Does this image look familiar to you? Late nights staring at the cold, blue light from your computer screen, sending out one last email before you call it a day.... The problem is, it's 11pm. You're calling it a day but it's really been your day and your night. Sadly, sometimes those late night work tasks are a necessary evil to get you started off on the right foot for the day ahead.
What doesn't get you started on the right foot though, is lack of sleep. Did the adrenaline rush from late-night work keep you up? Probably a definite, and large contributor. But what about the light that your computer gives off?
During the day, the sunlight provides a cool, blue color temperature which helps to keep us awake. At night, the light softens and warms, which helps us to feel sleepy. This is all part of the human circadian 24 hour biological clock, or our circadian rhythm.
From this, it makes sense that when we are using our computers late at night, our rhythms get confused. Our eyes are seeing daylight, thus telling our bodies to wake up! The theory behind this is that staring at your bright blue screen into the wee hours inhibits our melatonin production, the hormone associated with sleep.
My friend Bert recently introduced me to a program called f.lux and I have to say, I'm digging it. While there have been no scientific studies that prove the efficacy of f.lux, my sound sleep after burning the midnight oil doesn't lie.
f.lux automatically adjusts the temperature of your computer screen based on your specific location and the time of day. You will notice that as night falls, your computer will give off a warmer tone vs. the bright blue you are used to. It does take a little getting use to, but after awhile, your eyes adjust. There are several ways to customize your preferences and you can also just turn off the app at any time.
Of course this is not a good idea for anyone doing photo or video editing, or graphic art type of work...but if you are just emailing or doing some research, etc. your sleep cycle will thank you.
If you want to give f.lux a try, you can download it for free by clicking HERE.