Reduce Mental Fatigue and Improve Sleep – With an App

Have you ever opened your laptop or turned on your phone in the pre-dawn morning with squinting eyes to shield your senses from the annoying light that radiates from the screen, rapidly turning the brightness down to reduce your discomfort? Have you noticed that turning the brightness down helps, but isn’t quite enough?

I am excited about an app I found that alleviates this, improves the visual experience of device use in general, and improves my sleep. It adjusts the color spectrum of light emitted from my screens to match the natural human morning/day/night biorythm. Specifically, when it is dark outside, it reduces a frequency range of light that is emitted by the sun and indicates daytime wakefullness to the body.

This band of visible light frequency is just below the frequency of Ultraviolet Light. It is at the transition point where energy in the form of invisible UV rays become visible light. It is called high energy visible (HEV) light.

There are apps that automatically adjust the HEV light (and brightness) from the screen depending on time of day, so you never open your laptop squinting again. In addition to making my devices better to use, studies suggest, and my own experience validates, that if you limit the amount of exposure to HEV light when the sun is below the horizon, you sleep better. It may also be that it is healthier for your eyes, possibly reducing macular degeneration with age. You can find much more info here, and many other places on the web.

There are a couple HEV filter apps out there. On my Mac, I use Flux – On my Android phone, I use Twilight. Note that if your screen oscillates between the filter being on and off, you may need to turn off the system setting to automatically adjust brightness. On a Mac, this can be found in display preferences.

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