Health

A techie lullabye: F.lux releases major update to lull screen addicts to sleep

Image Credit: F.lux

If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, infuriatingly unable to fall asleep and stuck in the paralyzing limbo of insomnia, your computer screen could be to blame.

F.lux released a new version of its free software today that helps solve this problem, and hackers everywhere are rejoicing.

“We know that night-time exposure to blue light keeps people up late,” the company said on its site. “We believe that f.lux adjusts colors in a way that greatly reduces the stimulating effects of blue light at night.”

F.lux changes the color of your computer screen to adapt to the time of day. It slowly filters out the blue light that emanates from monitors, giving them a warmer, redder tint, which makes it easier to fall asleep at night.

Based on the sunlight in their house and sleeping patterns, users can choose what color temperature to keep the monitors throughout the day and night.

Blue light signals to the brain that it is daytime by inhibiting the creation of melatonin. Exposing your brain to this light at night can significantly impact your sleeping patterns, keeping you up too late and wreaking havoc on sleep cycles. Studies have also linked blue light to depression, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular problems.  

F.lux’s new features include turning the warmth down to 2700/1200K. There is also a “movie mode” that warms up your display while preserving shadow detail, skin tones, and sky colors, and a “darkroom” mode which inverts colors and gets red. You can now disable F.lux until morning when you are in late-night “crunch mode” and connect it to Philips Hue to “flux your house.”

Discussions around the Internet reveal people who say F.lux makes it easier to tear themselves away from the computer at night and that their sleeping habits have improved.

F.lux is currently seeking a patent, although there are multiple competitors out there with comparable technology including Redshift, G.lux, Nocturne, Twilight, and others.

Spending hours upon hours every day sitting in front of our computer screens isn’t good for us. “Personal posture trainer” startup LumoBack recently released the results of a study today that examined “Silicon Valley Syndrome,” the physical and mental health symptoms that arise from spending too much time sitting in front of a computer screen.

Eye strain is the most common ailment, followed by back back pain, neck pain, headaches, wrist pain, carpal tunnel, and insomnia.

The reality is that so much of our lives happens through digital devices. While we can make an effort to scale back, using technology to solve technology-induced problems is also a smart strategy.

The new F.lux also includes a map to help you find your location and “hotkeys” to quickly disable/enable the software. It also includes more big fixes.

F.lux is available on all major operating systems, including iOS devices. Android is said to be in the works .


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