Transforming your bedroom into a calm, relaxing environment is crucial to getting a good night’s sleep.
There are many ways to do this, from finding the perfect mattress to introducing ambient lighting and soothing sounds. But, there’s another often-overlooked element that can help you create the perfect sleep sanctuary color.
According to research published in the Association for Psychological Science*, color has the power to transform the way we feel. And as everyone knows, how we feel directly impacts our sleep.
Some colors promote a sense of calm, relaxation, and contentment, whereas others can trigger less desirable emotions like anxiety, stress, and agitation.
So, when it comes to getting the rest your mind and body deserve – color is your secret weapon.
The Best (And Worst) Bedroom Colors for a Good Night’s Sleep
Skeptics may find it hard to believe that something as simple as color can affect the way we sleep, but there’s plenty of evidence to support the theory.
Researchers and experts around the globe have stressed the importance of color on our psyche, including leading psychologist Lee Chambers, who cites the “multifaceted benefits of being surrounded by a chosen color.”
“When it comes to our sleep environments,” he says, “color can play a role in how stimulated we are and how we feel as we turn the lights off to sleep.”
So, if you’re ready to revamp your bedroom into a tranquil space where nodding off is easy, then read on.
Colors That Promote a Restful Sleep
In this post, I’ll give you a list of the very best (and worst) colors to help promote a peaceful environment in your bedroom, so you can sail off into the land of nod and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to embrace the day.
Blue takes the top spot on the list of the most calming, relaxing, and sleep-inducing colors to incorporate into your bedroom décor, and the stats are there to back it up.
In 2013, leading UK hotel chain Travelodge conducted a survey** of 2,000 British households to discover the bedroom color schemes which promoted the best night’s sleep, and blue came out as the clear front runner.
Those who opted for a blue hue in their rooms got much more shut-eye (an average of seven hours and fifty-two minutes per night) than those who didn’t.
In fact, more than 58% of participants with blue bedrooms reported waking up feeling refreshed and well-rested.
Color psychologist Lee Chambers sheds a little more light on the calming influence of blue, explaining its ability to promote feelings of stability, comfort, and safety. “Blue bedrooms create a calming atmosphere that reduces stimulation,” he says. “It also invokes a sense of the body cooling.”
But not all blues are created equal. “It’s worth being mindful of the tone: too dark can become almost gloomy and uninspiring, but too pale reduces some of the benefits.”
So, in order to strike the perfect balance of blue, opt for mid-tones that mimic the color of the sky or ocean without reducing the light and airy feel of your bedroom.
Green shades have many of the same stress-reducing and sleep-boosting benefits as blue, making it another excellent choice for your bedroom décor.
This color conjures up images of nature, which helps to calm our minds, and sets us up for deep and restful sleep.
So, it’s no surprise that green was among the other top performers in the Travelodge** bedroom color survey. Households who took part reported an average of seven hours and thirty minutes of sleep per night in their green-themed bedrooms.
Another study***, conducted by popular paint brand Dulux, looked at how the colors in our homes influence the different areas of our lives, and when it came to sleep, green took the top spot.
Over 25% of study participants reported the best night’s sleep in their green bedrooms, compared with just 10% who had a bedroom decorated in red.
But just like blue, the shade of green is important.
Soft pastel hues such as mint and sage induce calming, sleep-promoting effects, but deeper greens can make a room feel dark, small, and even oppressive, negatively impacting your mood.
Okay, so technically speaking, white isn’t a color, but nevertheless, painting your walls white can have some ultra-positive effects on your mood and overall sleep cycle.
White symbolizes purity and serenity and evokes scenes of fluffy clouds and crisp snow-capped mountains, making it an excellent choice for your bedroom.
It’s also the least distracting shade on the color spectrum, and it makes even the smallest bedrooms feel light, airy, and spacious.
Another benefit of white walls is that you can incorporate other sleep-promoting shades, such as blue and green, into your bedroom interior without worrying about clashing.
So, if you prefer a clean, minimalist look and want the option of adding little pops of calming color here and there – white is the way to go.
Pink may not be everyone’s idea of the perfect bedroom color, but even the most subtle splashes of this feminine shade can positively affect your sleep and overall wellbeing.
Pink has been shown to increase feelings of positivity and contentment while reducing negative emotions such as anxiety, frustration, and anger.
Its effects are so profound that several prisons across Europe and the United States have painted their cells with a rosy hue in the hopes of positively influencing prisoners’ moods.
Swiss color psychologist Daniela Späth led a four-year study entitled ‘Cool Down Pink” ****, to see if there was any merit to the pink-cell theory, and it seems there is.
Guards in participating prisons across Switzerland reported a marked decrease in hostility and noticed that inmates placed in pink cells were able to calm down quicker than those who weren’t.
Since her experiments, Späth has advocated for this stress-relieving shade of pink to be used in settings other than prisons, such as airports, schools, and psychiatric units.
And let’s face it; if pink can have a transformative effect in tension-heavy environments such as those, it’s well worth considering adding some into your bedroom, too.
How to Add Sleep Promoting Colors to Your Bedroom?
One of the most obvious ways to use the colors listed above is to paint them on your bedroom walls.
But there are some other, more subtle options that let you play around with color without redecorating.
Adding items like rugs, tapestries, wall hangings, and other soft furnishings in your chosen shade is a great, non-committal way to use color to aid sleep. You could also purchase new sheets in a sleep-promoting hue and even switch up your curtains to match.
And don’t forget, if green is your scene, houseplants are the perfect mood-boosting addition to any bedroom.
Colors to Avoid in the Bedroom
Now that we’ve covered the most effective colors to promote a good night’s sleep, let’s take a quick look at the ones to avoid.
Generally speaking, it’s best to stay away from any color in an overly bold, bright, or dark tone, as they can raise your energy levels or make the bedroom feel oppressive and small.
That being said, the colors below are some of the worst options of all.
Red is fiery, passionate, and powerful, and while these attributes can be useful in other areas of your life, they’re not going to help you sleep.
As one of the more energetic colors on the spectrum, red is best used in areas of your home where you need to feel inspired and motivated; rather than the place you will be winding down.
Like red, orange is an energizing color that increases motivation and boosts productivity rather than aiding relaxation.
If you still want to incorporate orange in your bedroom décor, opt for pastel tones that add a subtle pop of color rather than an entire, tangerine-colored feature wall.
Purple, especially in deeper shades, is associated with power, creativity, and artistic expression.
So, while purple could be a good choice for your kitchen, office, or home studio, it’s best left out of your sleeping quarters.
Some people even believe that deep purple can bring on nightmares, as the color stimulates your nervous system and ignites your imagination.
That being said, not all purple is blacklisted from the bedroom. Very subtle shades of pale lilac or lavender can actually have a calming effect, much like blue. Just avoid those deep, dark hues.
It goes without saying that painting your bedroom walls black is a bad idea. But even an excess of black furnishings in your sleeping space can bring down your mood and increase feelings of sadness and negativity.
And while it’s true that black goes with everything, so does white, so bear that in mind next time you’re shopping for things like picture frames, rugs, and wall art.
As we’ve discovered, color can have a profound effect on sleep, so it’s important to choose your bedroom décor wisely and be mindful of the shades you choose.
If you’ve already crafted the perfect color palette for your bedroom and you’re looking for some more inspiration to help you create your perfect sleep sanctuary, we’ve got you covered. Why not check out this guide to the best sounds to help you sleep, or take a look at our post on calming scents to incorporate into your bedroom to maximize your shut-eye and wake up feeling refreshed.