F.lux: improving your working environment
F.lux is a piece of productivity software which changes the temperature of your monitor's colour once the sun has gone down; enabling you to sleep better if you've had reason to use your computer into the evening. I've been using it for two years, and this is why...
I use a lot of programs on a day-to-day basis, but there are few that I've found more useful than F.lux. For those of us that spend large amounts of time staring at a computer monitor for work or leisure, the blinding glare of the screen's backlight can be a vivid companion after the sun has set. However, the radiance of the screen brings problems: it's typically so bright and viewed from so near that our bodies are fooled into seeing it as the sun, deceiving your internal bodyclock and impacting on sleep patterns and regularity.
F.lux compensates for this by changing the colour temperature of the screen to match the time of day: once the sun has set outside, the temperature decreases and its colours become much warmer and far easier on the eye.
At first I was exceptionally sceptical about the benefits this software could bring, but was almost immediately amazed at the change it made. After using it for about two years, it remains my number one tool for improving and regulating sleeping patterns, and it's a wonderful example of a really simple idea being effectively realised.
The only issue I've found with it is when doing colour-sensitive work after dark, but the application fortunately comes with a handy toggle to disable the changes for an hour whilst the colours being displayed really matter.
F.lux is available for free on Windows, Mac and Linux; so there's very little excuse not to give it a try. The developer's claim is that it can make your life better; and for something so simple, I don't think there's any reason to doubt that.