This weeks Topic of the Week.
One of the stressors that will cause us to go out of alignment is lack of sleep. One thing that will keep people up at night is working on the computer. I’ve talked about this problem before with TV, Computers, and Sleep. Computers and TVs produce lots of blue light. Blue light is associated with daylight and while watching TV late at night can increase our exposure to blue light, sitting in front of a computer screen is much worse. Blue light keeps our body from producing melatonin, which is the chemical that makes us sleepy. It is also an important antioxidant and immune system booster. When we are exposed to excessive blue light, we don’t produce melatonin, we don’t sleep well, and our immune system is compromised.
Color temperature is measured in Kelvins (K). Blue/white light is considered a cool color, but a hot temperature. Color over 5,000K is considered a blue/white light, while warmer, more yellow colors are in the 2,700K to 3,000K range. Daylight has a temperature of 6,500K, while computer monitors will range between 6,500K to 9,300K.
So working on the computer late at night is like looking at the sun. In an ideal world we wouldn’t use the computer for 2 hours before we go to bed. Unfortunately, that is not always possible.
F.lux is a free software program that will (in essence) filter out the blue light on your computer screen automatically at night. It makes it rosey and more yellow and will also prevent eye strain. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
If you install it at night, the difference can take getting used to. I was fine with it after a few days. Some suggestion with the settings:
1. Set the nighttime settings for around 3800K at first, after a week max it to 3400K.
2. Put in your zip code to get a more accurate setting change.
3. If you have a newer computer or one with lots of memory, change the transition speed to 60 minutes. The transition takes a lot of system resources, so if you have a slower/older computer, you may want to keep it at 20 seconds.
Yours in Health,
Color Temperature on Wikipedia
Melatonin on Wikipedia
F.lux: A tool for Computer Related Insomnia