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  • By Ellen H


    I live with chronic migraine and for the past five years, give or take, I have been experiencing a complete reversal of day and night. And yes, for the past five years or so, I have been living with my face in a computer, and that is also how long I have been living with LED lights in my house. I am almost as addicted to the computer/internet as others are addicted to their cell phones!

    A few weeks ago, a thought came to me concerning UV light, daytime light, LED light bulbs, computer screens, and cell phone screens. I did a bit of googling concerning how much daylight one is exposed to and how much daylight is produced by our computer screens, especially when we have our faces in the screens at night time. I also wondered about the LED lights and whether or not they affect us like daylight.

    So I googled for something free that I could download to tint the screen. And I did find something I could download. So I downloaded the software and sat back and watched the computer screen darken. And the muscles in my face began to relax, and I was able to go to bed before dawn and wake up around noon. And going to bed around 2 am and waking up around noon has always been my default sleep schedule for my entire life. Though I could only enjoy it on weekends and holidays.

    But for the past five years, my days and nights have become completely reversed. So, I am trying an experiment. I turn house lights down or turn most of them off about two hours before I want to go to bed. And I darken my computer screen whenever I use it, and especially all times after sunset. And for the last couple of weeks, I am starting to sleep more at night and to wake up around noon or two or three. It’s an improvement!

    After you download the software, you can choose a specific program to fit your needs and you can play around with the white button at the top of the download box and set the level of tinting to be darker even in the daylight. I can’t look at the white screen any more. It hurts my eyes. About two hours before I think I want to go to bed, I turn off the LED lights in the house and turn on only a small lamp or two.

    Be sure to direct a shortcut to the desktop for easy access to adjust the tint. If you want to shop online for clothing, it might be better to brighten the screen, or all the reds will look like watermelon!

    It’s fun just to play around with different settings and to choose the level of tint to whatever you want whenever you want.

    If your screen saver comes on, like the floating bubbles, the screen will lighten up. So just reclick the box and reset the level of tint. Though…. the screen may reset to the tint on its own, but right now I can’t remember?!?!?

    I am offering these thoughts just to share this idea with you and would like to know if having a means to darken the computer screen and turning off LED lights might help others whose days and nights are completely reversed. I remember months ago reading the thoughts of 19 people whose days and nights were completely reversed, like mine. We were all miserable.

    I will see my neurologist in a couple of months and if this experiment actually works, I will share it with him. But before I get to see him, I thought I might share this with you and see if it helps anyone else.

    I found an article in Huffington Post that discussed the use of the software. There might be other websites that offer similar programs. I found the Huff Post article first and just went there. The URL follows and contains the website where you can take a look at the free software………………………….

    Good Luck. And let me know if it helps anyone! Ellen H.

  • By GardensatNight

    I hope this works for you. I would, however, caution others against turning down the brightness on their screens if they are truly light-sensitive. It is my understanding that the way this works computer-wise is by increasing the flickering from “on” to “off” in order to get a “darker” effect (kind of like a really fast strobe light which MOST brains can’t perceive, ha ha), which is highly irritating to migraine brains. I was advised NOT to turn the screens down for this reason, and sure enough, I found it extremely painful. We ended up trying various screens designed for light sensitive people, and they were much better.

    One of my neuro-opthamologists, who is a leading expert in light sensitivity, recommends incandescent bulbs as the best type of light bulb for light sensitive people. Light bulbs ALL flicker, which is irritating to migraine brains. Because of the heat produced by incandescent bulbs, highly sensitive brains perceive the flicker the least. Natural light (which no light bulb can imitate) is the very best.

    If you are constantly on a screen, they make various screens for light sensitive people. Some have the blue turned down. Dasung even makes a screen called “Paperlike” that is an E-ink like an early Kindle. It doesn’t emit any light and doesn’t flicker at all (so for the very most light sensitive people.) There are also filters you can attach over your existing screen.

  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi EllenH,

    Thank you for sharing that information with us. Good to hear you are sleeping more at night and are seeing an improvement!

    Keep us posted!!!

