Choosing the perfect color for a bedroom is more than just a decorative decision. Humans have a complex relationship with color, even if we’re unaware of our reactions to certain shades, and the hue of your bedroom walls can significantly alter your sleep patterns.
The best bedroom colors for a good night’s sleep are blue, yellow, and green. Light pastel hues evoke feelings of calmness, relaxation, and contentment. Lavender, pink, silver, and orange are also soothing, while some prefer the simplicity of beige, gray, or even black.
Avoid dynamic colors, such as red, when decorating a bedroom. Action-packed colors can raise the heckles and agitate us before bed. Equally, steer clear of any shade that leaves you feeling despondent, such as deep browns.
What Colors are Associated with Sleep?
There are many things to consider when decorating a home.
Personal taste is a big factor, as is matching color shades to any existing furnishings. When choosing a color scheme for a bedroom, the impact on sleep should be contemplated.
Color is all around us, playing a more prominent role in our daily lives than we realize. The Annual Review of Psychology confirms that color can influence how we act, think, and feel at any given moment.
A DIY store will likely present you with a color wheel when reviewing paint options for bedroom walls. Your eye may immediately be drawn to bright, active colors, especially if these are traditional favorites. Understand the impact of different hues, though.
High-impact colors, such as red, are likely to disturb your sleep as these shades trigger sensations of danger, excitement, and passion in the brain. While that sounds great for a bedroom in some regards, it will harm your ability to sleep.
Why Do Warm Colors Help You Sleep?
Despite these warnings, warm colors – typically shades of the red, orange, and yellow families – are considered positive for sleep. Cooler colors, such as blue and green, tend to come with a warning, but this is often-misunderstood advice.
Advice to embrace warm colors at bedtime relates to artificial light, not design schemes. Cool light, such as the blue light emitted by electronic devices, is harsh on the retinas and can disturb sleep. Warmer lights, such as yellows, are easier for eyes to process in darkness.
So, when it comes to light, it’s less a case of warm colors helping you to sleep – it’s more that warm colors won’t keep you awake.
Good Colors for Sleep
In theory, there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong color to paint the walls of an adult’s bedroom.
A study published in the Journal of Healthcare Engineering claims that simply being surrounded by a preferred color can aid sleep and relaxation.
There’s no denying that color psychology influences many of us, though. Children are particularly susceptible to color, as per the International Journal of Pediatrics, while anybody that struggles with insomnia should be wary of inappropriate bedroom décor.
Let’s review the best colors that experts believe will promote a positive and healthy night’s sleep, including the finish and whether certain shades are better than others.
Blue is widely considered the ideal choice for bedroom walls when attempting to induce sleep.
Paler shades of blue are believed to invoke feelings of calm and comfort. Darker blues are a little bolder but still evoke sensations of trust and relaxation.
Many professional establishments, such as hotels, lean on blue as a standard corporate brand. In addition, Frontiers in Psychology explains how universities consider blue the ideal dormitory color to inspire calm and agile minds in students.
As a cool color, blue won’t attract too much heat or warmth. Temperature moderation is critical to sleeping well, so this should be encouraged. However, the main reason to consider a blue bedroom is the color’s calming sensation.
When the eyes process blue, the brain isn’t stimulated to produce stress hormones that agitate the body and mind. Instead, you’ll find yourself drifting into a state of relaxation that encourages slumber.
Yellow is a popular color for children’s nurseries, not least because it is considered a happy, cheerful shade. The feelings of contentment inspired by yellow can encourage positive sleep patterns.
Also, yellow imitates the color of the sun, which can be invaluable in the mornings. If you always feel tired and sluggish upon waking, no matter how much sleep you get, yellow walls may go some way to kickstarting your circadian rhythms.
If you wish to sleep in a yellow bedroom, stick with slightly lighter, more muted shades. These will provide all the advantages we just discussed, without agitating the eye and brain.
Brighter, bolder yellows with a glossy finish can inspire bursts of energy. That’s great in the morning, but it’s the last thing you need when you’re trying to sleep at night. Keep the yellow hue on the tranquil side.
If you find peace and relaxation in nature, green is the perfect shade for your bedroom. Olive and sage shades, in particular, promote a calm mind that is ready to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Green is believed to have positive influences on our morning moods. Waking up in a green room can make us feel like anything is possible, with the natural elements of the shade lending themselves to an unrelenting positivity.
Even if you’re not at one with the great outdoors and have spent your life in the city, green is a non-stimulatory color. This can be invaluable in a world that seems determined to keep us on our toes. A calm and gentle shade of green is ideal for drifting off.
