The days of being blinded by my computer screen are gone! I rediscovered a marvelous, free download that automatically dims the glare on my screen according to the time of day at my office. It’s called “f.lux” and it’s a minor miracle for our ADHD brains.

A few years ago, I heard a respected ADHD expert talk about the “awakening” power of blue light that emanates from our computer and TV screens. Manufacturers deliberately install components that produce bright white light to deliver the best and truest color representation on screen. Underlying that seemingly white light is a blueish tint that enhances color even more; it’s the same spectrum of light produced by Mother Nature at dawn.

Unfortunately, our brains can’t tell the difference between the artificial computer-generated blue-spectrum light and morning light, so it signals our brain to stay awake. Biologically speaking, the blue light hits receptors in the retina of our eyes which suppresses melatonin. Melatonin, you may remember, is the brain chemical that helps us ease into sleepiness.

It’s beginning to make sense that our night owl ADHD brains are addicted to the computer and TV. As long as we keep surfing the ‘net or watching TV, our brains tell us to stay awake. And as long as we want to stay awake, the more likely we are to watch TV or work on our computers! That’s a potent mixture that is almost guaranteed to create lethargy, drowsiness and mental confusion the next day. Not a good combo for an already-compromised neurotransmitter system!

If we insist on late night surfing or TV, it’s best to have an amber overlay on the screen. So I bought expansive plastic sheets that attached with Velcro. They got scratched so I threw them away (after an appropriate mourning period). For years I lived with the blue light.

Then I found f.lux. It tints my computer monitor with just the right shade of amber to block the awakening blue light at night. Then in the morning, it gradually fades back to normal computer color. Amazing! And free!

These guys are brilliant! Hope they develop something similar for TV and my iPhone (actually you can add it to your smart phone but you have to jailbreak it which is something I resist).

Here’s the website:
The software is available for Mac and PC. Go for it. I think you’ll love it as much as I do!