Helping my sleep pattern with F.lux

It’s now late October, the clocks have gone back an hour to GMT. In Scotland the nights are fair drawin’ in—it is getting dark earlier. All the more important then to make sure I look after my sleep hygiene.

For the last 14 years I have been working mostly sitting in front of a PC. I’m also a bit of a geek so I find myself sitting in front of a PC even when I’m not being paid to do so.

For years I found it hard to get to sleep at night. It turns out that staring at computer monitor for hours is not great for your sleep. The blue light emitted by a screen affects our attention, reaction times and mood (Source) and, crucially, our sleep.

In 2009, I discovered an application called F.lux that detects where you are in the world and automatically adjusts the screen colour temperature to gradually remove the blue as the sun is setting.

I’ve been using it ever since (and similar applications on my mobile devices) and it has done wonders for my sleep—before, I used to lie away for an hour or so, now I drop off in a couple of minutes (which actually may be a sign that I am heavily sleep deprived but we’ll ignore that for now).

A few years ago, I introduced it to members of my team and I remember enjoying looking around the office as the sun was beginning to set and watching everyone’s monitors slowly transition from cold, blue screens to warm, yellowy-orange ones.

It took me a few attempts of trying F.lux to get used to the change but I am so glad that I persevered, I really wouldn’t want to work without it now.

F.lux is free for personal use and available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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