Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

  • Hi guys,

    I was just wondering. I installed f.lux on my laptop because I do spend most of my days on it and thought it would indeed be better not to overexpose myself to too much blue light that keeps you awake.

    Recently, I have started feeling a bit sluggish, more tired than normal when i do sleep well and slightly more irritable. I've been wondering why that is, because I'm usually someone very energetic and positive and even though, like everyone on this planet, I have low days, I'm rarely negative for more than a day.

    Someone recently reminded me, how much I do usually love sunlight (jokes aside, they call my sunflower) and because I moved from Paris to Berlin and the sun sets much much sooner here, I might have some Seasonal affective disorder syndromes. So I looked it up and it seems that lamps on the market to treat this SAD, usually a blue light, which makes the brain feel more like it's the sun.

    Could it be possible that by installing flux has enhanced SAD ? That I have been so accustomed to all this blue light all year long, that no longer having it is affecting me just like the lack of sun ? Yes, I do know that it's also UV lights that affect SAD and my computer screen does not emit any UV obviously... but could there still be a correlation ?

    I'm not attacking you guys, let's be clear. I loved the concept of your app and still think it's a great product. But I think it's worth mentioning and exploring, if that has not been done already.

    Any thoughts ?

    Thanks and keep up the good work !


  • So first, if you ever feel like using f.lux is making you feel bad, uninstall it right away.

    Next, we are not qualified to give medical advice and answering your question completely would come pretty close to doing that. However, there are some good resources online about exactly this, is one (the site was having trouble when I write this but hopefully will be back online soon).

    Lastly, this is an area of active research with a whole lot of different factors.

    We believe that most people probably need stronger light dark cycles than they get, meaning we're seeing too much light at night time and not enough bright light during the day time. The high level is that getting enough light during the day is hard in a Berlin winter, and without seeing enough bright light during the day, a certain percentage of people will develop SAD.

    On top of this, not seeing enough light during the day can make you more sensitive to the effects of too much light late at night, and in that case an intervention like f.lux that removes alerting light at night is potentially helpful. Typically light therapy boxes are used early in the morning, and f.lux is designed to be used later at night. There's some promising work about using super bright displays to assist SAD, but it's not a replacement for light therapy, not just yet.

    You can look up some different lights and screens and see what frequencies they emit at our page. There's even a section that measures a few light therapy solutions so you can compare them:!id=Light Therapy/Carex Daylight 12 inches

    I hope this is a helpful reply - we are definitely thinking about stuff like this, all the time.

  • The only time you don't want to be exposed to blue light is during the 1-3 hours before you are planning to go to sleep. The general rule of thumb is, blue light during the day, no blue light at night.

    So using f.lux to remove blue light during the day is not a good idea. You want to be exposed to blue light during the day - but again, not at night.

  • @lorna you're link isn't working, maybe try this:

  • @timpster yeah their site is having problems - that area is mainly for clinicians, but the other link has a lot of useful things for people who want to get evaluated for SAD.

  • Oh cool, maybe they're* upgrading servers! (That's just always great.)

  • This link works ok right now:

  • Hey guys,

    Thank you for your response !

    I understand it might be difficult to answer the question whilst remaining medically neutral.

    I have turned off flux and have been feeling a bit better. Again, I am not attacking your product, just maybe if more people notice this, write something in the disclaimer ?

    I'm sorry to hear Apple is making your market access harder, I hope eventually it will unfreeze.



  • Dimitri, if you are experiencing SAD symptoms, that's beyond the capacity of an app or a web forum to intervene. Lots of clinicians recommend f.lux to their patients, but that does not mean it's right for everyone so you need to ask a doctor. Locking this thread: we don't give medical advice.