Adjust your Color Temperature and Sleep Better with F.lux
If you’re like me, you probably procrastinate a lot. And if you procrastinate a lot, inevitably that means you’re going to staying up late writing a paper or finishing a problem set. Even when I wasn’t doing schoolwork at night, I still found myself browsing the web and watching videos – just staring at a screen late at night regardless of the circumstance. The more I did this, the more difficult I found it to fall asleep. I would just lie in bed for what seemed like an eternity before finally falling asleep. At first, I didn’t really believe there was a correlation between viewing my screen(s) and having difficulty falling asleep. Then I found F.lux, tried it out, and now I’m a believer.
F.lux’s developer page cites several studies that show how the light emitted by screens under normal circumstances is 6500K – essentially sunlight. The way our bodies/eyes work, if we’re blasted by the equivalent of sunlight, then of course it’s going to be difficult to easily fall asleep. To help you sleep better, F.lux adjust your computer’s white balance automatically when the sun sets in your area to a warmer color temperature (3400K by default but you can set it to whatever you’re comfortable with). At first, I found the yellowish Halogen setting at night kind of weird, but it only took a few days to get used to it.
F.lux is free and available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and iOS. Download your version here! In addition to its basic functionality of changing the color temperature to match the time of day, you can also 1) choose a fast or slow transition at sunrise/sunset and 2) disable F.lux for an hour. While F.lux is obviously not useful if you need to be doing color-sensitive work (IE Photoshop), if you’re just word processing or browsing the web and have trouble sleeping, you owe it to yourself to at least give it a shot.
What do you think of F.lux? Let us know in the comments!