a very important signal for cellular circadian rhythms and metabolism. The earth’s magnetic field is stronger at night time than daytime and human cells that are connected to earth function at night time during sleep can vibrate at 100 Hz to fat burn (ketosis) and maintain growth and regeneration. Proper circadian sleep keeps cells healthy.

About 70 000 years ago humans began to migrate away from the equator to far flung places around the globe where the strength of sunlight varied with the seasons in contrast to the constant equatorial sunlight they had evolved with. In the cooler temperatures humans invented shoes, clothing and firelight.

This became our first mistake.

Clothing blocks the sun from our skin and this immediately reduces the amount of energy we can make from the action of sunlight, melanin and water that charge separates hydrogen and oxygen for cellular energy. This makes us more reliant on food for energy and increases metabolic rate and decreases lifespan. Clothing blocks the ability of the skin to make Vitamin D from UVB sunlight. Moving away from the equator also decreases the amount of UVB sunlight available throughout the day and year. Decreasing Vitamin D has many negative effects on the immune system and many other functions in the body.

In the weaker sunlight and colder temperatures many humans evolved changes to the melanin in their eyes, skin and hair to adapt to the new environments away from the equator. They evolved whiter skin, blue and green eyes, blonde and red hair that have different melanin that absorbs more sunlight. They evolved changes to their mitochondria that allowed them to increase their metabolic rate and make more heat in the colder climate and in the absence of strong sunlight. Humans ate more vitamin D containing fatty seafood (DHA) from cold ocean waters to offset the lack of sunlight away from the equator.

Firelight at night enabled us to stay awake longer after sunset and this was the first shift in our sleep patterns that is controlled by hormones we make via sunlight on the eyes and skin. Light after sunset is artificial light. The eyes and the skin detect this artificial light and it delays and reduces the effects of melatonin that is normally released after 4 hours of darkness and this reduces sleep quality and health. Human cells need the absence of light for proper function.

Shoes further disconnected humans from nature by putting a barrier between the human foot and the earth’s magnetic field reducing the ability of our atoms to align with the earth’s magnetic field and to collect free electrons from the earth.

Then humans began sleeping in houses raised off the earth and so they no longer aligned the atoms in their cells with the earth’s magnetic field and this reduced the efficiency of cellular functions. They invented candles and lamps and began living more of their lives at night time under artificial light and less in the daytime in the sunlight disrupting the circadian rhythms that controlled the health of their cells.

The industrial revolution was the first time that large numbers of humans came inside buildings to work in factories rather than working outside. In 1882 the electric power grid was invented and from this time onwards human health has been in rapid decline. Artificial lighting became readily available in buildings, streets and public places. More and more people began working inside rather than outside. Children went to school inside buildings. Television kept children inside after school rather than playing outdoors. Computers made that even worse. Then LED lighting really changed the frequencies of artificial light we were exposed to in our eyes and skin from light bulbs and screens. Artificial heating and cooling has detrimental effects on the seasonal circadian rhythms that our cells require for longevity. In just 136 years many new chronic degenerative diseases have emerged in humans and fertility has sharply declined.

The power grid, radio, television, radar, x-rays, microwave radiation are all manmade electromagnetic frequencies that affect our cellular function in negative ways. DNA expression depends on the electromagnetic signals from the environment. When these signals are foreign signals it changes the epigenetic expression of our DNA that results in misfolded proteins and changed optical signaling that causes diseases like autoimmune, cancer and neurodegeneration.

Misinformation about the dangers of sunlight to humans has been the number one piece of bad advice that has led to worldwide epidemic of low vitamin D, disrupted circadian cycles, poor sleep and diseases that have exploded in the last 130 years. Combined with a lack of daily darkness at night time the artificial light we are bathed in is ruining our health and fertility.

These days humans get hardly any sunlight in their eyes and skin. In the brief moments each day spent outside they wear hats, clothing, sunglasses, sunscreen, rubber soled shoes. Their eyes and skin don’t get exposed to the frequencies of sunlight they require to make water, oxygen, hormones and neurotransmitters required for healthy cellular regeneration during sleep. People crave food and drugs because they are undernourished from sunlight. People are tired all the time, but they cannot sleep because they cannot make the hormones they require to enter sleep. They are suffering multiple chronic diseases and so are their children. Autism was not described in the medical literature until 1943 in the USA. Mental illness and suicide are rampant. Cancer and neurodegenerative diseases are being diagnosed in younger and younger people. Humans have alarmingly high rates of infertility. Humans are the masters of their own extinction.

Humans no longer eat their species appropriate diet of marine seafood and they drink fluoridated water that reduces the battery capacity of water inside us. Every cell in the body requires DHA in the cell membranes to collect electrons and photons to turn sunlight into a DC electric current. Processed industrial foods lack DHA and contain high amounts of omega 6 fats that compete with omega 3 DHA for a place in the cell membranes. This decreases the energy we can collect and convert to useable energy and information for our cells and circadian rhythms. Processed foods do not contain the iodine, selenium, magnesium we need to run our hormones and cellular metabolism.

To reverse a disease, or avoid developing one, humans need to learn what is their species appropriate diet and lifestyle. That is the diet and lifestyle we evolved with in nature and it depends on the light, water and magnetism we evolved to use to run the 37 trillion cells inside us. The closer you can emulate your natural lifestyle and environment the less likely you will develop any disease.

References:

  1. Dr Doug Wallace
  2. Jack Kruse posts on the Brain Gut series
  3. Crawford/Cunnane
  4. Herrara Melanin Human photosynthesis studies.

The Surprising Cause of Headaches, Sore Eyes, and Low-Quality Sleep

If you work in an office or around computers, the odds are high that you sometimes experience headaches, sore eyes, or low-quality sleep. You may have come to regard them as normal.

But the reality is that these issues are far from minor annoyances–while they’re common, they are actually signs of an unhealthy environment that can increase your risk of chronic disease and reduce your longevity.

The good news is that by making a few simple changes you can prevent sore eyes, headaches, and sleep problems.

In this article, you’ll learn how artificial blue light is causing common symptoms as well as reduced performance and energy levels, the long-term effects of blue light exposure, and how to preserve your health and wellness in modern work environments.

What is Blue Light Toxicity?

As a result of constant exposure to artificial blue light, many people are chronically “socially jet-lagged”–sleeping poorly and feeling fatigued during the daytime[*].

Daytime artificial light also causes symptoms like dry or sore eyes, eye strain, headache, increased skin aging, depression, and other mood issues[*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*].

Blue light occurs naturally in sunlight but is also emitted by light bulbs, energy-efficient lighting, and digital devices including computers, tablets, and mobile phones. Compared to natural light, artificial light sources have more blue light and lower amounts of other visible frequencies.

Light plays an essential role in regulating your biology. Your body has distinct responses to different portions of the light spectrum.

High-energy blue and green light in your environment are responsible for regulating your natural body rhythms, which affect your sleep-wake cycle and control the expression of over half of the genes in your body[*].

Excessive exposure to blue light, especially at night, can reduce your sleep, and diminish your energy levels during the day. Over time, it can change your DNA, leading to chronic disease[*][*].

Artificial Blue Light Chart

The Eyes: Windows to the Brain

Your eyes transmit visual information to your brain, but they’re also responsible for sending non-visual signals that influence your natural body rhythms, sleep-wake cycles, and hormone production.

Artificial blue light is toxic to your eyes, even at low intensities[*]. Blue light exposure can destroy cells in your retina, kill off your mitochondria, disrupt the function of your circadian clock, and damage your pineal gland, which releases melatonin at night[*][*][*][*].

Over time, chronic blue light exposure thins your retina, causes DNA damage, and impairs the function of specialized cells in your eyes that respond to light and control your natural body rhythms[*][*]. As a result, you’re more likely to experience dry eyes, cataracts, macular degeneration, poor sleep, and increased stress levels[*][*][*][*][*][*][*].

