TEN QUESTIONS WITH DREAMERS
Jordan and Zac Stenmark, 10 faves, have created our new everyday eyewear, Dreamers. On a mission to change our lives, the Stenmark brothers created the DreamTech lenses in collaboration with Dr. Stafford Sheehan (Ph.D Chemistry & Physics, Yale University). This neuroscience-led lens technology revolutionises sleep health, blocking 99.9% of artificial green light and fighting the global health problem related to overexposure to these lights from excessive use of technology. And they look great. We wouldn’t expect anything less. We talked to Jordan and Zac about making the dream come true:
When was the exact moment you had the idea for Dreamers?
Zac: “The exact moment was 6 years ago when I was reading yet another medical journal about the importance of sleep. It talked about the fact that light is one of the major factors that influences the production of the sleep hormone melatonin and it dictates our sleep wake cycle (or circadian rhythm). We were working long hours either on set or on our computer or smartphone late at night and our sleep was being seriously affected. So we went on the long journey of finding a solution as to how to fix our sleep issues. We figured that if sunglasses block over exposure to light during the day maybe we could invent a lens for sleep glasses that blocks overexposure to artificial light at night.”
It’s such a great name - how did you decide on it?
Jordan: “Prior to Covid, we were living in NYC and our father, Damien, also chairman of our business, was back in Sydney. Deciding on the name was a lengthy process involving many phone calls trading ideas between the three of us. Eventually he suggested Dreamers as we always had big plans and big dreams. We feel the name works on a lot of fronts. Good sleep is often associated with good dreams. Sleeping well helps you to get out there, follow your dreams and get the most out of your life. We have always been encouraged to dream big, make a plan and then go after it.”
The science behind the eyewear is fascinating. How did you meet Dr Sheehan? What is the most valuable thing you learned from him?
Zac: “We met Dr Stafford Sheehan through a mutual friend while we were all living in NYC. We went to him with this idea of totally blocking 99.9% of artificial blue and green light at night to allow the body to produce the sleep hormone melatonin. He said “I think we can do this”. So through a large amount of trial and error and a ‘never ever give up’ mentality, we finally cracked it. Importantly, we are really good friends and we trust each other.”
We love the look of them. What was the design process like? What were you inspired by?
Jordan: “The design process for our Dreamers Sleep Glasses involved the ‘Goldilocks principle’. Like Goldilocks, we wanted a shape that was ‘just right’ i.e. not too high fashion but not too basic. They had to be glasses that people all round the world really wanted to wear. They also had to be truly functional and our patent published DreamTech™ lens had to be aesthetically compatible with our frames. They also needed to be durable as some people fall asleep with them on e.g. Zac”.
What changes have you noticed personally since using your eyewear before sleep?
Zac: “We find we can fall sleep faster and we also found a massive increase in the amount of sleep we got. We now get a minimum of eight hours of good sleep and don’t wake up at all during the night. In the morning we wake up feeling energised and fresh. The great thing is that it’s so simple, totally natural and none of that ‘hangover’ feeling that you often get from some sleeping medication. Another aspect of Dreamers we experienced is the sense of calm that you feel within ten minutes of wearing them. In scientific terms this is your body producing the sleep hormone melatonin. You also start to feel sleepy but it's not as though you’re about to fall asleep, its just your body preparing itself for sleep. Because our DreamTech™ SLEEP lens blocks blue/ green light it means you will not see blue and green through the lens. However the human body is an amazing thing and our brain very quickly (15-30mins) adjust to this change in colour perception and you don't notice it.”
What’s your nighttime routine?
Jordan: “Our night routine is quite simple really. We try to have dinner around 6.30/7.00pm, then have some relaxation time when we can. But like most people after dinner, we start looking at our phone, laptop, tablet or TV (or all of them). These devices are such a part of everyday life now so we've made Dreamers Sleep glasses part of our everyday life so we can keep doing the things we want or need to do. We often put on our Dreamers the moment we get home or when the sun goes down. At the very least we put them on for a minimum of 30 minutes before we want to go to sleep”.
What is the most rewarding feedback you’ve heard so far from Dreamers users?
Zac: “They say necessity is the mother of invention. This truly applies in our case given we had trouble with sleep. So it’s been fantastic when people write to us and thank us for creating/inventing Dreamers. Some have said they have not slept properly for 20 years but now they do and how fresh they feel when they wake up. We have had various sports people tell us that because they now sleep so much better thanks to Dreamers they recover better from heavy training or injury. One other truly rewarding testimonial was from a 70 year old gentleman that had just had a stroke. His son bought him a pair of Dreamers and he started using them the day after his stroke whilst in hospital. He had suffered from poor sleep for 40 years and had always woken up during the night. He said from the first night he wore them he slept through the night without sleeping pills. He is still sleeping soundly and raves about how Dreamers have changed his life.”
That’s amazing. What’s been the best moment on the journey from idea to release?
Jordan: “Apart from the incredible feedback from customers, the day we finally perfected the SLEEP lens was actually quite emotional. We had been so close so many times but not quite got there, so when we finally did - sorry I have to say this - but our dream came true.”
Do you hope to expand the range? What’s next?
Zac: “We are in the process of expanding the range and in fact you can pre order our Kids Dreamers glasses now. The Dreamers community have told us they are keen to buy them for their pre-teen kids given they also spend so much time on screens. We will shortly offer our Dreamers Readers range as well as prescription. The other big focus for us is expanding the business into other authentic sleep related products - we know how important sleep is for our health and we want to continue to help people get their best night sleep in a simple, natural and stylish way.”
Dreamers theme song ?
Imagine by John Lennon: “You may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one, I hope someday you’ll join us…”