Blue Light Special

A bottle of melatonin tablets
Image via Wikipedia

There is probably something to the issue of late-evening light source wavelengths and sleep chemistry, given light-reactive melatonin’s role in sleep. At any rate, if “blue light” can be avoided near bedtime, we’ll come closer to exposure to the natural wavelengths to which our brains have been accustomed and adapted for sleep.

Towards that end, I’ve installed a free software app called f.lux, and while it could be my imagination, I seem to be sleeping better. And I enjoy watching the monitor go from a pinkish cast at local daybreak to the more familiar blue cast–a subtle difference to the eye, but maybe not so much to the brain.

The folks at f.lux have done their (preliminary) homework. Read their RESEARCH PAGE or other recent articles about this below.

Screen Reading Before Bed Still Bad for Sleep, and We All Still Do It

Ban Portable Electronics Before Bed for More Restful Sleep

Not getting enough sleep? Turn off the technology | Reuters

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. For many long term use of melatonin is extraordinarily bad for mental health. It is chemical used in brain chemistry and when used for too long a period can cause deep depression. This is one prehormone that absolutely should be regulated. Beware.