Although it’s important to protect your eyes to avoid vision problems, most people don’t realize that blue light damage to your eyes also results in decreased longevity and an elevated risk of chronic disease[*].

Brain’s Reaction To Blue Light https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Light,_suprachiasmatic_nuclei_(SCN),_and_the_pinealmelatonin_circuit.jpg

Long-Term Effects of Blue Light Exposure

When your eyes and the specialized cells that control your circadian rhythms are damaged by blue light, your body loses the ability to repair itself at night, which elevates your risk of cancer[*].

Long-term blue light toxicity and mitochondrial damage are linked to a heightened risk of many apparently unrelated disorders including obesity, heart disease, schizophrenia, bipolar disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, epilepsy, strokes, neuropathic pain, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes[*][*][*]. The common factor among these issues is that they result from unhealthy environmental conditions.

While modern medicine treats the symptoms of environmental diseases, drugs and medications are ineffective at preventing diseases caused by unhealthy environments.

How to Solve Blue Light Toxicity

Screen filtering apps like Iris, F.lux, Twilight, and Night Shift can reduce the amount of blue light emitted by your device’s screen–which is a good start–but they’re not perfect standalone solutions.

Most filtering programs don’t filter 100% of blue light, and no filtering program can block other artificial light sources like televisions, energy-efficient LEDs, and fluorescent lights.

Overall, one of the best solutions for blue light toxicity is to wear specialized blue-blocking glasses. Blue blockers protect your eyes and vision, reduce symptoms of short-term blue light exposure, and enhance your sleep and mental and physical performance.

There are plenty of blue-blocking glasses on the market due to the fact that athletes, biohackers, and regular people are waking up to the adverse effects of blue light toxicity. Compared to F.lux and other screen filtering apps, these glasses can filter out even more blue light, as well as external light sources.

Here’s what to look for in blue-blocking glasses:

  • The lenses must be treated with a special tint–common clear “blue blockers” don’t block the critical 455 nanometer range
  • The tint should be rated to block all blue light, and most green light
  • A stylish, lightweight frame helps you feel comfortable wearing them consistently, both inside the workplace and at night

Blue Blockers by MitoHQ effectively block blue and green light in the 430-550 nanometer spectrum while preserving visual acuity.

For daytime use, or if your job requires color perception, Blue Blockers are also available in a daytime tint that blocks the most detrimental range of blue light and allows for color discrimination.

Blue Blocking Glasses

Replace Artificial Light With Natural Sunlight

Along with blocking harmful light frequencies, you can also enhance your health and well-being by getting natural sunlight on your skin and eyes throughout the day. Replacing artificial light with natural light as often as possible helps your body heal from blue light toxicity, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time.

While researchers initially chalked the benefits of sunlight up to vitamin D, that’s only part of the story. Natural light also works through immunomodulation, nitric oxide, melatonin, serotonin, programming your body’s natural clocks, and other pathways[*].

Here are some of the benefits of natural light:

  • Improves your natural body rhythms[*]
  • Promotes healthy vision[*][*]
  • Brightens your mood[*]
  • Decreases anxiety and depression[*]
  • Reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease[*]
  • Lowers blood pressure[*]
  • Increases learning and memory[*]
  • Enhances immune function[*]
  • Improves cholesterol[*]
  • Helps prevent cancer, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, and diabetes[*]
  • Raises vitamin D levels[*]

Whether or not you work an office job, it’s an excellent idea to take regular breaks from the computer to go outside.

The Takeaway

In modern work environments, addressing blue light toxicity is vital if you want to remain healthy

While nagging issues like sore eyes, headaches, and poor sleep are common, they are actually signs of underlying problems that can lead to chronic disease.

By wearing appropriate blue-blocking glasses and getting natural sunlight during breaks, you can preserve your vision and prevent symptoms like sore eyes, headaches, and poor sleep.

As a bonus, you’ll also enjoy enhanced mental clarity, better cognitive performance, and a decreased risk of health issues like cancer, dementia, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Image credits: Light,_suprachiasmatic_nuclei_(SCN),_and_the_pinealmelatonin_circuit.jpg by Zhiqiang Ma, et al. CC BY 4.0 .

The Diabetes Epidemic: What Light Are You Eating?

Is The Story Sugar-Coated?

I truly wonder, how many people have been told their Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) is only about “genetics” and it’s all about the sugars you are eating to make your insulin go out of whack? Is it really 100% about these two factors as the primary drivers? Isn’t it both overly simplistic and reductionistic to think in this way: to think that our biology is not designed in systems and synergies?

What if I told I used to weigh 290 pounds in the 1990s, had pre-Diabetes, my mother, grandmother, mother’s uncle and grandfather also had T2D (each expressing in their mito-heteroplasmic 30s). How did I reverse my T2D? My chronobiology behaviors of the past played a much larger role. So when I read these two scientific papers below, I sighed knowing the bigger players were my continual blue-light toxicity at the wrong hours of the day and nnEMF, in synergy.

First, let’s take a look at the nnEMF side of my pre-diabetes:

The findings of this study show that the students who were exposed to high RF-EMF had significantly higher HbA1c than the students who were exposed to low RF-EMF. Moreover, students who were exposed to high RF-EMFR generated by MPBS had a significantly higher proportion of diabetes mellitus relative to the students who were exposed to low RF-EMFR.

HbA1c is well recognized among clinicians as a marker of chronic hyperglycemia, increased HbA1c has also been regarded as an independent marker for diabetes mellitus [17]. HBA1c has numerous advantages compared to the Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG), including greater expediency, fasting is not mandatory, better pre-analytical stability and less day-to-day worries during a period of stress and illness. HbA1c has recently been endorsed as a diagnostic test for diabetes by the World Health Organization, the International Diabetes Federation, as well as the American Diabetes Association [12,14,17,18].

And for the blue-light side of this equation, it is important to consider when life expects light frequencies into the eyes and skin. The larger question I consider about the vast eons of time humans have spent on earth: “What does the sunshine for frequencies at various times of the day: morning, mid-day and in the evening for specific frequency outputs?” Is it possible that in our modern, indoor environments we absorb the wrong type of lighting at the wrong time of day? Luckily I figured this out decades ago, or wouldn’t be able to write the blog at all. Perceptively and instinctively, many of us know staying up late and watching a show into the late evening might offer us up some problems. In my personal past, it playing video games past midnight on a continual basis.

Misalignment of circadian rhythmicity is observed in numerous conditions, including aging, and is thought to be involved in the development of age-related disorders, such as depression, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and cancer.

Absorbing the wrong frequencies at the wrong time of day is analogous to eating the wrong foods at the wrong time of day, is it not? A perfect example would be the consumption of coffee or a chocolate bar. What happens to most people when consuming too much caffeine past dusk? Many people that are listening to their bodies have come to learn it’s not a very good idea doing it over longer periods of time.

The reduction in endogenous melatonin is also a large problem with both blue-light and nnEMF sources. Using caution with nnEMF around sleeping spaces is warranted when looking at the scientific literature; here is one example:

Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by pineal gland activity in the brain that regulates the body’s sleep-wake cycle. How man-made EMFs may influence the pineal gland is still unsolved. The pineal gland is likely to sense EMFs as light but, as a consequence, may decrease the melatonin production.

I believe making melatonin internally in the body vs. having an outside source is a wise strategy. For instance, this study shows the gravity of melatonin on many processes in the body.

The underlying mechanisms include several molecular pathways, which are associated with antioxidant activity, modulation of melatonin receptors MT1 and MT2, regulation of apoptosis, pro-survival signaling and tumor metabolism, inhibition of angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis, and induction of epigenetic alteration.

Not only is sleep deprivation an issue, but also the lack of overall sunlight to control calcium and balance many processes in the body.

Researchers have long known that routine sleep deprivation can cause weight gain and increase other health risks, including diabetes.

