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February 16, 2011

BehindTheMedspeak: Is your insomnia the result of your computer screen?


In yesterday's Washington Post Health section Greg Linch reported on how the light from a computer or iPad screen may potentially disrupt the brain's melatonin production and cause insomnia.

He then described an interesting desktop application called f.lux, which "adjusts a computer screen's color throughout the day. During daylight hours, the screen's undertone is the familiar blue. As sundown approaches, it begins transitioning to a warm shade of red-orange. In the morning, it's cool blue again."

The software application, which launched in February 2009, works with Windows, Mac and Linux.


Free, the way we like it.

February 16, 2011 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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At the very least, it's more soothing on the eyes than harsh white.

Posted by: Ali | Feb 17, 2011 10:20:41 PM

Wow, this is neat. I wonder how well it works. I'm going to share this with my patients who are suffering from insomnia and see if it makes a difference for them.

Posted by: Jon-Erik Lido | Feb 17, 2011 11:01:31 AM

"You did notice the price this thing is being sold at I presume?"

A lot of snake oil salesmen give it away for free until they become known as an expert or guru, and then use this as a way to scam the unknowing.

And a lot of people put out crap just to see their name in print...

Posted by: clifyt | Feb 16, 2011 8:07:03 PM

"These people are selling snake oil and anyone that tells you ANYTHING different is an idiot."

You did notice the price this thing is being sold at I presume?

Posted by: Neej | Feb 16, 2011 6:17:38 PM

More likely any insomnia is caused by doing something on your computer just before bedtime that causes one to be over stressed, over excited or hyped up. Such as playing a high action, high concentration video game.

Posted by: Click Click | Feb 16, 2011 5:15:35 PM

Shucks, just when I'm starting to like insomnia ;-)

Posted by: Joe Peach | Feb 16, 2011 4:20:48 PM

This is great, except for all those who work with color-calibrated monitors.

Who ever thought of this obviously developed it with no grasp of computer use beyond their own. Time to leave Mom's basement, kids, and explore the wide world. It's actually kinda fun out here.

Posted by: Sparky | Feb 16, 2011 1:37:01 PM

Bullsh*t. There isn't enough waveforms coming out to affect biology. Maybe if you could get a monitor tan...but you can't.

Insomnia...or even seasonal affective disorder...get yourself to a tanning bed...it will reregulate you. Even a facial tanner has the juice to reset your clock. A monitor? These people are selling snake oil and anyone that tells you ANYTHING different is an idiot.

Then again, it's 1PM and I need to get to my accupuncture appointment for my injured back...I hope they work better than the reiki chiropractor that refuses to actually touch anyone.

Posted by: clifyt | Feb 16, 2011 1:14:08 PM

Very interesting and theoretically sound treatment fro people who find it hard to get to sleep at night. However, for people who get to sleep okay but wake up early and can't get back to sleep this could actually make their condition worse by further advancing their sleep phase!

Posted by: Alex | Feb 16, 2011 1:00:50 PM

Well no need to calibrate your monitor then!

Posted by: VJ Vector | Feb 16, 2011 12:53:18 PM

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