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Flux: The Effects of Working Late At The Computer

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Written By Alex Petrović

Certified Sleep Consultant

a woman working at late night at computer

29 April 2024 3 min read

A lot of us spend a fair portion of our waking hours in front of digital screens. Studies have concluded that a majority of people spend more than 6 hours daily for work/leisure purposes. That is why flux is very widespread, especially in offices. The issue with this is that the human eye is sensitive to a small part of the entire light spectrum we define as visible light. Visible light is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Colors that we perceive change depending on the wavelength of the light we see.

These colors change depending on the wavelength of the light particles. Short wave particles create colors like violet, indigo and blue. Long wave particles create yellow, orange and red. Green is somewhere in the middle.

By analyzing the impact of each specific colored light to the human mind, studies have suggested that constant exposure to short wave light (short wave = high energy) can lead to long term damage to eyesight.

What are you implying?

Blue light is a High Energy Visible (HEV) light wave that can flicker a lot more easily than longer light waves, red for example. This flickering can cause a reduction in contrast and negatively affect the clarity of vision. This leads to eyestrain, headaches and physical/mental fatigue when spending many hours consistently in front of a digital screen.
Our eyes provide insufficient protection from the blue rays emitted from the sun. Their job is even harder when we add electronic devices or colored light bulbs to the equation. Lengthy exposure to blue light can cause retinal damage and even contribute to degenerative diseases like cataract. The end result to these diseases is usually loss of vision, something that should definitely be avoided.

an image of a man working in front of the computer

Impacts of blue light on the body

Blue light is there to keep us aware and in the mood, however chronic exposure via digital devices can create reactions that are negative to the body. The one affecting sleep the most is the reduction of melatonin (sleep regulating hormone) which subsequently disrupts the circadian rhythm.

Why does exposure to blue light impact us in such a negative way? Researchers don’t have a concrete answer yet, but it is known that when the body is exposed to light – melatonin secretion is inhibited thus causing all the health problems due to that fact. Doctors have linked several kinds of cancer (breast, prostate), heart diseases, elevated risks for depression and obesity to low melatonin.

an image of a man working at late night

Flux is a software you should definitely try

Flux is software that can filter the amount of blue light that gets emitted via the digital screen. By analyzing the current time of day and applying such information to light filtering, flux can brighten your screen with blue light during the day and block it out during the night. This isn’t a perfect solution, but it drastically lowers the blue light exposure that we wish to avoid at night, before going to sleep.

Other solutions with similar results come from filters built into modern monitors and displays. Blue light filters are becoming a standard in most monitors aged a couple of years. Some of these filters can even add to the quality of the viewing experience, making the light a lot less strenuous to the eyes.

an image of a woman holding her phone in front of a computer

Conclusion

Blue light isn’t something that we should avoid at all costs. It gives us alertness during the day which is necessary for survival. The problems arise when it is present while we are close to bedtime. It can reduce the sleep regulating hormone, causing health problems and irregularities within sleeping patterns.

Solutions exist and the most common one is just to avoid using digital devices in any capacity for at least 30 minutes to an hour before going to sleep. Solutions like flux or monitor filters are a great way to compromise while taking the best out of both worlds. The grim reality is that most of us have jobs that force us to work in large capacities in front of digital screens. Changing that won’t be easy so the best we can do is adapt the best way we can.

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About the author

Alex Petrović
Sleep Consultant
A CPD certified Sleep Consultant with more than 2000 hours of research into all the different ways we can get a great night's sleep. As a former insomniac, I know how difficult life can be without a nightly recovery and I love that I get to share everything I've learned with you all. So hopefully we can all sleep soundly!
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