If you’re like most people, you’re probably on your phone or computer right before you go to bed at night. Did you know that playing with our devices before bed could actually be detracting from our snoozing? We already know that room lighting can affect your mood, so it makes sense that your gadgets’ screens can affect your sleep, too. And because I know most of us just can’t shake our addiction to our digi-toys before bed (what if I miss an important update on Facebook?!), I’m happy to share that there is finally a way to alleviate the harmful effects of it: F.lux.
F.lux is a computer and smartphone app that makes your screen’s color and brightness match the time of day — warm at night and sunlight during the day. It works by using the built-in clock on your device to automatically adjust the screen’s color temperature throughout the day; for example, tuning down the blue light at night, which has shown to improve natural body rhythms and sleep patterns. In addition to improving your sleep, it significantly reduces eye strain at night as well. Less wrinkles and blindness for all of us!
Very important: this app is not yet available in the App Store (though there is a way to get it if you have a jailbroken phone); however, it IS available for free on Macs and PCs. We are crossing fingers that we see it available in mobile app stores soon.
You can use the suggested default lighting settings, or you can customize the settings with your own preferences. If you find the switch from day to night too drastic, you can change it so that the transition is more gradual.
It’s also handy in that it lets you know when sunset is coming, which is measured using your location. Pretty sweet, huh? I’ve been using it for a little over a week now and it certainly has been easier on my eyes. It’s a one-time install and then you can forget about it. Oh, and it’s free too! So give it a shot. Pro tip: try it in combination with an activity tracker to really quantify how much better you’re sleeping. It worked for me, maybe it will work for you, too!