Fluffy pillows, smooth sheets, a firm mattress, blackout blinds, and maybe some white noise. Whatever your recipe for sleep success may be, consider adding paint color to the list. It just might help you get those coveted eight (or seven!) hours.
The color of your bedroom not only has an impact on the look of the space, but it can also affect the way the room makes you feel. “It all boils down to two color groups,” says Louisiana-based interior designer and owner of Full Spectrum Paints, Ellen Kennon: “Cool colors bring you into yourself, while warm colors are more suited for social rooms where you want to stimulate communication and creativity.”
If you’re trying to create a serene space, opt for a muted blue, which is considered the most calming shade. According to a survey conducted by Travelodge, participants who slept in a blue room got the best night’s sleep, clocking in an average of 7 hours and 52 minutes of sleep per night. Moss green, pale yellow, and silver followed close behind.
Purple was determined to be the least restful room color, with participants sleeping an average of just 5 hours and 56 minutes per night. Sterile whites and primary colors, like red, which implies danger and has been linked to increased blood pressure, should also be avoided, says Dr. Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist in Scottsdale, Arizona. And opt for a flat finish instead of glossy. “Colors are softer and more atmospheric the flatter they are,” Kennon says.
But while the science of color might be helpful, it’s far from exact—personal preferences play an important role, too. Breus suggests considering the science but ultimately choosing a paint color that has a positive meaning to you. If you’re drawn to green shades, for instance, a moss or olive color is likely a better choice than sky blue.
“At the end of the day, painting your room is not going to cure your insomnia. However, if you add up all of the little things that you can do, then we do start to see an effect,” he says.
In addition to paint color, consider sound, touch, and smell when creating a sleep sanctuary. If your bedroom is too bright, it can negatively affect the sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin, setting you up for a poor night’s sleep. Sound, whether it’s a snoring partner or a barking dog, can also disrupt your sleep (try ear plugs if your environment is on the noisier side). And, finally, says Breus, pay close attention to the comfort of your bed and use calming scents, like lavender, to help your body relax at the end of what was likely a very long day.