This Northwestern study concludes that people exposed to earlier day sunlight, based on the duration, intensity and timing, gains benefits to shed pounds.

Light is the most potent agent to synchronize your internal body clock that regulates circadian rhythms, which in turn also regulate energy balance. The message is that you should get more bright light between 8 a.m. and noon.” About 20 to 30 minutes of morning light is enough to affect BMI.

Inflammation is a quality of diabetes, as certain cells may be in a state with extra oxidative stresses. There are several strategies within the scientific literature that point to benefits from grounding or earthing by touching the earth to help relieve inflammation.

All studies discussed revealed significant physiological or clinical outcomes as a result of grounding. This body of research has demonstrated the potential of grounding to be a simple, natural, and accessible clinical strategy against the global epidemic of noncommunicable, degenerative, inflammatory-related diseases.

Also, some compounds may also be helpful in dealing with the inflammation more effectively, such as curcumin (a main component in turmeric).

My Metabolic Mitochondrial Voyage

I first had to take you on this journey above into blue-light toxicity, nnEMF exposures, the benefits of sunlight and grounding to the earth before getting any deeper into my personal experiences. The modern-day conventional wisdom points people down a path of biochemistry: thinking about insulin and sugar as the primary factors, rather than the synergies of the puzzle pieces I have outlines above. In some individuals, this may be a huge problem to consume several hundred grams of sugar daily.

However, energetic and mitochondrial thinking gets some of these people understanding why exercise, ketotic diet, cycling an intermittent fasting regime, a OMAD (One Meal A Day) regime or other approach (to help reduce carbohydrates) can help make use of more fatty-acid oxidation via Complex II in the mitochondria, and, help with mitochondrial biogenesis. The initial benefits I found was to use Cytochrome Complex II to breakdown fats into carbon dioxide and lower deuterium water. Previously throughout my life, I sustained my diet on the more “free-radical leaky” Cytochrome Complex I to use carbohydrates and sugars to generate my ATP.

When I was 32 years old, the marathon I ran in Portland, Oregon was a very telling milestone to me about my mitochondrial function, in contrast to my lifestyle at the age of 45 in 2015. But in 2002, I trained 9 months before the marathon and shed about 50 pounds overall before the day of the marathon. At typically 50 miles of running each week running in the morning sun around the Pasadena Rosebowl, I was shocked about how much weight I was able to lose. At the time, I believed it was mostly about calories-in, calories-out, but reread again that I did all my training outdoors, rather than at a gym or later into the evening. I would wake up at 6am each morning and be running around the Rosebowl for several hours (often 4 to 5 times around for a 12 to 15 mile run) with morning sunlight being shirtless most days also. However, my diet at that time consisted of heavy-loaded carbohydrates. I was refueling with pastas and sugars at that time to keep running longer distances: also known as the “carb-loading” technique. Fast-forward a month after the marathon, I stopped running in the mornings altogether. I proceeded to do my workouts after work at a fluorescent-it gym typically between 8 to 10pm in the evening. What happened to my metabolism turning into a gym-rat? Six months later, I found myself having regained 40 pounds, feeling like I couldn’t sleep as well as I had been during my marathon training and felt more worn out and exhausted all of the time.

Repeating Past Benefits and Finding New Answers

So I did what any sensible person would do: I went back to running again in the mornings, and within a few weeks, felt alive again. Of course, I needed to recover after my longer runs, but I knew there was something more to just the running alone. It was something about running in the morning outdoors, and it took many years later to discover the magic was not just in exercise, but the types of environments we place our bodies at what time of day we do it.

In 2008 after starting Intermittent Fasting (IF) coupled with a lower-carbohydrate diet, my obesity, lethargy and pre-diabetes basically vanished altogether as long as I continued to get enough time outside in the mornings. But things changed in 2011 when I learned about the Ketogenic Diet (Keto) and implemented it as well with my IF routines of typically getting in a fast 16 to 18 hours each day. Over the next year, my ketosis and IF tools worked powerfully to shed my body weight down another 60 pounds…down to a slim 178 pounds for a six-foot man.

However in my personal work-life at the time living in Seattle, Washington, I saw larger up and down shifts with my metabolism seasonally. In the winters, I could easily gain back 20 to 30 pounds and lose it all again the next spring and summer. The winter of 2014, I implemented a strict ketosis and also made it a point to get outside into snow, rain or anytime in the mornings. That winter, I didn’t regain any weight, and then later that spring in 2015, I proceeded to implement Cold Thermogenesis into my life, or also known in many communities as CT. Combining IF, CT, OMAD (1 Meal a Day). I would take an ice-bath about 3 times per week…typically for 15 to 25 minutes at a time. At that time, my son thought it was hilarious to help me out and throw ice cubes from the freezer into my tub to maintain a temperature below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It was that summer (also sunbathing several times a week in Seattle) that I dropped down to 158 pounds and shocked my friends and family how small I had gotten.

I did what any citizen scientist would do later that year. I wanted to verify if my metabolism was benefitting from all of these techniques, I purposely removed my ketogenic lifestyle and CT altogether, but kept doing my Intermittent Fasting several times per week. But in the winter of 2015 having more carbs and less outdoor time, my weight crept back up to about 180 pounds. I wanted to see if the summer of 2016 would work to get tons of sunlight, but remove the keto, IF and CT as tools, but just do exercise with sun. Although it worked to a point, I wasn’t able to trim back down below 175 pounds.

Mitochondrial Dynamics

Part of this next puzzle piece has an age-dependent answer within the processes that can drive up mitochondrial heteroplasmy, or the ratio of good to the mitochondrial mutants in a cells, or simply, the ability for mitochondria to efficiently generate energy. This concept is explained well in the mitochondrial video at MitoHQ.com. I realized as a 45 year-old why was I needing to activate more tools in the toolbox to heal my mitochondria heteroplasmy. I asked myself the question a few years ago, “What if I were 25 years old and only used exercise in the sun?” I knew the answer: it would be a lot easier and most people in their later 30s or 40s can often feel the energy diminishing.

I think that summer in 2016 may have gotten me slim again. A radical thing happened to me in 1987 when I was playing varsity soccer starting out weighing 200 pounds as the main defensive player on the team. But they had me working out for an hour each morning and another hour in the evening. At the age of 17, I shed all of my fat and went back from 200 pounds down to 160 pounds that year, only to gain it all back plus more by the next year in college turning my life into the normal bookworm.

When looking deeper into the mitochondria and how energy generation can get revitalized or diminished, it quickly becomes intriguing to any biologist or researcher how light frequencies are interacting with our mitochondrial engines. Biochemists typically focus on specific mechanisms without considering how the very things they are researching are influenced by the electromagnetic forces within the biology, what water structure and components of the water are in these mitochondrial spaces, and how it is all being signaled dynamically and systematically.

When Sherlock Holmes Works on a Puzzle

As you may see, there is a large number of pieces to the metabolic puzzle. Over many years of my life, I discovered at the root of my problems was the way I was living: my normal 9 to 7 workday put me indoors. But once I got home and finished up chores, I would typically need to unwind. Typically, that looked like couch-potato’ing in-front of artificially-lit screen in nnEMF-filled environments for many hours exactly at the wrong times of day.

Although I would get outside some days, I would rarely expose enough skin. Also in the mornings, I would block out the sun on the way to work behind sunglasses. Could missing morning sunlight be as important as the flip-side of the day in the evening? Do biological processes from morning sunlight help with generating more melatonin, endogenous pineal-gland production? How are all of these systems interlinked? These are all deeper questions that may unlock the larger keys to life.

Mother Nature Always Wins

Our modern behaviors and how we live typically do not align well with Mother Nature anymore. But She can put things right again. Of late, Mother Nature has been asking humans: “Do we actually feel healthy embracing the mutated, modified, synthetic, virtual, altered and artificial things produced by humans?”

