If you spend late nights on your computer, you can probably feel overwhelmed by your bright screen blasting light at your face. The fact is that being exposed to bright, ‘blue’ light before bed can seriously affect the quality of your sleep. Basically, it messes with your body clock and suppresses melatonin in your body, a hormone that regulates your circadian rhythm, or sleep pattern. There are numerous articles on the web about this, but here’s one from WebMD.
To counter these effects, a couple of developers have provided a popular app for a number of years now – f.lux. f.lux is a free app that sits in your menu bar. All you need to do is set your location and what type of lights you have, then when the sun sets it changes the color temperature of your screen accordingly, to make it easier on your eyes.
Since the app changes the light color emitting from your screen, it can appear more yellow or pink. I’ll admit that this does take some getting used to. We are naturally used to staring at a screen with blue light, so the change will be significant at first. I installed it for the first time a few months ago and couldn’t handle it, so it was uninstalled the same day. But after a few late nights at the computer I gave it another try, and I’ve since stuck with it. I urge you to at least try it for a full week, as you’re eyes and body will thank you for it.
If the default settings don’t suit you, you can also manually change what color temperature you want your screen to be after sun down. The app has a sliding scale in Kelvin units. Basically, Kelvin is a unit of measurement describing the color appearance of light. Lower values are associated with ’warm’, yellow light like candles and incandescent light bulbs, whilst higher values are white and appear ’cold’. The scale ranges from 6500K for daylight, to 2300K for candle light.
If you frequently spend late nights at your computer I suggest you take a look at Flux. I really hope you give it a try, it’s free, so you won’t be out of pocket. And hopefully you may even notice an improvement with your sleep at night. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.