Good news for Apple users: you can now enjoy all the benefits of the blue light blocking f.lux app (justgetflux.com) on an iOS. Apple calls their version Night Shift but the basic principles are the same.
F.lux takes your geolocation—based on the address you enter or your longitude and latitude—and then calculates your sunrise and sunset.
Using your device’s clock, this app then simulates daylight and artificial light at the appropriate times. During daytime hours, it makes sure your Windows-powered computer monitor or Android device is as bright as natural light. At night, it dims your screen to mimic the kind of artificial lighting you use—incandescent, halogen, or fluorescent lighting. With F.lux, you can choose to transition quickly or slowly from day/night, and you also have the option to block the app for an hour if you are working with color-sensitive material like photos or videos. With Night Shift, you may choose automatic or manual switching from day/night and back again.
Why are these apps generating buzz? Computer monitors, e-readers, smartphones, and energy-efficient lights all give off blue light. These apps decrease this blue light, providing increased health benefits to users in the process.
According to research funded and published by the National Institute of Health
• The human circadian system adapts to prior patterns of light exposure
If you often spend time on your computer or mobile phone right before bed, your body will remember this brightness as “daylight.” The use of a blue-blocking app will help your body get back into a more natural rhythm of wakefulness and sleep.
• Light exposure affects not only the human circadian system but also the production of melatonin
By decreasing exposure to the blue light—either with an app or by turning off bright lights, e-readers, iOS devices, monitors, smartphones, and TVs—you give your body the signal that it is night, time to produce the melatonin that will help you sleep.
• Chronic sleep loss affects human performance
By turning off devices well before bedtime and using f.lux or Night Shift, your performance improves along with your sleep.
Be aware, however, that using a blue light blocking app to stimulate melatonin production and regulate sleep has limitations. What you choose to do on your glow-in-the-dark device right before bedtime plays a significant role in your ability to fall asleep.
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