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Psychology of Sleep: Bedroom Wall Colours That Help You Doze Off

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The perception of colour has fascinated philosophers and psychologists for thousands of years. Even the Ancient Egyptians dabbled in the psychological effects of colours; their word for colour (“iwn”) also can be translated to personality or disposition. The founder of analytical psychology, Carl Jung, calls colour the “mother tongue of the subconscious”. Scientifically, ganglion cells in your retina respond to colour by sending signals to the hypothalamus, the region in your brain responsible for the self-regulation of hormones in your body. Designers have harnessed the power of colours to support and enhance the ambience of a space. One example is in the bedroom, where paint colours can be used to relax, fall asleep or to increase happiness. This article discusses different colours for bedroom walls and how they influence mood.

Bridgehampton Home by Andrew Kotchen and Matthew Berman

Bridgehampton Home by Andrew Kotchen and Matthew Berman

Blue

A survey conducted by Travelodge asked hotel guests to record how many hours of good sleep they got in a night, then correlated this data with the colour of the hotel room. The survey found that blue rooms were most conducive to a good night’s rest. People who slept in blue rooms experienced 7 hours and 52 minutes of sleep, the longest result of the study. Respondents also claimed that they felt calmer, and experienced less nightmares in general. This is supported by this Australian study that claims that not only is blue a calming colour, it actually physically lowers your heart rate. Pale colours can also help you relax, so try combining two shades of blue colour and create a relaxing gradient on your bedroom wall.

Blue Mountain Gradient bedroom wall - Shutterstock

Blue Mountain Gradient - Shutterstock

Yellow

While blue is associated with calmness, yellow is closely related to joy and happiness and was the second best sleeping colour according to the Travelodge survey. If you have trouble getting up in the morning, then yellow is a good colour to paint your bedroom wall. This colour is also most closely associated with sunshine, producing a similar psychological effect to being exposed to light. Yellow is an ideal choice for people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder, light can decrease melatonin production that causes you to feel sleepy in the morning.

2018 Fall Collection by Maisons du Monde

2018 Fall Collection by Maisons du Monde

Green

Another highly influential colour when it comes to sleep, the calming effect of green has been theorised as a primordial psychological hangover. Green in nature is a sign of abundance and prosperity, as well as peace. Culturally however, green is also used to represent sickness or decay, so it’s important if you choose to have a green bedroom to ensure the shade of colour isn’t overstimulating. Green can bring positivity to your bedroom as well. A study found that members of a group were able to recall words written in green much better than words written in red, which could relate to our cultural perceptions of green and red.

Forest Green Bedroom - Shutterstock

Forest Green Bedroom - Shutterstock

Red

The psychological effects of red appear to be the strongest out of all colours. Its large light wavelength allows it to stand out around all other colours and can cause it to appear closer than it really is. Bedrooms painted red can evoke many different emotions, such as strength, excitement, energy and passion. Red can also increase our heart rate and elicit a mild version of the primordial “fight or flight” instinct. Regardless, none of these moods are conducive with a good night’s sleep, however a pale red or pink can bring warmth and comfort to a bedroom.

North End Tudor by Heidi Caillier

North End Tudor by Heidi Caillier

Tomas Kuru
Contributor
As the Marketing Coordinator for Archify, Tomas Kuru oversees and implements Archify’s digital marketing strategies. A writer at heart with a passion for media, Tomas graduated from Griffith University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in journalism and has since written on many subjects.
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