I get a lot of migraines, I’m talking a couple of times of month and they usually last 3-5 days. One of the things I put it down too is the amount of time I spend on the computer which is necessary for college, work and blogging. I came across f.lux one day back in November and decided to give it a try. I’ve noticed a difference in my sleep habits and migraines not being as frequent lately but it wasn’t until this week that I realised maybe f.lux was the reason for this.
What Is flux?
f.lux adjusts your device’s colour according to the devices location, the room’s lighting and the time of day to resemble natural light. It basically removes the blue glow and replaces it with a warm orange overtone that alters slightly throughout the day reacting to your environment. You can customise the setting’s yourself also to increase or decrease the amount of colour and there’s an option to “disable for an hour” which can be handy if you’re working on certain projects. By masking the blue light, f.lux minimizes it’s negative effects to help you sleep. It also makes the device easier to look at since it’s no longer a bright blue/white glow. It’s free to download from http://justgetflux.com and is available for Windows, OSX, Linux and for jailbroken iOS devices.
Why Use F.lux?
Did you know that the blue glow from your electronic device causes the same reaction in your body as drinking caffeine? Blue lighting regulates the secretion of melatonin in our bodies, melatonin is the sleep hormone. During the day we are exposed to natural blue light, this limits the production of melatonin and keeps us alert and awake. At night surrounded by orange light (such as candles, fires and indoor lighting) our melatonin production ramps up and we get sleepy.
Phones, tvs, laptops and other devices use artificial blue light to mimic the daylight. At night, this blue light is actually keeping us awake! Our eyes are extremely sensitive to it and it’s been found to heighten attention and increase reaction times which isn’t really good right before bed. F.lux and similar programs neutralise this blue light, giving an orange glow instead which helps the production of melatonin.
Last week I tweeted that my sleeping habits were getting pretty crazy again. I’d not been going to sleep until after 5am and on Tuesday I got my first migraine in quite a long time. It lasted 3 days and during that time I got less than 6 hours sleep altogether. I realised on Thursday evening that on the 14th of January I had turned off f.lux while doing a college project and forgot to turn it back on so since then I’ve been staring at blue light every night until about 5am! I obviously can’t be 100% sure that the blue light contributed to my migraine this week and that f.lux has decreased the amount of migraines I get since I don’t know exactly what cause them, but I definitely think that it’s helped me! So if you find it hard to sleep at night or suffer from headaches and migraines, I recommend giving it a try. It does take a little getting used to at first but once you’re using it you’ll find it pretty strange to go back.
Alternatives to F.lux
There are quite a few programs popping up now that can be installed to neutralise the blue glow such as Night Filter, Twilight and Easy Eyez for Android.