Health is synonymous with ‘super’; superfoods, superheroes and supersets. So it makes perfect sense that the next giant leap forward in health innovation comes from Australia’s own supermodel duo, Jordan and Zac Stenmark.
Fresh off the heels of the 2020 launch of their own wellness platform, Stenmark Fit, the genetically blessed twins are now expanding their health empire with the launch of Dreamers, neuroscience-led lens technology and eyewear.
The Stenmark Brothers, who have become household names both in Australia and abroad, have been at the forefront of the international male fashion scene for the past decade. However it’s what they’ve been doing in their ‘spare’ time for the past 5 years that has seen them assemble a team of experts to create the technology behind Dreamers. Drawing on sleep experts and researchers from around the globe, the lads excitedly shared the story being Dreamers with MH on the eve of the launch, and in particular their work with Yale University’s Dr Stafford ‘Staff’ Sheehan.
“While exposure to natural blue-green light from the sun is a promoter for the adrenal glands production of the alertness hormone cortisol, overexposure to artificial blue-green light from extended periods of screen usage suppresses the pineal gland’s natural production of melatonin, disrupting the body’s circadian rhythm and resulting in sleep deprivation and a poorer quality of sleep,” explains Zac. “I think there’s a lot of research on blue light so far, but green light hasn’t been made an enemy because blue light is responsible for 55 per cent of melatonin disruption, where as green light is still responsible for the other 45 per cent.”
After years spent fighting jet lag, the twins became uniquely positioned to hack sleep and understand the intricacies of sleep on overall health. With flights that were quite often longer than the times they were in cities, Jordan explained how it was Zac’s passion for the topic that initially set the wheels in motion.
“Zac’s the older twin, so he’s always the test dummy in life,” jokes Jordan.
It’s clear from their in-depth knowledge and excitement on the topic that Jordan and Zac have done their research, eagerly explaining the intricacies of circadian rhythm and the effects of artificial light exposure on sleep. And their solution is rather genius and thought through, something I’m quickly learning is key to everything these entrepreneurs undertake.
Rather than fight an entire culture built on nighttime device use, the twins actively sought create a solution that involved creating new, healthier habits to support our nocturnal technology use, without sacrificing what the lads call ‘sleep hygiene’.
“We really do need these screens, they’ve become such a vital part of our lives,” says Zac. “But as much as there are benefits, there are the negatives of blue and green light emitted from phones, tablets, TVs and LEDs.”
“It’s the same with seatbelts,” explains Jordan. “To keep people safe, we could stop people from driving, but that’s not going to happen. So instead let’s put in seatbelts to protect people from the harms of driving. You don’t want to stop people doing things in their lives. Phones and screens are so important to communicate and research. We couldn’t have learnt half of what we know about sleep without devices. So rather than change what you’re doing, use the glasses,” urges Jordan.
Worn for a minimum of 30 minutes before bed, Dreamers Sleep lenses have been scientifically engineered to block 99.9 per cent [they want to tell me 100 per cent, but can’t for legal reasons] of noxious blue-green light from devices such as smartphones, tablets, personal computers, LED screens and televisions. [Plus, you know, they’re designed by supermodels so you know they look incredible.]
The twins are much more than the faces of this business. As co-CEOs they’ve surrounded themselves with the best in the business, while playing to their own strengths, and weaknesses, to bring Dreamers to life.
“It’s funny, our personalities really show through in our responsibilities in this business,” laughs Jordan. “Zac might say I’m a little more organised, so I lean more towards logistics and manufacturing and finance and those kind of things. Zac is really good at the marketing and creative across the digital space. Zac would come to me with the design, then I’d deal with the manufacturers. Despite being twins we have very complimentary skills.”
The Stenmarks’ new venture could not have come at a better time. Sleep health is at an all time low in Australia, with a 2019 report commissioned by the Sleep Health Foundation (SHF) identifying at least one chronic sleep symptom affecting 60 per cent of the adult population. It’s suggested by the SHF that these figures could have become significantly worse in light of the recent pandemic.