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These Are the Best Bedroom Colours to Promote Peaceful Sleeping

Words by Jen Nurick

There are no hard and fast rules in matters of home décor—your home, your style—but in the interest of mastering the art of sleep, a formulaic approach to your bedroom’s design may actually help you to doze off more easily. Although Pantone dictates that ultraviolet is the colour of the year, following on the heels of millennial pink, the colours we choose to wear on our backs are not necessarily compatible with our bedroom walls and in turn with restful sleeping. If you haven’t wrestled with colour theory yet—don’t fret!—we’ve detailed the best bedroom colours to promote peaceful slumber below. And, if a lick of paint isn’t enough, we’ve paired each suggestion with our own recommendation of the best Bed Threads colourways to suit every palette.

Blue is the sleepiest colour

In a 2013 Travelodge study that surveyed the bedrooms of 2000 British homes, it was found that those sleeping in blue bedrooms got the most shut eye, clocking in at an optimal 7 hours and 52 minutes. A further 55 percent of those sleeping in blue bedrooms reported waking up happy—a feeling we don’t generally synonymise with early mornings! But there’s more hard science to this happiness: receptors in the retinas of our eyes—called ganglion cells—are especially sensitive to blue. In short: ganglion cells relay information to our brains and at the sight of this colour, the cells register calm which then feeds back to our brains in a loop, reducing blood pressure and slowing heart rate to maximise sleep.

If you pursue blue, choose a shade with grey or icy undertones. The colour’s associations with the ocean will deliver a soothing effect, and harmonise perfectly with our Drift set for a monochromatic look or Pinstripe for subtle contrast.

Mellow yellow is second best

Hard as it may be to pull off in an outfit, pale or pastel yellows work especially well on the walls of your bedroom. A soft yellow is both relaxing and comforting, creating a cosy ambience to aid peaceful sleep. In the same study, those that slept in yellow bedrooms clocked in at a close second with an average sleep session of 7 hours and 40 minutes—still comfortably in the upper range of our advised six to eight.

Our White or Fog sets will counterbalance this hue well, and allow for a neutral canvas to customise with personal touches.

Go for green

Colour theorists identify green with renewal, nature, harmony and fertility, rounding out a third alternative for bolder bedrooms. Consider painting your walls with muted shades like forest or pastel greens that are reminiscent of earthy, natural tones. To create a zen environment, steer clear of brighter limes or chartreuses—these will reflect more light and over-energise your quiet space. It’s also important to consider that while sleep deprivation mostly plagues adults—the Centres for Disease Control emphasise that 50-70 million of us don’t get sufficient sleep—painting children’s bedrooms in bright colours could hyperstimulate them as well and impede relaxation.

We may be biased but we know good green when we see it—our Sage or Olive bedding sets will pair with any bedroom in this colour in perfect symbiosis.

Paint the town red – not your bedroom!

Associated with fire, passion and anger, this polarising colour is believed to increase blood pressure if painted on bedroom walls. To promote a positive energy flow and state of calm instead, switch out bolder colours with muted or pastel variations. Soft oranges or corals are a great compromise to replace the fiery colour, and can then be accented with red bedside accessories. Shades of brown or dark purples should be alternated with greys or lavenders—both of which reduce stress and create a peaceful aura. Should you be concerned that any of these will make for a boring bedroom, consider painting the walls silver. The Travelodge study found 21 percent of sleepers in silver bedrooms woke up more motivated to exercise—an incentive we could all use to get ourselves out of bed and into the gym!

Pair back metallic walls with our Charcoal set if you gravitate towards silver or Build Your Own Bundle to incorporate more colour into your bedroom in an understated yet stylish way.

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Pick your paints wisely

However you choose to decorate your bedroom walls, always opt for a flat paint—refrain from using an eggshell variety or glossy finish as these will reflect more light and be more distracting. Remember that the colours of your bedroom walls can affect sleep patterns and mood, so whichever shade you are so inclined to use, choose from its comparably muter counterparts—cooler colours reduce blood pressure and heart rate to improve sleep quality, so you can get in more zzz’s.

If you are concerned about your health, wellbeing or sleep, your first port of call should be your GP, who will advise a correct treatment plan. 

For more from Jen Nurick, follow her on Instagram @jennurick and read her work at JENNURICK.com.