  • By Ellen H

    It is my understanding that

    does not cause the background light to flicker. As I understand it, Flux tints the background with a deep soft orange. When I created my website and my blog, I was able to tint the background with a soft peach color. I have found it much easier to read my stuff on my blog because of the soft peach background. When I leave my blog and go to others that have the white background, my face hurts. When I use Flux or read my blog, my facial muscles relax, not completely but at least a little bit. I leave it to readers to decide whether it works for the individual.

    I really would like to hear from the readers who posted last year discussing the complete day and night reversal they experienced and whether some kind of screen tint and turning off LED lights before bed time helps to adjust sleep and wake schedules.

    By the way I am not advocating that everyone should become a morning lark!!! I am still a night owl and will always be a night owl. I believe that is genetic. But this complete reversal of day and night and living in a perpetual brain fog is miserable. And I am hoping that by tinting the screen with soft orange and turning off LED lights before bed time will give me some control over this part of my life.

    Thank you. Ellen Henegar.

  • By Ellen H

    Migraine Report

    Hi, I thought I would check in and report on my experiment with tinting my computer screen with a deep soft orange and turning down the LED house lights before bedtime and whether or not any of this would help with my sleep/day-night-reversal/migraines.

    So……… I saw the neurologist recently and reported in to him. Overall the migraines have softened a bit. However…….. that is probably due to “age.” Oh, well. The heavy grogginess of the day–night reversal has lifted a bit. Again, that may be due to the normal migraine evolution throughout one’s lifetime. I’m not sure if turning down the house lights a couple of hours before I would fall asleep is helpful with regulating the day-night reversal.

    However…… I have to say at the very least, the soft coloring of the computer screen does seem to relax some of the facial pain. While I wait for the soft tint to boot up, I notice how much my face hurts when I am looking at the white screen background. As the color comes up, I can feel my face start to relax. I can’t bear the bright white screen anymore, so I keep the color deepened at all times, day and night.

    One last thing, I did some googling about narcolepsy and migraine. It seems that the two may be related and that some people experience the narcolepsy while others have different symptoms of migraines. It appears that migraines have scores of different symptoms and that migraines are different for each patient. So much for filling out those little surveys that want to know which side of the head your migraine sits in and when does the aura start and how long before the triptans kick in and how long the migraine lasted!

    So…….have any of the rest of you tried softening the color of the computer screen? Has it helped in any way with relaxing facial muscles?

    The Best to All of You. Ellen H.

  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    HI Ellen H.

    Thank you for your terrific update. I haven’t tried softening the color of my computer screen, but I would imagine it would be helpful. Sort of like when I put on my outdoor TheraSpecs – my eyes feel a sense of relief. I hope other members will come in soon and share their experiences on computer lighting with your.

    As far as narcolepsy goes, I know for some people it can trigger a migraine attack and I did find this older study (2003) that is interesting;

    I’m looking forward to your next update!


  • By Ellen H

    First, to Nancy Harris Bonk, Thank you for the web link on narcolepsy and migraine. There is still so much about migraine that we don’t know and everything we can learn helps to validate our feelings about how we feel living with migraines. At Christmas, my sister started to educate me on how to UNreverse my days and nights. I held up my hand like a stop sign, and said, Stop. Just Stop. She ran out of the room. Her idea was to just set an alarm clock and get up earlier each day. That experiment has been tried with people who have worked nights and then get their schedules changed and are supposed to start working days, and it just about kills them, and the CEO’s don’t care. I told my neurologist that if that worked, I would have figured it out for myself. So now, I am having to deal with family members who seem not to want to grasp my reality. My family lives in another state, thankfully.

    And second, Hey! Did you guys tint the background of some of the web pages?!?!? Or have I not noticed? Yea!!! One last suggestion, for those of us who also have vision problems, could you use bold print? I have a million floaters in both eyes and reading print has become more difficult. The floaters cast shadows and blur the print, both online and in books. Bold print makes it a little easier to see the letters.

    And lastly, Thank You for everyone who participates in this website, both as administrators and as readers and those who make comments and those who write articles.

    And last lastly, I’m signing up for the World Migraine Summit! This could be interesting. Thanks for the opportunity. — Ellen Henegar.