Do you ever feel tired after a long day at the office? Feeling tired after work certainly isn’t unusual, but the tiredness you feel after spending a day in front of your PC may be due to something other than hard work.
Artificial lighting has long been linked to decreased energy levels, serious sleep and alertness disorders such as insomnia and poor productivity. When people discover these negative effects, they react rationally: by switching off fluorescent lighting.
Beyond fluorescent office lighting, it appears that there could be another reason for the rapid decline in energy many office workers feel in the afternoon and evening – the artificial light that they’re exposed to because of their PCs, phones and tablets.
The incredible popularity of tablets – which use the same LCD displays as many of today’s notebooks and desktop PCs – has many experts concerned about the sleep habits and overall health of today’s digital workforce.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at F.lux – an application for your PC that allows you to coordinate your display’s brightness level and color with the sun to stop it from interfering with your sleep patterns and health.
What is f.lux?
Have you ever gotten sore eyes from using your computer in a dark room? The large gap in brightness between your computer’s display and your surroundings can lead to more than just eye strain – it can also cause insomnia.
Working in the late afternoon and evening keeps your brain alert. It also forces your body to change the neurological signals it sends, telling your brain to keep you fixed in ‘awake’ mode long after it would naturally do so.
This is why many people sleep better on the weekend than they do in the week. As they spend so much less time in front of their computer monitor or on their phone, their natural sleep and wake cycle isn’t so disrupted.
F.lux is a simple but hugely powerful application that prevents your LCD display from keeping you awake at night. It does this by automatically syncing your LCD screen’s brightness and color scheme to match the one occurring around you.
Early in the day, your screen is bright and clear, just like your surroundings. Due to the lack of contrast between your screen and your environment, you’re more able to focus and remain productive without straining your eyes.
Later in the day, as the sun starts to set and your environment loses natural light, F.lux automatically adjusts your computer’s display to use a warmer color scheme and a lower brightness setting. It mirrors the sunset, in color terms, on your PC.
The application itself is subtle, but its effects are remarkable. From decreased eye strain to a significant reduction in sleep difficulties and insomnia, f.lux has a wide range of benefits and a massively supportive and thankful userbase.
Coordinate your computer and environment today
Sunlight increases and decreases throughout the day, helping us develop a strong circadian rhythm that contributes to healthy sleep and alertness. Why should our computer screen – something we use for hours at a time – be any different?
F.lux is available for Mac, PC and Linux. An iPhone/iPad version is also available, although it requires some adjustments to your phone in order to function. If you struggle with insomnia due to artificial light exposure, be sure to give f.lux a try.