Natural woods, green pops of colour with foliage patterns and plants add life into this room Picture: Instagram.
Natural woods, green pops of colour with foliage patterns and plants add life into this room Picture: Instagram.

Colour psychology and how it affects your sleep

By Sacha van Niekerk Time of article published Oct 14, 2021

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How the colour of your bedroom may be influencing the way you sleep –here’s how to pick the right shade for you.

Colour psychology is the science behind how colours have the ability to bring out certain feelings and affect the behaviour and well-being of humans. From sunshine yellow to serene blue and earthy greens, the brightness, shade, tint, or tone of colours, as well as whether the hue is cooler or warm toned, all influence emotions.

So, when it comes to your living space, being mindful of your colour scheme can help your interior spaces speak to the ambience you want to create in each room. This is especially important when it comes to home decor. As a space where we spend most of our time, it should be welcome colours into your bedroom that speak to your sleeping style.

Busybodies

Pops of red can help keep the mind stimulated. Picture: Instagram.

If you’re the type of person who strives to wake up at the first blare of their alarm clock, you’re probably a busybody. However, jumping out of bed and using all the extra time productively (and not just scrolling through Instagram) to get most of your to-do list completed before 9am is not always easy. Those first few hours of sunlight are prime time to exercise, study, work, run errands and get that load of laundry washed and dried before breakfast.

To keep your energy up in the mornings, you’ll need a colour palette that matches your busy lifestyle. According to True Value Paint, “Red, the colour of confidence, excitement and energy, is the most psychologically stimulating of colours. Those who like red are passionate, energetic, outgoing and courageous.”

Since red is quite a bold colour and can be stimulating, use it as an accent colour on minor decor pieces like lampshades, scatter cushions, rugs and patterns on bedspreads. This is more ideal than a solid wash of paint on the walls, as they can be swapped out seasonally as your lifestyle changes. Situate this red decor in areas where you hope to be productive such as your study or work desk, workout area (a red yoga mat would be perfect).

Restless sleepers

Blue like the sky, this colour is known to calm our bodies and minds for a restful night. Picture: Instagram.

Tossing and turning at night, unable to get comfortable enough to slip away into a deep sleep, could be a sign that you need to rethink your decor. Focus more on creating an environment that is more conducive to quietening your body and mind rather than stimulating it. The best bedroom colour for sleep is blue – the colour of the ocean and sky – this colour evokes feelings of calmness and helps slow down the mind. The website Tuck claims that “Your brain is especially receptive to the colour blue, thanks to special receptors in your retinas called ganglion cells.

These are sensitive to blue more than any other colour, so when they see it, they send a message to your brain that you’re in a calm environment, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure.”

From your walls to duvet set, and perhaps even a statement ceiling, pretty much any part of the room can be awash with this gentle hue. Unlike more energising colours, blue will not overstimulate the brain, so don’t worry about using it sparingly. An accent wall that faces the bed is ideal as it is the last thing you’ll see as you’re lulled to sleep.

Nightmare-prone

Warm and comforting yellows and oranges layered together make this room look like sunshine. Picture: Instagram.

Whether it’s stress from work or exams, the pandemic, or you’re simply going through a difficult time, often our real-life experiences tend to trickle over into our dream lives. This is not ideal when it comes to rest and achieving the optimal hours of sleep each night. National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise that “Healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Babies, young children, and teens need even more sleep to enable their growth and development. People over 65 should also get 7 to 8 hours per night.”

But when the ideal sleep state doesn’t come easily to you, nodding off and staying asleep can be difficult for some. Cheerful and warm, the Amerisleep website says that “Softer shades of yellow create a tranquil environment because the muted tone imitates sunshine. Soft yellows alleviate stress and promote tranquillity so you can sleep peacefully.”

However, it is best to avoid shades such as neon yellow as this colour is too bright and stimulating. Also, it can be very harsh on the eyes during the daytime. Once again, anything from the walls to the drapes can be a yellow shade to inspire happiness and peace as you fall off to sleep.

Honeymooners

This rich raspberry pink velvet headboard is ultra luxurious and the perfect way to add a touch of romance into the bedroom. Picture: Instagram.

There’s a reason pink and red are the colours of love, seen splashed all over sexy lingerie and lovey-dovey Valentine’s day cards. If you’re hoping to bring passion into the bedroom and keep the honeymoon phase from ending in your relationship, a deep raspberry hue may be the thing for you and your partner.

Not quite red, this intensely creamy shade is more like a romantic pink and falls on the deeper end of the gradient making for a wonderful way to inspire romance to the bedroom. This is especially perfect if you are sharing the bedroom with a partner who might think the colour is a little juvenile. “Some shades of pale pink are described as relaxing, while very bright, vibrant shades can be stimulating or even aggravating,” Very Well Mind claims.

City dwellers

Natural woods, green pops of colour with foliage patterns and plants add life into this room Picture: Instagram.

If you live within the hustle and bustle of a vibrant city centre, you may be accosted by bright lights, car horns and the buzz of people going about their day to day activities. While living in a concrete jungle may have its perks when it comes to rest and relaxation, it falls flat.

To bring calmness into your bedroom look no further than the soothing hues inspired by nature. Forest greens, sage and earthy browns pair beautifully together and will make your home feel like an oasis amid all the stressors of city life. These colours can be used all across the room on anything from bedding and headboard to drapes, rugs and wall paint or paper. Since they are pretty neutral you still have the freedom of creativity to add all your favourite decor elements in a range of colours.

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