As most of us suffering from one or the other emotional condition – I reject the term “mental” disease – can attest to, impaired sleep is often a crucial aspect of our condition and not exactly helping things. To me, finding enough healthy sleep has become almost the number one priority right after breathing and other basic body functions… So I was immediately on high alert (ooops, lame pun, sorry… 🙂 ) when coming across an article advertising this nifty little piece of software today called f.lux, which filters most of the blue light from your computer’s screen according to daytime, thus simulating the natural lighting conditions and being less offensive to your brain’s melatonin production. Apparently, latest research yields strong evidence for impaired sleep in people using tablets, smartphones and computers screens later at night or right before falling asleep (and I take it us “bloggerites” make no exception there). More specifically: The blue light emitted from many of nowaday’s commodity devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops is responsible for altering the body’s circadian clock, which regulates sleep and waking time patterns. Study results indicate that it is particularly the high percentage of blue light coming from those screens that has the body “think” it was looking into the sun at mid day. In using such a device in the hours before falling asleep – which is most likely true for a lot of people working from home or needing to check their inbox one last time before going to bed – we literally seem to “program” our bodies into staying alert at a time, when the body is meant to wind down and get ready for sleep. (I know, I’m guilty as charged in that regard….). F.lux – I love the clever naming, b.t.w.! – is a little piece of software – temporarily, non-destructively – manipulating the color profile of your computer screen in such a way that most of the blue light is filtered away according to daytime and geo location.
I’ve become aware of this software and the science behind it today and immediately headed over to test drive it. Even upon first use I think I can say that I find the mellow warm light when working on the computer later at night a lot less aggressive and offensive to the eyes than the computer display’s regular blend of colors (unless it’s daytime, of course). I switched off F.lux for a moment to see the difference and it’s really an almost “tangible” one. Anyway, if you’re a person aware of your health and caring about it, you might want to try this thing (free of charge, at least for now). Follow the link below to download it for your computer.