The choices are quite simple:

  • Artificial Intelligence or True Intelligence?
  • Artificial Lighting or Natural Lighting?
  • Artificial Sweeteners or Actual Sweeteners?
  • Artificial EMFs or Native EMFs?
  • Artificial Dyes or Nature-produced Colors?
  • Artificial Drugs or Food Grown Under the Sun?
  • Artificial Sex Toys or Real Lovers?
  • Artificial Turf or Living Grass?
  • Artificial/Virtual/Augmented Reality or Genuine Reality?
  • Artificial Life or a Fully Lived Life?

Why isn’t there any form of Artificial Wisdom in our world at this time? Because wisdom itself is created through actual observations grounded in reality via our experiences here in this tangible world. “Smart” was somewhat hijacked a decade ago by technologists because they knew they’d be patting their own backs and making the public feel smart by buying their creations. For this reason, anything “smart” is not wise, is it? To link this full-circle, embracing things “smart” is by definition living an Artificial Life. Embracing Nature is by definition living the more experienced, purpose-driven and Fulfilled Life.

Many of us are facing Personal Escapism with “things artificial” because of the Modern World we have created: do we check-out of this world, let the world tell us how to live, let other humans control us, escape within an addictive opioid, keg of alcohol or endless screen-time, have groups and governments decide our fates?

Or instead, do we invoke our willpower, our creativity, our individual freedom, our imagination, our spirit, our drive, our own way to experience the life we see fit and add our individual, unique, specialized viewpoint to the universe? Each and every person can make a difference. It starts with personal awareness to awaken the rest of the sleeping world. Knowledge is utterly useless unless it is directed through the lens of wisdom: a wisdom derived from our experiences with Mother Nature. Our mitochondria are listening for the queues, but are we?

By Scott J. Compton

The Health Advantages Leaving the Video Game World

I am a recent video game designer of 22+ years that worked on many AAA and critically acclaimed games for many reputable companies.

But in January 2019, I outright left the video game world at the top of my career. And I did it on purpose. Why would I do such a thing? The money was great. The people around me were wonderful and fun to work with and have exceptional minds. And right now, there may be tens of thousands of gamers or even more that dream about being a Video Game Designer someday. Many colleges now offer game design courses and we can expect more of our youth to pursue a career actively educating themselves and preparing to enter the frontlines of this field. As a successful game designer, why would I back away and leave this world altogether?

What kind of crazy is that?

Most people know Mr. Chocolate Wonka. His character was depicted as an entrepreneur, but Wonka’s ways were close to that of crazitivity, a blend of crazy and creative. Wonka purposefully designed, tested and treated people in specific ways in his longer goals in an attempt to find someone with enough insight, backbone, grit, worth, compassion, strength and courage to inherit his chocolate-factory world. Wonka’s imagination saw a larger picture about a future world and how something he loved could be destroyed or uplifted, depending on what captain was steering the ship.

Crazitivity

On a holiday with my son earlier this year, I accidentally created the word crazitivity (cray-ze-ti-ve-tee) walking through a major theme park as I reflected on where the world is heading with more wireless emitters on every corner and seeing more people fear the sun.

I define this word Crazitivity as:

Being mocked or labeled as crazy by someone else, when in fact, the person being mocked has purposefully created a surface narrative of looking somewhat crazy to embrace and project a deeper creativity to win or succeed at something, often due to a longer-term war of wills being fought with many smaller battles.

What motivates my crazitivity and why do I like this label?

It is actually a deeper story that goes back more than 30 years, but in this blog, I will give you the larger takeaways. Making games has been a passion and hobby of mine from my childhood. But the key word I removed from the last sentence was the word video. In the late 1970s, I grew up with the old cartridge games, then the 5.25 floppy disks in the 80s, then the 3.5 floppies in the early 90s and so forth. Heck, I even watched Star Wars in 1977 in the front row on the big screen. Large screens, TVs monitors or hand held screens are the most overlooked features that defines the word video.

But my story as to why I left making Video Games in 2019 started around 1999 twenty years prior. That was the time I had already designed one game and was in the middle of working on another and realized I was starting to lose parts of my vision. To make it very clear, I discovered I was going blind at times and did not know why. I started to concentrate on blank, white walls and figured out that specific blind spots had already been formed.

But I also noticed something else:

I could tell when new spots were actively forming and covering parts of my vision. As a condition related to AMD (Aged-related Macular Degeneration) and Diabetic Retinopathy (DME), my retinal tissues were experiencing added pressure and inflammation as verified by my ophthalmologist.

I wanted to connect the dots as to why the spots were happening. A new blind spot would typically appear a few minutes or an hour after sitting in front of computer monitors or when I’d go to the gym. Some blind spots would last minutes, hours or days, and some specific spots would stay much longer for months. After acquiring a few very large spots in my central vision, it affected my work so much that I would get splitting headaches when attempted to look at screens through the spots for longer periods of time. I had to start asking myself deeper questions in 1999, “Can I continue working on monitors and looking at screens and do my Video Game work anymore?” I had to find the answer to my blindness: not only for my livelihood, but blindness wasn’t a pretty thought either if it could be prevented.

When Biology Meets Technology

This is the story of what happens when someone educated in biology and has enough biophysics enters, lives and breathes the world of technology. After working each day, I would come home and research all of the latest science looking for the answer. I was also against the blindness clock, and this is ironic to those that understand the details of how our eyes are clocks as well. I eventually got deeper into the science around ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) and came across a few papers on fluorescent lighting that can promote eye damage. At the time, I believed I had first answer about how gym lighting may be promoting my blind spots. At that time, I lived in Pasadena, and I realized that when I exercise outside at the Rose Bowl in natural lighting, I never got any eye spots at all. But what else could be happening?
I started logging a journal about when I would see the eye spots form in my central vision. The correlation and experience seeing them form allowed me to figure out that if I ate certain foods and sat down in front of a computer or in certain indoor environments, there was a very high likelihood I would get an eye spot formation. But if I was outside under natural lighting, or fasted for longer periods of time, it would be less common for an eye spot to show up.

Vital Behavioral Changes

I quickly made behavioral changes to save my vision. I ditched the gym completely, started getting up at dawn to walk or jog around the Rose Bowl and took my ophthalmologist’s advice to get a greater distance from my monitors and try to use them less frequently. Take note that my ophthalmologist’s concern at that time in the late 1990s was the ionizing radiation from monitors, not blue-light frequencies that we know today in 2019. And of course, the non-ionizing biological effects from electric fields, magnetic fields and produced harmonics and transients was even more obscured from a doctor’s education at that time.
These behavioral changes saved my vision. I came to learn how to form blind spots or come to prevent them, by personal experience. My larger answers had to do with my lifestyle and daily routines. When blindness is on the line, my personal awareness about what environments I put myself in became the golden key to my eye health. The days I spent too long in front of a monitor, or the times I went to a real movie theater or nights I stayed up late playing Video Games or working late into the evening would usually guarantee a blind spot formation. The days I got up earlier and went to sleep earlier and got outside under natural lighting would heal me.
Certain food choices also impacted formation, and later I came to learn a great knowledge set about the NMDA receptors, how oxidative stress can go amok, the relationship with glutamate excitotoxicity and all of the pathways, which in turn, got me studying the mitochondria in great depth. It took about another 15 years to understand the knowledge around the systems, processes and mechanisms involved in the complexities that relate to the aging process; in the case of my retinal tissue eye health, I sped up that process with screen-time and exposures to nnEMF sources, but learned how to slow it with many simple approaches, repair much of the damage and live in certain ways to help prevent my eyes from forming the spots.

