What color or colors should you expose yourself to, or decorate and design your bedroom with that will help you to get a good night’s sleep? This article looks into some of the studies regarding color and sleep.
What Colors Help You Sleep?
Based on studies and research one color that seems to help with sleep more than most is the color blue. Blue is known to help with lowering heart rate and blood pressure and generally helps with relaxation. The relaxing and calming influences of blue is likely to be in part because of blue’s associations with the ocean and sky, which partly implies safety at an unconscious level.
Green also has a similar effect to blue with regards to calming, relaxation and lowering blood pressure. While blue has associations with the ocean and sky, green has associations with the land, trees and plant life. Green is also associated with growth, natural, nature and safety which all aid with calming and soothing.
You will notice that night lights are often blue in color, however they’re also available in other colors.
Shades are important, for both blue and green to have a positive influence on sleep, they need to be medium to darker or paler shades of those colors. Light and bright shades of these colors can actually stimulate us, leading to a delay of sleep, and may even prevent sleep.
Pale and neutral colors like beige, gray and taupe are often used in interior design for their calming and relaxing influences. Neutral colors help to clear the mind and lower energy levels, therefore helping with relaxation. Warmer neutral colors like beige and taupe tend to work better, they project warmth and overall comfort. Gray may seem too cold for some people, however others may gravitate to a more modern look and feel.
Cyan Keeps Us Awake
Cyan is a color that can damage sleep according to researchers at the University of Manchester (England). Monitors, televisions and mobile devices display bright levels of blue and green which creates cyan. Bright computer screens are blamed for causing problems with and disrupting sleep, a lack of sleep negatively impacts concentration, learning and even our ability to regulate emotions.
Many computer devices and operating systems include a night mode, which reduces the brightness of screens and displays, particularly reducing the color cyan in these displays.
Researches and biologists were able to actually measure the level of the sleep hormone (Melatonin) which either increased or decreased depending on the level of the color cyan present in a particular display. Researchers believe that reducing the amount of cyan displayed in these devices does improve sleep behavior.
Personal Color Influences & Associations
Some colors do seem to entice sleep better than others, this can be down to a few different reasons. Sensitivity to colors or aesthetics being one reason. Some people gain energy from external environments and others may not. Those who can detect subtleties in colors better, and/or those that have better color vision will also be more susceptible to the influences of color.
People also make their own associations to color based on their personal life experiences. One person may find a particular color soothing, comforting, safe and relaxing due to past positive experiences, therefore positive associations of that color. Negative associations to colors and emotions is also possible.