Insomnia? Probably your computer screen’s fault

February 17, 2011 § 3 Comments

You’ve been in front of your computer until the wee hours. When you do get to bed, exhausted, you find yourself unable to sleep. I know I can relate to this, especially since lately I keep blogging at night. This kind of insomnia might be due to the blue light emitted by computer screens (and all other screens: laptops, iPads, TV sets, etc). The human organism understands blue light as daylight, which disrupts the usual hormonal mechanisms that regulate our sleep.

According to the Washington Post “humans evolved to respond to darkness by producing melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep cycle. But our light-sensitive pineal gland near the center of the brain responds to blue light by suppressing melatonin, causing us to wake up. When we see too much blue light in the late evening, it delays or disrupts the melatonin rush”.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that there is a remedy.

f.lux is a free, downloadable software solution (for Windows, OS X and Linux), that makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. So basically your computer screen mimics natural light.f.luxI ‘ve just installed it, and the light is indeed warmer. Whether I’ll sleep as a baby tonight, I’ll let you know.

boingboing via book of joe via Washington Post

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