Get That Morning Sun

Using the redlight frequencies at dawn helped the daily retinal cycling and repair for me. In the first year of getting out into the morning sunlight (not looking at the sun itself, but just getting outside for a walk or reading a book), and then on the backend of the day reducing the lighting in the evening and sleeping in darkness, my spots slowly vanished on their own. There was one spot I almost considered using a laser to remove, but even that one faded away over time. By about 2006, I realized I had to live with a certain lifestyle. Anytime I would change my lifestyle back to missing too much natural lighting or consuming too much artificial lighting could still risk my vision.
Eye health should not have to played as a game to win or lose it. Games come in all types, shapes and packages, as well as the game designers that craft them. I believe games with screens when overused on the other hand, due to their integrated frequencies, can damage health in many ways, not only eye health. I am a living example of this, and now, a greater portion of the world will be seeing this influence in the coming decade. I also believe people can be realistic about the benefits and perils of technology. Many more like myself will be coming out of the woodwork and take a stand about the world we have already created and continue to advocate blindly.
Even more important, why is no one asking:

 

What will future environments look like for the next generations?

 

A Marriage of a Balanced Lifestyle

The use of nature and the establishment of safer environments is due to the mitigation approaches to the technologies within them.

Now it was time I turned my Game Designer Career on its head to get back into my Biology career once again to teach others and help put together the clues in the biological sciences, sort of like what a Sherlock Holmes might do to leave no stone unturned. I have always believed that with enough knowledge, awareness and repeatable observations, discovery commonly manifests. Otherwise, without enough persistence, it can be quite easy to over-simplify, judge and knee-jerk any position when there is probably much more complexity involved. After all, life and its interactions are quite complex and new discoveries are being made and connected continually. It is useful to keep a rational, logical and open-minded approach as to what we know about this moment in time with any science; being overly-rigid in our beliefs can be the primary factor that closes of a person to find the answer for his or her health question.
If I had been rigid in my beliefs 20 years ago, or trusted others and not myself, I probably would have been blind by now. After all, the connections to lifestyle choices, circadian timing of day/night cycles, my lighting and nnEMF exposures as well as other factors that influenced my retinal oxidative stress can be easily overlooked. And at that time, I did not have a deeper understanding of the processes and problems with specific frequencies. But now I am empowered with many answers, like the 430 to 470 nanometer range of light, electric fields and various microwave frequency bands as my larger longer-term nemeses to reduce; for healing, I promote a deeper hydration, specific redlight exposure windows and other personal techniques for my eye health.

The Greatest Problem?

How is it that living closer to nature can at times be mocked or shunned in our modern Age of Information? Yes, I see it truly as an Age of Information and not Wisdom. I forgive many people that consume technology like eating cheesecake: because most people would not have seen life through the blind spots. What I have learned is that I can be a role-model to question a mainstream paradigm at minimum. I am mindful to uplift my adversaries and awaken them, because a powerful adversary can turn into a powerful ally. Each of us can choose to be “cool-under-pressure” and show character. This is why when someone implies I am crazy for leaving a my Video Game career, I thank them dearly when they have discovered my Crazitivity and got to know my motivations.

One last piece of importance. One of the greatest problems I have seen in the past two decades within the world of technology has been the alteration of human behaviors directly. Often, this is due to peer pressure and the establishment’s projection of paradigms and narratives around things I call “All Things Artificial.” I generally believe we are now living in a time when the sane are called crazy and the media itself never reports how crazy parts of the mainstream have become to embrace All Things Artificial. Artificial lighting and nnEMF is rarely questioned into the public eye, and when it is, the Precautionary Principle is never considered or talked about when there are known biological effects from both.

This is what the ‘modern crazy’ looks like to me:

A subtle and quiet propping up an anti-health lifestyle approach to downplay our behaviors with nature, while propping up All Things Artificial for public consumption.

The ultimate narrative happens when society comes to believe that All Things Artificial and Nature Herself is inter-exchangeable. Once this new design of society is achieved, the establishment can offer temporary fixes to ailments that are really not actually curing the deeper problem. Is this really a smart approach to life?

The wise among us already know that:

If we don’t have our health, we don’t have anything.

As the bulk of society continues to accept and also embrace All Things Artificial, it fails to question the pitfalls of our modern advancements and the fallout to our modern environments. We can expect the Precautionary Principle to be thrown into the garbage bin and mocked by the mainstream until they awaken to a time when safer technologies are considered and integrated into products for Public Health.

Those that make it out less damaged on the other side of 2030 will know what happened to society in this current time. They will be the citizens that have the knowledge for the next generations. But for the here and now, we are confronted with a simple choice in the way we choose to live: the ultimate showdown choice between Nature Herself and All Things Artificial.

This was also the ultimate choice I had to make for my career path, and the health advantages and rewards I am reaping by leaving the Video Game world.
By Scott J. Compton

The 3 Main Dimensions of Consciousness

Where are you in the scheme of things when it comes to your current level of awareness?

Most people haven’t given this much thought, so here’s a brief overview of only one way of looking at different dimensions of consciousness. There are more levels of course, but these 3 is where the majority of humanity operates from.

This is a more widely used in a spiritual context vs mainstream psychology context.

So here are 3 basic dimensions of consciousness.

3D

3D sees us solely focused on the physical, with our body being a major influencer. Most people live with a 3D consciousness. Living from a purely 3D perspective (which operates within duality or a dimension of opposites), survival, sexuality, personality, fear, competition, lack and jealousy are key drivers. We’re often in a state of worry or concern for what we do or do not have. To move beyond 3D, we need to raise our consciousness and invoke the spiritual dimension.

 

4D

A comprehension of the fourth dimension or 4D, usually breaks through when we have a life challenge or crisis and receive our ‘wake-up call’. The ancients often referred to us, as ‘sleepers’ or those who ‘sleep walk’, if we live entirely from a 3D perspective. Living from a 4D perspective, means that you still physically live in 3D and are aware of and working with all that it entails, but you are also focused on love, sharing, service, compassion, the power of the soul and mind and the ability to attract and create what it is you desire. Your psychic skills are vastly stronger with a 4D level of consciousness. You can sense what will happen before it does and intuition also amps up. Living in a 3D world, with 4D consciousness is the norm for most people who are now on a conscious spiritual, holistic path.

 

5D

Then we come to the fifth dimension, or 5D. There are hundreds of thousands of people living with this level of awareness now on Earth. It is rising daily. When we’ve lifted our consciousness to the 5D level, we truly have a deep compassion for all living beings. At this level a lot of people are vegetarian, if not vegan. It can be difficult for someone living in 5D to eat their brother and sister souls in animal bodies. From the 5D perspective we base most of our decisions on what our soul governs. You will still make personality (mind) based decisions because you are still firmly living within a 3D world and must interact with people and organizations on all levels in your daily life.

 

When your awareness is operating in 5D, a lot of the 3D world becomes almost ‘invisible’ to you. You may literally not see other people, who are operating on a purely 3D level. You will literally walk right past people you know and have not ‘see’ them. Likewise, these people might not see you either. It’s why so many relationships shift and change once our awareness levels rise. You’ll also find that what used to bother you about the 3D world becomes less of your focus, as instead, you are firmly focused on leading your best life so that you can uplift the planet and all those you come into contact with. It’s like you’re on a ‘mission’ when you operate from 5D. You’re dedicated, self-responsible and ready to serve the whole.

 

5D is not up there and 3D down here, dimensional realities are NOT places – they are states of consciousness and states of being that are reflected back to us in our physical reality.

 

So, do you know where you are?

Perhaps you’ve already worked this one out. Each of us is already walking between dimensions in our every day life. It’s just that some people who are dedicated to becoming self-aware, raising their consciousness, walk more knowingly between these dimensions, than others do. As you learn more about your soulful origins, you will automatically begin to raise your awareness and contact these higher dimensional states. Many of us are already operating out of 5D, whilst living our normal 3D lives. There are of course many dimensions beyond 5D, and yes, some people operate out of these and are also firmly grounded here on Earth.

 

In short, know that just because you are aware of higher dimensions and living with this awareness, it doesn’t mean that you leave your body and Earth and not deal with all of the normal 3D issues which arise. You still do. It means that you become a more conscious cosmic person and can cope with the 3D world on a wiser level, that truly is better for all of us.

