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F.lux will save your life

f.lux screens

The f.lux version (on the left) of your phone looks warmer and easier on the eyes by night, while by day it’s back to normal. Photo courtesy

Or at least, it’ll improve the quality of your sleep, which will in turn make you happier and more productive, which is basically the same thing as saving your life.

They say (and if you clicked on the links above or have been paying attention to this topic recently you know already) that spending time in front of a screen at night before bed is a surefire way to mess up the quality of your night’s rest. And if you’re anything like me, and have trouble fitting in 7 – 8 hours a night, Every. Second. Counts.

Well it turns out that a large part of what messes with your brain waves is the spectrum of the artificial light emanating from your iPad, or laptop, or smartphone. The light coming out of our screens is designed to look like the sun, which is fine during the day, but really confuses the hell out of our animal brains at night. By just looking at something a bit less blue, we can reduce the stimulating effect of the lights, thus helping to slow our brains down in preparation for a quality night’s rest.

Here’s where f.lux comes in. You tell it where you live, and it automatically adjusts the color temperature of your screen to match the time of day. At 9:30 am, it’s a blue skies and business as usual. But after sunset, the hue slides over towards a warmer tone. The first time this happened on my screen, I could actually feel the muscles of my eyes relax. It was insane. In a instant-gratification-I-totally-did-the-right-thing-yay-me kind of way.

I do not like telling apps anything about me. I erase cookies form my computer. I do not partake in any autofill options. I don’t even let my own browser remember my passwords. But I happily hand over my geodata to f.lux because it’s that good. If you have any questions, they serve up all sorts of links to research on sleep and screens to help prove their point.

You can use the default settings, or adjust the colors to fit more seamlessly into your own surroundings. And if the change feels too drastic (I like the sudden drop and subsequent eye muscle relaxation, but that’s just me) you can also fiddle with the speed of the change.

And did I mention, it’s free? So there is absolutely no reason why you don’t download this right away and begin taking better care of yourself. Because lets face it, there is little chance of us completely shutting off our screens for hours before we go to bed. But we can tweak the experience a bit and sleep better as a result.

Ain’t nothing wrong with that.

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