For those of you who tend to spend late nights at the computer, here is a great free program called f.lux, that will change the lighting on your computer monitor to sync with daylight and nighttime. The idea is to turn off the blue light after sunset. Blue light especially messes with your circadian rhythm making it harder for you to fall asleep. Blue light during the day is good, blue light at night is not.
Thanks to Mark at Mark's Daily Apple for this tip and an interesting post on How Light Affects Your Sleep, something I have blogged about several times (here, here, and here).
But then most nights (the nights that I am not out playing the violin somewhere), I don't even turn the computer or the TV on anymore and I start my getting-to-bed-routine at 9:00 pm. It's impossible to get my bedroom totally dark, so I wear a sleep mask. And I do like waking up to the light. I just peek out from under the mask to gauge the time. No alarm clock.
Well I just uninstalled f.lux. While it worked great at reducing the glare, it was always running in the background and making the operating system (XP) work very hard. Maybe I had the settings wrong. And maybe I just have a sick computer. (We knew that.)