The Role of Mitochondria for Optimal Health and Energy Production

Transcription of Video

We’ve all heard of DNA. The genetic code that’s passed down to us from our parents. But did you know there are two types of DNA in humans? One is nuclear DNA that we get from our mom and dad, but there’s a second kind… Mitochondrial DNA that we only get from mom. These two types of DNA are like a computer, nuclear DNA is the hardware. It determines the color of our hair or eyes, or how tall we are. Mitochondrial DNA is like the software. It powers the hardware and produces energy.

 

This is What the Trillions of Mitochondria in Our Bodies Look Like

Mitochondria Health

The medical profession has been pouring billions of dollars into studying nuclear DNA. Trying to find links to things like cancer, heart disease and dementia, but it hasn’t worked. Modern diseases are on the rise and growing exponentially. Mitochondrial researchers like Dr. Douglas Wallace are revealing that the majority of our modern diseases, are tied to mutations in our software or our mitochondrial DNA.

It turns out Mitochondria are the most concentrated in our brain and heart tissues. The exact locations where a majority of modern neurological and cardiovascular diseases are occurring. Is it just a coincidence that our Mitochondria are being damaged due to our modern way of life. Could our daily exposures to Wifi, mobile phone radiation, and electromagnetic fields be a catalyst in the disease equation. Recent scientific studies, are confirming decades of past research that manmade EMF are wreaking havoc on human biology.

What does Mitochondria do?

It seems our continual addiction to technology and disconnection from nature, may be the key contributors of mitochondrial DNA damage. The real secret to our health and longevity is understanding how energy is generated in us. It’s time to focus our attention on the power plants in ourselves if we are going to reverse the explosion of chronic diseases. To learn more about preventing chronic disease and improving your mitochondrial health, you may consider subscribing to my blog at the top of this post.

Mitochondria facts

The Impact of Blue Light on Chronic Diseases

For the past 130 years, artificial light has gone up every decade. Because of the increase of human-made light sources, people are exposed to more blue and green light than ever before.

This type of light regulates your sleep-wake cycle and many other vital processes in your body. That’s why artificial light at night is responsible for poor sleep, increased cancer rates, and the growing burden of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and other chronic diseases.

In this article, you’ll learn the scientific definition of blue light, how it affects your body on a cellular level, the consequences of long-term blue light exposure, and bright ideas for preventing blue light toxicity for yourself and your family.
What is Blue Light?

Blue light occurs in the natural visible light spectrum of sunlight but is also emitted by human-made light bulbs, energy-efficient lighting devices, and digital devices like televisions, computers, tablets, and mobile phones.

The wavelength of blue light is approximately 380-550 nanometers. It is one of the shortest, highest-energy frequencies.

Your body responds differently to various portions of the light spectrum. Blue light in your environment is responsible for regulating your circadian rhythms, which affect your sleep-wake cycle and the function of over half of the genes in your body[*].

Artificial light, which contains more blue light than the natural spectrum, lowers your body’s production of melatonin (the “sleep hormone”) at night and disrupts your natural, healthy body rhythms.

Because melatonin helps you get to sleep and allows your cells to repair themselves overnight, reduced melatonin production damages your mitochondria and enables mutations to occur in your DNA[*][*].

What are Mitochondria?

Your mitochondria, commonly called “the powerhouses of the cell,” are tiny structures contained in your cellular membranes. They produce the energy your body needs to function.

You can think of mitochondria as the “batteries” that power your cellular “hardware.” Light in your environment acts as an “operating system” that directs your mitochondria and cells, and also provides them with energy in the form of photons.

If you’ve ever tried to use an old device with poorly functioning batteries and a buggy operating system, it’s easy to understand why mitochondria and light are essential for health and wellness.

When you overcharge a battery, use the wrong power source, or allow it to become damaged, the associated hardware usually malfunctions because it isn’t receiving the necessary power to work correctly.

Dysfunctional mitochondria prevent your cells from carrying out their duties, which causes damage and illness in your body.

Because your body relies on energy production and signaling from your mitochondria, this process leads to symptoms like daytime sleepiness, fatigue, mood problems, mental health issues, headaches, and poor vision[*][*][*][*][*].

Mitochondrial issues are also the source of many modern chronic diseases.

Consequences of Long-term Blue Light Exposure

It may seem surprising or even shocking that everyday exposure to artificial light sources is behind the rise in chronic disease, but by understanding this important fact, you can empower yourself to live a longer, healthier life.

Long-term blue light exposure has a cumulative effect, creating more mitochondrial dysfunction over time. If you expose your eyes and skin to artificial light at night repeatedly, your brain’s circadian clock and your pineal gland, which makes melatonin, can also be severely damaged[*][*].

Low melatonin levels are associated in research with higher rates of cancer[*]. Another way that blue light and mitochondrial dysfunction cause cancer is by increasing the number of DNA transcription errors[*][*]. The International Agency for Research on Cancer considers circadian disruption caused by artificial light a “probable carcinogen to humans”[*].

Many epidemiological studies have found that artificial light at night also leads to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and macular degeneration[*].

“Normal” exposure to artificial blue light and the mitochondrial damage it causes may be responsible for many seemingly unrelated medical conditions, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, epilepsy, strokes, neuropathic pain, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and hepatitis C[*].

Top 3 Ways to Prevent Blue Light Toxicity

In light of the concerning research on blue light toxicity, more people are taking steps to prevent blue light toxicity to enhance their health, wellness, and physical and mental performance. Here are three easy ways you can mitigate the harmful effects of artificial light at night.

#1: Be Wise During Screen-time

Although it may be tempting to check emails and social media right before bedtime, research shows that using screens before bed is detrimental to your sleep, health, and well-being[*][*][*][*].

Here’s how you can be wise about screen-time:

  • Don’t use digital devices for 2-3 hours before bed.
  • Don’t use digital devices in a dark room.
  • Consider using blue light filtering apps for your computers, phones, and tablets.

Apps like Iris, F.lux, Twilight, and Night Shift reduce the amount of blue light emitted by your device’s screen, but they’re not a perfect solution. It’s a great start, but for optimal sleep and mitochondrial health, a blue light filtering app isn’t sufficient by itself.

#2: Wear Blue-Blocking Glasses

As people wake up to the detrimental effects of artificial light at night, the popularity of blue-blocking glasses is on the rise.

Studies show that wearing these specialized blue blockers at night allows you to maintain an earlier bedtime, achieve deeper sleep, and be more awake during the day[*][*][*]. They also prevent damage to your retina that can lead to macular degeneration and early vision loss[*][*][*].

Balancing your light exposure can improve your mood, cognition, and performance at work.

Unlike blue light filtering apps, quality blue blockers block 100% of the high-energy wavelengths that disrupt your sleep and damage your mitochondria. Another advantage of blue-blocking glasses is that they also filter harmful light sources like LED and fluorescent lights.

Mito Shades feature lightweight frames and high-impact, pigment-blended lenses. They block 100% of blue and green light, which improves your sleep and preserves your natural body rhythms.

Wearing Mito Shades at night improves your sleep and reduces your risk of insulin resistance, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases[*][*][*][*].

#3: Create a Healthy Home Environment

In addition to using filtering apps and wearing blue-blocking glasses after dark, here are some easy, inexpensive ways to improve your home environment for better rest and repair at night:

  • Install heavy blackout curtains in your bedroom to block street lights and car headlights
  • Keep a red LED flashlight or headlamp by your bed for nighttime bathroom visits (unlike blue light, dim red light has minimal impact on your sleep-wake cycle[*])
  • Replace “energy-efficient” LED and fluorescent bulbs with incandescent or warm-temperature bulbs

The spectrum of clear or soft white incandescent bulbs is closer to the natural range, with less blue light compared to LEDs and fluorescents. They are suitable for daytime use and have less of an adverse effect on your circadian rhythms.

