Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A better night's sleep

Block the blue for a better night's sleep.
The blue-white glow of your computer monitor or smartphone could be ruining your sleep.
Here's the fix: Install f.lux from justgetflux.com on your computer. Set it (probably halogen or tungsten) and forget it.
Here's why this helps:
Colour temperature: Todays computer monitors and smartphone screens have a lot of blue.
Melatonin: Blue light inhibits melatonin production. Melatonin helps you sleep.
Circadian Rhythms: Our bodies use blue light as a day/night timekeeper, so when we blast our eyeballs with bright 'day' signals right before we want to sleep we scramble our internal clocks.
f.lux knows when the sun rises and sets and will adjust your monitor automatically when the sun goes down* and put it back to daylight (or what you set as ambient) when the sun comes up* again.
It's free, and you can have it up and running in about three minutes.
If you don't want to install software, there's the low-tech route. That's right: sunglasses at night. Get some orange lenses. They filter out blue light.
Wear them for an hour or two right before bed and you won't scramble your internal clock. You'll make the melatonin you need to sleep on schedule.
The blue electronic glow works against you, but now that you understand what's going on you can sleep better. All it takes is a little light control, and maybe sunglasses at night.

*Yes, it's actually the Earth rotating. It's good to understand your place in the universe.

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