Choosing the right color for your bedroom can have a big impact on how well you sleep at night. Some colors are more relaxing and sleep-inducing than others. In this article, we’ll explore what color makes you the most sleepy and relaxed.
The Psychology of Color
The colors around us can profoundly affect our mood, emotions, and behaviors. This is because color isn’t just a visual stimulus – it also has psychological properties. When our eyes take in color, it stimulates the hypothalamus region of our brain. This is the control center for many bodily functions, including sleep and wake cycles. The hypothalamus regulates homeostasis in the body. Certain colors can disrupt that balance or promote relaxation.
Studies show that warm colors with longer wavelengths, like reds, oranges, and yellows are energizing. They increase heart rate, brain activity, and adrenaline secretion. Cool colors with shorter wavelengths like blues, greens, and purples have the opposite effect. They lower blood pressure and pulse rate, decreasing arousal. So when it comes to promoting sleep, cool colors are ideal.
The Best Color for Sleep
So which cool colors specifically make the best bedroom paint? Blue and green shades are top choices. Here is a breakdown of how some popular paint colors can impact your sleep:
|Color||Effects on Sleep|
|Blue||Blue light has a calming, peaceful effect. Lighter blues are soothing. Darker shades feel more restful and sleep-promoting.|
|Green||Green is considered the most restful color for the eyes. Green tones reduce anxiety and depression symptoms that can disrupt sleep.|
|Gray||Neutral grays produce a calming, relaxing effect. They also brighten up a room even when it’s dark.|
|Purple||Light purples release tension in the mind and body. Darker purples create a cocooning, meditative environment.|
While cool paint colors are ideal, warm accent colors like reds, oranges, and yellows can liven up the space. Just use them sparingly. Too much visual stimulation from warm tones can interfere with quality shut-eye.
How Color Impacts Sleep Quality
Living in a blue bedroom won’t magically help you sleep better. Color is just one factor influencing the quality and quantity of your sleep. But studies do confirm it plays an important role. Here’s an overview of the research on bedroom color and sleep:
- A study published in the journal Perceptual and Motor Skills had test subjects sleep in rooms painted either blue, green, red, or yellow. Participants in the blue and green rooms slept significantly longer and better than those in red and yellow rooms. Blue promoted the most deep sleep.
- Researchers in Belgium conducted a study where participants slept in rooms lit with red, blue, or green light. Those sleeping under blue light reported feeling less tense, stressed, and depressed after waking compared to red or green.
- A study in the journal Color Research and Application found that blue bedrooms promote better sleep quality, optimism, and restfulness compared to red bedrooms.
- Research published in the journal Building and Environment demonstrated that people slept over 20 minutes longer in blue bedrooms vs red bedrooms. Blue light improved sleep efficiency with less nighttime awakenings.
Analyzing these studies, blue and green consistently outperform warmer colors for better sleep. However, color preference is subjective so you may respond better to violet, gray, or a different cool shade.
Tips for Choosing Sleep-Promoting Colors
Here are some tips for selecting bedroom colors to enhance your sleep:
- Stick to cool shades like blues, greens, grays, and violets. Aquas, mints, and celadon (a pale green) are also great choices.
- Pick a matte, low sheen, or eggshell paint finish. Glossy finishes can feel too stimulating.
- Darker, deeper hues feel more sleep-inducing than very pale tints.
- Go for nature-inspired colors like forest green, sky blue, lavender, and seafoam.
- If you share a bedroom, compromise on a color you both find restful.
- Make blue or green bedspreads, rugs, and accessories pop against your wall color.
- Don’t forget the ceiling! A blue or violet ceiling can enhance relaxation.
- Add warmer metallic accents like copper or gold for visual interest.
- Paint your bedroom an overall cool color but use warmer tones minimally in art, accessories, and furniture.
Make Color Part of Your Bedroom Routine
Your sleep environment is just one part of good sleep hygiene. Make sure to also:
- Set a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends
- Block out light and noise
- Keep the bedroom cool, around 65° F
- Avoid electronics before bedtime
- Reserve the bed for just sleep and intimacy – no TV or computers
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, heavy meals, and exercise a few hours before bed
- Optimize your mattress, pillows, and bedding
- Relax with yoga, meditation, stretching, or reading before bed
Appropriate bedroom colors combined with healthy habits can transform your sleep. Experiment to find the most soothing, sleep-conducive colors for your needs.
Creating a tranquil environment in the bedroom is essential for getting restful sleep. Studies demonstrate cool hues like blues, greens, grays, and violets aid sleep the most. These colors reduce stimulation in the brain and promote relaxation. Specifically, shades of blue most effectively trigger the release of calming neurotransmitters. They encourage deeper non-REM and REM sleep stages. While personal preference varies, cool analog colors are ideal backdrops for the bedroom. Combine soothing wall colors with other sleep hygiene habits for the highest quality sleep possible.