If you genuinely want to create an ideal environment in your home, you can also install yellow- and red-tinted incandescent bulbs to further reduce blue light after dark.

Edison-style incandescent bulbs are another excellent low-blue-light option, but be sure to avoid “LEDisons” (LED bulbs designed to resemble incandescent Edison bulbs).

The Bottom Line

Light pollution and artificial light exposure have reached unprecedented rates, and continue to grow annually. As a result, the frequency of chronic diseases associated with sleep issues and mitochondrial dysfunction is also on the rise.

The good news is that you can immediately enhance your health, sleep quality, and overall performance by preventing blue light toxicity.

If you get wise about screen-time, wear blue-blocking glasses at night, and make a few changes around your house, you can look forward to improved well-being and a reduced risk of diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and vision loss.

Image credits: Close up of smartphone in hand by Japanexperterna CC BY-SA 2.0.

3 Ways Your Phone and Computer are Ruining Your Sleep & How to Fix It.

I love technology! And i’m sure you do too, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I stumbled across the dark side of the technology we all love.

I’ll continue to use technology as it makes my life easier, more efficient and allows me to serve more people and solve more problems, but there are some critical things we should all be aware of.

This post will outline a few of the risks, and how you can minimise them whilst still enjoying the benefits of all the modern tech you love so much.

An estimated 70 million Americans receive less than six hours of sleep per night[*][*]. Chronic sleep deprivation is a modern epidemic. Because of the introduction of energy-efficient lighting and digital devices, exposure to sleep-disrupting artificial light is increasing annually.

Insufficient or poor-quality sleep leads to inflammation in your body and disrupts your mood, performance, and focus. Even one night of sleep deprivation causes irritability, daytime sleepiness, and an inability to concentrate.

Sustained poor-quality sleep is associated with premature death and aging, as well as an increased risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.

In this article, you’ll learn about circadian rhythms, why artificial light is to blame for many modern health issues, and how to improve your health and wellness using blue-blocking glasses.

What Are Circadian Rhythms?

Your body’s circadian rhythms are natural, twenty-four-hour rhythms that are mainly determined by the presence or absence of light in your environment. Circadian rhythms control what time you wake up, when you get hungry, what time you feel sleepy and go to bed, and when your body produces hormones.

In humans and other mammals, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), located in your hypothalamus, functions as the primary circadian clock. The SCN gets information from specialized light-sensitive cells in your eyes called retinal ganglion cells, which keep your body attuned to the light frequencies and day length in your local environment.

Your SCN communicates with your pineal gland to coordinate the release of melatonin, also called the sleep hormone, which allows your body to rest and repair itself at night. Cortisol, a steroid hormone that helps you wake up in the morning, also influences your sleep-wake cycles based on light in your environment[*][*].

Other organs in your body, including your digestive system, contain “clock” genes that oscillate (respond) to signals from the SCN as well as behavior patterns like activity and meal timing.

According to researchers, nearly half of all genes in mammals oscillate with circadian rhythm pathways[*]. A majority of best-selling pharmaceutical drugs in the United States target the products of circadian genes[*].

Phone and Computer Brain Activity

How Artificial Light Wrecks Your Sleep

Since the beginning of life on earth, humans and their ancestors evolved under predictable conditions of twenty-four-hour days, with transitions from light to dark marking daytime and nighttime. But over the past 130 years, electric lighting has transformed the global environment[*].

Even after the introduction of energy-efficient lighting, which emits more high-energy short-wavelength blue and green light, light pollution continues to increase annually[*].

Common behaviors like watching television at night, checking your phone in the dark, and turning on the lights after bedtime can disrupt your circadian rhythms and sleep-wake cycles by “tricking” your body into believing it’s daytime[*].

The industrialization of society has led to an increase in people suffering from sleep disorders because of artificial light at night[*]. These disorders, which result in insomnia and daytime sleepiness, occur when your circadian clock is out of tune with the natural twenty-four-hour day.

As a result of constant exposure to artificial blue light, most people are permanently “socially jet-lagged” in their daily lives–neither sleeping well nor feeling fully alert during the day[*].

Impact Of Blue Light On Your Sleep

#1: Decreased Sleep Quantity

When blue light shines into your eyes at night, it alters your sleep schedule. Viewing blue light three hours before bed can instantly set your sleep schedule back a full two hours[*].

Even a single night of blue light exposure before bed can cause sleep deprivation[*]. If you continue to use digital devices or other blue light sources before bed, your sleep schedule can be delayed further, even if you try to adjust your bedtime[*].

Multiple studies of humans and animals show that sleep deprivation for even one night can increase the formation of beta-amyloid plaque associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and chronic sleep deprivation causes further build-up[*][*][*].

A study of over 4000 adolescents between the ages of 11-17 found that sleep deprivation is associated with major depression[*]. And a separate review of 34 different studies concluded that sleep deprivation leads to heightened anxiety levels[*]

#2: Reduced Sleep Quality

Sleep quality is a measure of the sleep cycles your body goes through at night. These cycles include light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep (when dreaming occurs). While deep sleep is crucial for your body to repair itself, REM sleep is the time when your brain consolidates memories and prepares for the coming day.

Even if you sleep a full eight hours, poor sleep quality from artificial light is detrimental to your health and performance. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified this form of sleep disruption as a “probable carcinogen to humans”[*].

In athletes, poor sleep leads to unwanted weight gain, reduces speed, endurance, attention, and memory, and increases the risk of illness and injury[*]. A study of 28 healthy males found that reduced sleep quality reduced maximum heart rate, VO2max, and power output during physical activity regardless of physical fitness[*].

#3: Long-Term Effects of Disrupted Sleep

According to a 2012 estimate, at least 70 million adults in the United States regularly get less than six hours of sleep per night, which is less than previous decades[*]. Inadequate sleep is comparable to a sedentary lifestyle when it comes to causing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes[*].

Sleep deprivation causes inflammation, raises oxidative stress, and puts your body in a fight-or-flight state[*][*][*]. Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to premature death due to an elevated risk of heart disease, dementia, high blood pressure, arrhythmias, diabetes, obesity, impaired immune function and autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis[*][*][*][*].

A review that included over a million study participants found that short sleep duration increases the risk of death by 12% over time[*].

The effects of sleep deprivation get worse over time. Sleep deprivation reduces the function of your SCN (central circadian clock) by 40%, which weakens your natural body rhythms and affects digestion, wound repair, your immune system, and hormone production[*].

Chronic sleep deprivation has negative consequences on cognitive performance, brain development, brain size, bone health, and pregnancy[*][*][*][*].

Sleep quantity and quality are as important as diet and exercise if you want to live a long, healthy life. By getting enough sleep and ensuring your sleep quality is high, you can perform better at work, improve your interpersonal relationships, and avoid the downsides of chronic sleep deprivation.

Health Benefits of Blue-Blocking Glasses

The good news is that more and more people are waking up to the harmful effects of artificial light at night. As a result, the popularity of blue-blocking glasses is on the rise.

Studies show that wearing high-quality blue blockers at night allows you to get to bed earlier, sleep more deeply, and awake refreshed[*][*][*].

As opposed to early blue blockers, which looked like welding goggles or 1980s sci-fi movie props, consumers now have access to stylish, comfortable blue blockers that preserve visual acuity while blocking sleep-disrupting short-wavelength blue and green light.

Mito Shades by MitoHQ have lightweight frames and high-impact, pigment-blended lenses that block 100% of blue and green light to improve your sleep and preserve your natural body rhythms. They also prevent eye strain and retinal damage associated with using digital devices.

If you wear Mito Shades at night to improve your sleep you’re less likely to suffer from insulin resistance, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases[*][*][*][*].