Bright, bold purple is a color associated with magic and wonder. That’s a big part of its appeal, but it’s also why purple is a terrible color for a bedroom. Purple walls will set a creative brain whirring at all hours, inspiring ideas and likely leading to intense dreams.
All isn’t lost, though. If you’re a fan of purple hues, lavender makes an excellent choice for a bedroom. Like the plant that gives this color its name, lavender is considered a byword for calm and tranquility.
You’ll likely fall asleep in no time when surrounded by lavender.
Silver, like white, can be considered a hue of cool purity and neutrality. This can be just the ticket for somebody seeking a bedroom that lacks any stimulation to sleep. Unlike white, silver isn’t a spartan color that can make a room look opulent and luxurious.
Another advantage of silver is that it is effortlessly simple to accessorize with. Warm lighting can be applied to silver walls to complete a feeling of calm. Equally, furnishings could be constructed from any shade of wood.
Any silver walls mustn’t boast a glossy finish. Light will reflect on these, creating a disco effect that will keep you awake. If you opt for silver walls in your bedroom, keep everything matte.
We’ve discussed the dangers of warm colors in a bedroom, most notably red, as these shades can stimulate the brain too much. One way to still embrace a love of red is to have a pink bedroom. Pale pink and blush shades are ideal for this.
A good point merits repeating, so let’s say that again: we refer to muted pinks here. Bright, vibrant hot pink may look striking in Barbie’s dream house, but it will not lend itself to a good night’s sleep. They’ll cause the same reaction as a deep, lively shade of red.
Soft pink shades have a gentle and tender quality, making a bedroom feel like a safe haven. This can make the color perfect for people with demanding, hectic lifestyles. Retiring to a room with pink décor helps the stresses and strains of a day melt away at bedtime.
Another alternative to bright red is a soft and muted orange. The same caveats apply to orange as pink. Avoid a glossy finish, and use a bright, hearty shade. A subtle, gentle orange can inspire feelings of happiness and contentment.
If you’re going to embrace orange in a bedroom, pair it with brown, wooden furnishings. While brown is another color we recommend steering clear of in terms of walls, it pairs well with orange accessories.
A muted orange and brown room will evoke feelings of sandy beaches in the brain. This, in turn, should make your bedroom feel like a relaxing vacation spot. The bonus is that you can take this particular holiday at the end of each day.
Gray is sometimes considered a dull and uninspiring color. Darker hues of gray, in particular, will likely evoke feelings of rainy days and misery. However, a light tint of stone gray can be an alternative to glossy white walls.
When we think about the description above, gray could even be considered a sleepy shade. After all, when you’re trapped in the house on a rainy weekend, what do you do? We’re willing to wager that you decide to take a nap and sleep the day away.
Of course, that becomes problematic in the morning. While gray walls may inspire you to retire to bed and doze off, they’ll not pep you up in the morning. If you’re going to sleep in a gray room, you’ll need some flourishes elsewhere.
Beige often suffers from a negative reputation, considered so plain and inoffensive that it borders on insulting. This great weakness is the main strength of beige, as it won’t inspire any real emotion, one way or another.
In many respects, beige is the best solution if you want a simple, white bedroom wall. White isn’t recommended. The walls may end up too bright, especially when light bounces off them, and attract all manner of stains and marks. Beige is the next best thing.
Beige walls won’t win you any design awards from glossy magazines, but neither are you likely to regret this color choice. In many respects, its lack of distinction is also its greatest strength.
There’s nothing about beige to stimulate you at night and keep you awake.
Black is widely considered a color associated with negative emotions and thus often deemed best avoided. Indeed, if black furnishings evoke fear or insecurity in your mind, steer clear of this shade. What’s more, black walls can make a room smaller.
Feng shui concepts do claim that black has its advantages. Black can be a calming color in the right context, and it will keep a room dark if you are prone to insomnia. If you wake in the night to use the bathroom, returning to a black room will keep your mind firmly in a nocturnal headspace.
If you do decide on black walls, there are two critical considerations. The first is that you shouldn’t use a glossy finish as the light will rebound off such gloss, making a room feel even smaller. Stick firmly with a matte finish.
Equally, don’t use pure black. Brighten your walls with flashes of cool color here and there to make the area a little more welcoming. You may be surprised at the impact a flash of pale blue or green could have.
The color you paint a bedroom is a matter of personal choice. If you spin a color wheel and fall in love with a deep shade of red or brown, there’s nothing to say you cannot use these hues. If you stick with those profiled above, you should sleep soundly and contentedly.
Just give the paint time to dry sufficiently before sleeping in that room.