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A review of f.lux after 1 year of use – improved sleep, reduced headaches, more energy
What is f.lux?
For those of you who don’t know, f.lux is a free computer program developed for the usage of people who spend a long time on their computer and think that the screen is often too bright. The theory is that by changing the color of the screen, and therefore the warmness, it will reduce tension in your head and body, reduce migraines and headaches, and ultimately help you sleep better. Does this sound a little too good to be true to you?
Well, if it does then get used to it, because in my opinion f.lux is one of the greatest programs ever developed – and one of the best things about it is that yes, it’s 100% free (amazingly!).
So why do I need it?
If you are asking yourself how to help a migraine, or you often find yourself sitting up until 2/3A.M. in the morning reading articles on your computer or watching videos, and are always tired the next day, then the problem might actually be your computer. At least, this was how it was in my experience.
Do you use f.lux?
Before I started using f.lux, I would often sit up for hours on end on my computer. Even if it came to 2A.M. in the morning, I still wouldn’t feel like I could fall asleep and would just read on and on. Eventually this started carrying over into time that I wasn’t spending on the laptop, and I started developing a constant eye-twitch, sharp stabbing pains in my head, and constant migraine headaches. Does this sound familiar?
However, I didn’t once link it to my computer screen. For me a computer screen had always been the same, bright color. I knew you could turn the brightness up and down, but this often simply made text harder to reader.
And then I discovered f.lux.
The best way to describe it? From the makers themselves.
f.lux makes your computer screen look like the room you're in, all the time. When the sun sets, it makes your computer look like your indoor lights. In the morning, it makes things look like sunlight again.
Tell f.lux what kind of lighting you have, and where you live. Then forget about it. f.lux will do the rest, automatically.
Sound simple enough? You simply install the program, set your time zone, and leave it alone.
Having trouble sleeping? f.lux will almost definitely help. Here’s their own research, so give it a read if you aren’t convinced: http://justgetflux.com/research.html
The benefits of using f.lux
The program aims to reduce the bright blue light of a normal computer screen and turn it into a more eye-friendly, warm orange color. The orange color will mess with your circadian rhythm less, meaning you’ll be able to fall asleep at more natural hours and quicker too, as it will allow your brain to unwind rather than be constantly stimulated by the bright blue light (which coincidently is similar to television sets, which are modelled on the light of the sun – no wonder you can’t fall asleep until you’re exhausted!).
And, although f.lux themselves don’t state it to do this, I’ve found it helps with many more aspects of your life than simply sleeping, and I can’t ever imagine not using it again.
As I’ve stated above, I used to suffer from terrible headaches, eye-twitches and simply had major problems with my sleep. Often falling asleep at 3A.M., I’d wake up at 12 or 1P.M. and feel absolutely dreadful.
Now, a year on, I wake up at 7A.M. bright and ready to work. I also fall asleep quicker, am more of a calm and motivated person, and very rarely get a twitching eye. I also have much less headaches.
Can all of this be attributed to this simple free program I found randomly one day? I don’t know. All I know is that when I look at a computer that doesn’t use the program, especially at night, I’m amazed that everyone doesn’t use it. After using f.lux for so long, looking at a laptop on which it’s not installed is incredibly painful to the eyes, and I couldn’t look at it for longer than 10 minutes without feeling down. To think that so many people have their screens like this constantly, day and night, makes me wonder how many people are suffering from the same symptoms I was.
Why it works
A common theory about why f.lux works so well and helps us have better, more restful sleep, is because it mimics what our ancestors would likely have done – worked all day in the sun, and then come home and read/played games/socialized by candlelight at night. As such, we as a human race would have been used to falling asleep with dim, warm orange colors, instead of cold blue ones. It may seem a little far-fetched, but if you think about it, it does make sense!
Give it a try. The program is free, safe, and you simply forget about it when it’s set up. Give it a try for 7 or 30 days, and note how you feel before and after. I can almost guarantee you’ll be sleeping better, will have less headaches, and will be able to get more productive things done on your computer at any time of the day.
You can download f.lux completely free of charge here.