Blue Blocking Glasses – Mito Shades

Image credits: Illustration of the human brain showing the Cerebral Cortex, the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus, the Optic Chiasm, the Hypothalamus and the Pineal Gland by 黄雨伞  CC BY-SA 3.0. Light pollution, US focus, flat by Falchi et al., Science Advances, including Dan Duriscoe/NPS; Bob Meadows/NPS; Jakob Grothe/NPS contractor, and Matthew Price/CIRES and CU-Boulder CC BY 2.0  Flickr.

Why are Athletes, Celebrities, and Biohackers Wearing Blue-Blocking Glasses?

You may have noticed athletes and other celebrities wearing amber-tinted lenses during awards ceremonies or a night out on the town.

While the dark-orange glasses can look stylish, the reason more and more people are wearing them has little to do with appearance.

So what are their real motivations?

In this article, you’ll learn the science behind blue blockers, how they can enhance mental and physical performance, long-term health benefits of blue-blocking glasses, and why this trend is probably here to stay.

Who’s Been Spotted Wearing Blue-Blocking Glasses?

Over the past couple of years, a laundry list of celebrities and athletes has shown up wearing yellow, orange, or amber-tinted glasses.

Aside from looking stylish, they cite reasons like reduced eye strain, better energy levels, and improved sleep even when working at night under bright lights.

Here are some examples:

Brad Pitt wearing blue light blocking glasses

Brad Pitt demonstrates that not only are blue blockers a wise choice to preserve your health and vision, they’re also suitable for black tie events.

Bono wearing blue light blocking glasses

Bono wears amber-tinted lenses that block blue light because he has glaucoma. As you’ll learn in the next section, blue-blocking glasses can help prevent glaucoma and other vision problems.

Delilah Belle Hamlin wearing blue-blocking glasses

Delilah Belle Hamlin is shown here wearing yellow aviators during a night out. Perhaps she’s wearing them for fashion purposes, but they’re an excellent choice for reducing eye strain in artificial light, whether or not paparazzi pursue you.

Katy Perry wearing dark orange glasses

Katy Perry performs in dark orange glasses that effectively reduce eye strain and promote healthy sleep rhythms.

PJ Tucker wearing dark amber lenses

PJ Tucker (right)  at the 2018 NBA Awards wearing dark amber lenses. More athletes are catching on to the fact that preserving your natural body rhythms can enhance recovery and improve your physical performance.

Setting aside fashion trends, the recent blue-blocking glasses craze started with biohackers who realized that blocking high-energy blue and green light wavelengths has many health benefits. Biohackers are a sometimes-eccentric group of people who dedicate themselves to pursuing the bleeding edge of health, wellness, and mental and physical performance.

Read on to learn how real science supports this trend, and why it’s spreading to people who don’t consider themselves biohackers.

What’s the Science Behind the Glasses?

Scientific studies show that wearing high-quality blue blockers can allow you to get to bed earlier, achieve deeper sleep, and wake up feeling refreshed and energized[*][*][*].

The reason blue-blocking glasses are effective is due to a phenomenon known as “blue light toxicity.”

Blue light occurs in natural light, but it’s also emitted by modern energy-efficient and digital devices like computers, tablets, and mobile phones. Compared to sunlight, artificial light sources have more blue light and lower amounts of other visible frequencies.

Because of the increase of artificial blue light sources like smart phones, tablets, and other screens, people are exposed to more blue and green light than ever before in history. That’s the main reason blue-blocking glasses are an essential tool to stay healthy and perform optimally.

Light plays a crucial role in regulating your biology. Your body responds distinctly to different portions of the light spectrum. While natural sunlight is incredibly beneficial to your health–for vitamin D production, alertness, and brain function–artificial light is responsible for a rise in insomnia, fatigue, obesity, and chronic disease[*][*][*][*][*].

Excessive exposure to artificial light sources at night damages your mitochondria and allows mutations to occur in your DNA[*][*]. During the daytime, artificial light causes symptoms like eye soreness, eye strain, headache, rapid skin aging, depression, and other mood issues[*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*][*].

Artificial blue light is proven to cause “social jet-lag”–poor sleep and constant daytime fatigue[*].

Mito Shades by MitoHQ feature lightweight frames and high-impact, pigment-blended lenses that block 100% of blue and green light. They’re the best blue blockers on the market.

Wearing high-quality blue-blocking glasses like Mito Shades improves your sleep and preserves your natural body rhythms. They also prevent eye strain and retinal damage associated with using digital devices.

Can Blue Blockers Enhance Performance?

Blue blockers can enhance mental and physical performance for athletes, students, and people who work stressful jobs. They preserve your health by allowing you to fall asleep faster, have a deeper sleep, and wake up feeling energized.

A 2012 study found that at least 70 million adults in the United States get less than six hours of sleep per night, which is less than previous decades[*]. Inadequate sleep is comparable to physical inactivity when it comes to causing health problems like type 2 diabetes[*].

If you want to perform optimally, sleep is your best friend. Sleep deprivation causes inflammation in your body, increases cellular stress, and puts you in a fight-or-flight state[*][*][*].

Studies show that artificial light at night lowers sleep quality, resulting in depression and other mood disorders[*][*]. If you’re depressed or out of sorts, it’s difficult to reach your full potential.

According to a large meta-analysis, poor-quality sleep also decreases brain function, attention span, and long-term memory[*].

Particularly for physically active people and athletes, sleep is a time of rest and repair. In athletes, poor sleep quality causes unwanted weight gain, decreases speed, endurance, attention, and memory, and raises the risk of illness and injury[*].

A study of 28 healthy men found that reduced sleep quality reduced maximum heart rate, VO2max, and power output during physical activity regardless of physical fitness levels[*].

That’s why blue blockers are a must for boosting your physical and mental performance if you live or work around artificial lighting conditions.

What to Expect When You Wear Blue Blockers

In contrast to the first blue-blocking glasses favored by biohackers, which resembled welding goggles or 1980s science fiction movie props, consumers now have access to stylish, comfortable blue blockers that block sleep-disrupting short-wavelength blue and green light and preserve visual acuity.

The first thing you’ll notice if you try blue blockers for yourself is reduced eye strain, fewer headaches, and a calmer mood, especially at night.

It usually takes a few days to a week of consistently wearing blue-blocker glasses after dark for your body to adjust, at which point your sleep will improve dramatically.

As a result of better sleep, most people immediately notice enhanced mental sharpness, higher daytime energy levels, and increases in motivation and performance.

Long-Term Health Benefits of Blocking Blue and Green Light

Because of the ever-growing number of human-made artificial light sources, people are exposed to more blue and green light than ever before in history.

That’s why the frequency of chronic diseases associated with sleep issues and mitochondrial dysfunction is also on the rise.

In contemporary settings, addressing and preventing blue light toxicity is vital if you want to remain healthy.

Artificial blue light is toxic to your eyes, even at low intensities[*]. Blue light exposure can injure cells in your retina, destroy your mitochondria (the “powerhouses” of your cells), alter the function of your circadian clock, and damage your pineal gland, which is responsible for releasing melatonin at night[*][*][*][*].

Over time, chronic blue light exposure can thin out your retina and impair your vision, cause DNA damage, and reduce the function of cells in your eyes that respond to light and control your natural body rhythms[*][*]. Which means you’re more likely to suffer from dry eyes, cataracts, macular degeneration, poor sleep, and heightened stress levels[*][*][*][*][*][*][*].

Chronic sleep deprivation caused by blue light toxicity is also linked to elevated risk of heart disease, dementia, high blood pressure, arrhythmias, diabetes, obesity, impaired immune function and autoimmune diseases[*][*][*][*].

This is the reason why athletes and celebrities are flocking to blue-blocking glasses. If you wear high-quality blue-blocking glasses at night, you can look forward to improved well-being and a reduced risk of diseases like high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and vision loss.

Unlike most blue blockers on the market, which don’t fully block harmful light, Mito Shades by MitoHQ effectively block blue and green light in the harmful 430-550 nanometer spectrum while still allowing your eyes to work properly.