I’m writing this post late at night, and will be going to sleep immediately after. Normally this would be a difficult task. Without getting into a scientific explanation, a screen’s bright white light is a lot like a sun in the middle of the day. Ordinarily, the sun sets, casting everything in an orange tint before the sky turns dark. This daily process subconsciously tells us that it’s getting late, and our brains produce chemicals associated with sleep. A screen doesn’t have an orange tint, so your brain doesn’t receive the same cues and thus doesn’t produce those chemicals.
(If that explanation wasn’t satisfactory, I encourage you to do your own research. You can also just watch the video below)
There’s software on a few different platforms that tries to fix this problem. F.lux is what I’m using on my PC. It finds the sunrise and sunset times and changes the color temperature to have a more orange tint. On Android, an app called Twilight does the same thing. It just received an update which expands their phone app to Android TV and Android Wear.
The app can use your location to find the correct sunrise and sunset times. As you go throughout the night, the color temperature becomes redder little by little. Then towards the morning the color temperature will begin to return to normal. There are a number of settings you can use to adjust the color temperature settings.
If you toggle the app on and off, you’ll notice a significant difference. However, if you let the app subtlety change the color while you’re working, it’ll be unnoticeable.
The app is free to download. If you are a night owl who finds it hard to go to sleep, then this app is definitely something you should download.