F.lux Could be the Solution to Sleepless Nights Caused by Reading on a Computer Screen

It9982411_e3c2499f44[1] has long been known that the light emitted from the screen on a tablet or PC can affect a person's sleeping patterns and now there's something we can do about it. I have just come across F.lux. This app has been available for several years now so I am sure that some of my readers have heard of it, but it is new to me.

F.lux is a simple app that runs in the background. It manipulates the screen settings on your device so that they mimic the natural daylight in your area. In short, if you spend evenings (and early hours) sitting in front of a computer screen for any reason, F.lux will help you sleep better, by calibrating your screen’s brightness to the rise and fall of the sun in your location.


This is a pretty cool idea and given the many hours I spend in front of a computer I wish had heard of it years ago. But it's not going to be as useful as some might think. The problem with F.lux is that if it perfectly mimics the sunlight at my location then it's going to turn off my screen at sunset. I'm not sure that will be terribly useful.

Kidding aside, F.lux does adjust to night time by making the light warmer. I'm not sure what that means but I plan to find out tonight.

F.lux is available for Windows, OSX, and Linux. There's no Android version, and while there is an app for  the iPhone and iPad it will only run on jailbroken devices. This app offers the kind of hardware control that Apple usually doesn't want to share - not with developers nor users. And that's a shame because I would like to have this on my iPad.

Have you tried this app? What did you think?


About Nate Hoffelder (11467 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

7 Comments on F.lux Could be the Solution to Sleepless Nights Caused by Reading on a Computer Screen

  1. Bwahahaha! Ha ha. Ha.

    Trouble sleeping after sitting at the computer for too long? Go for a walk. As long as you can make it. Tire out your body, not just your brain, and you’ll sleep like a baby. No, seriously.

    Stop looking for magical solutions to everything. We use way too much technology as it is. And I say that as a technology enthusiast.

  2. I thought I had heard about that app and I thought it was a “eye saver” toning down the whites at night. I just installed it and I see it affects the monitor temperature.

    I don’t buy it as affecting sleep pattern though. The light emitted from monitors is nowhere near sunlight-like enough to affect the circadian rhythm. But give it a try maybe, if you can handle the color shift. I would look for an app that switches website backgrounds from white to another color if you don’t light your room enough in the evening.

    If you really have sleep pattern issue, I’d look at those sunlight lamps or other more proven techniques.

  3. Have used it on my iMac and jailbroken iPad Mini. Great app. You can really tell the difference on your screen when day turns to night. Highly recommended.

  4. It truly works for me. I have used it for some months, and everything went ok. For some months recently I have stopped using it because the text became a little less readable at night and I have to rise the brightness of the monitor. But even this way, I reactivated again some weeks ago and have had better nights with F.lux if I use the computer just before sleep.
    I recommend.

  5. I’ve been using f.lux for about a year in my office now, where I spend 10 to 12 hours a day before a large screen.
    Though it’s a pleasant experience when applications with glaring white backgrounds – like “The Digital Reader” – are ‘mellowed’, I tend to disable the app during autumn and winter evenings.
    It simply spreads a cozy, sleepy atmosphere – and way too early in the darker seasons, when the more brutal standard colour temperature keeps me alert in the later hours.

  6. Maybe it is some kind of placebo effect, but I like f.lux. There are some brightness and contrast adjustments that make an LCD screen more suitable for prolonged reading.

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