The Best Bedroom Colors for Sleep

Understand the psychological effect of colors that can ultimately impact sleep and check out the best shades for sleeping.

By Alesandra Woolley

Jun 9th, 2022

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Creating the perfect environment for sleep is a balance between psychology and physiology. Physically, your body must be comfortable, your head supported, and your temperature at a perfect equilibrium. Psychologically, you must service your circadian rhythm and practice strict sleep hygiene to ease your body into a restful state.

Once you have your comforter, pillows, and mattress, you might throw on some extra accessories, like a sleep mask to prevent natural light from waking you, or a fancy electric blanket.

You know you have to control the intensity and hue of the light in your bedroom, but how often do you think about the way your bedroom paint colors may be impacting your sleep cycle?

The Psychology of Color

Color and hue can affect moods, emotions, and even actions. This includes sleep and health. In ancient Egyptian and Asian cultures, color therapy is even used as a method of healing, a practice which is still used by homeopaths today. Color therapy has been used to heal upset stomachs, anxiety, and other mental and physical woes. Blue hues, especially, have been thought to invoke feelings of calmness. A poll by VeryWellMind found that readers connected shades of blue with a state of stability, serenity, calmness, and safety.

The color blue has even shown to provoke physical changes that simulate a sleep state. Exposure to blue light has been shown to lower body temperature and blood pressure, according to a study done by the University of Surrey. A decrease in blood pressure and body temperature are two of the preparations that signal to the body that it is time to transition to sleep. Therefore, seeing the color blue when you are ready to rest may provoke these responses and help you fall asleep easier. In fact, Travelodge looked at 2,000 British homes to find out which bedroom colors were associated with the best sleep. They found that respondents with blue bedroom walls got an average of 7 hours 52 minutes of sleep per night- 30 minutes more than the 7 hours 20 minutes of shut-eye reported by sleepers with orange bedrooms. Those with a blue room feel happy when they wake up, according to 58% of respondents.

When choosing a shade for your bedroom, muted, pastel, or neutral hues make a great choice. While there is much evidence that shades of blue are the best choice for your bedroom walls, it’s really the hue or tone that influences your sleep, not the color itself. Deep blue or sage green, or other soothing neutral tones will even make a small bedroom feel more spacious, according to the interior designers at HGTV.

While muted colors and earth tones are the most calming and restful bedroom colors for sleep, bold, bright colors spike your brain activity and alertness. These colors stimulate brain activity and stop you from drifting off to slumber. While many paint their children’s rooms with bright colors, it is better to opt for fun, playful colors in pastel tones to encourage your kids to go to sleep. Pastel yellow, green, orange, and blue are all amazing options to paint your child’s bedroom.

You might wonder the worst color for sleep. The answer is: never paint your bedroom walls purple! Purple stimulates creative thought and can lead to extremely vivid nightmares. Other bad choices for bedroom colors include bright reds and oranges, which live on the other side of the color wheel from our spa-like blues and greens. These colors stimulate the brain and increase energy. For example, red invokes passion, increases energy, and may even help you move more quickly. It may be a better choice for your home gym than for your sleep space.

Wall Colors To Paint Your Bedroom

Calming, neutral tones work great in large or small bedrooms. In fact, these colors, when used in a coordinating color palette, can help a small room appear larger.

Regardless of the size of your room, there are a few tones that we suggest for creating a healthy space for deep sleep. The most important factor is that this room feels soothing, calm and restful to you. You should also keep your bedroom free from clutter as much as possible, and keep your space clean and subdued. In your bedroom, sleep should be your main focus.

There are a few colors commonly recommended by interior design experts and paint professionals. A version of most of these colors will be available at your local hardware or paint store.

Check out our bedroom color inspiration.

HC 154
Hale Navy – Benjamin Moore

Deep blue is a lovely bedroom color that invokes feelings of calm and mimics the shade of the night sky.

Ella Rose
Eggshell Ella Rose – Magnolia Home

Though we’ve been singing the praises of earth tones for bedroom walls, you can also choose a brighter, edgier, or more fun color, as long as it’s in a soothing hue. Take this neutral ballet pink bedroom for inspiration. Sold at Ace Hardware.

luluworth paint color 1537551657 1
Lulworth – Farrow & Ball

Pale blue is another lovely shade for the bedroom, especially when paired with wood furniture. This shade is especially great for a child’s bedroom. Cream or white painted wood furniture and molding is an especially nice touch.

Gray paint
Seize the Gray – Clare

Grey is another shade that is a great color choice as it has the calming effects of a neutral, while also making a dramatic statement.  

sagewisdom csp 775 2 1540411617 e1559676970638
Sage Wisdom – Benjamin Moore

Finally, we love a sage green bedroom when the tone is kept muted, like this one.

Creating your sleep sanctuary doesn’t end with the colors on your walls. Remember to keep your sleep space dark, cool and quiet. Most importantly, make sure you are sleeping comfortable and supported.