Revealed: The best and worst bedroom colours for sleep

  • 28/03/2019
  • Sponsored by - Resene
The best and worst colours are revealed Photo credit: Gettys

After a night spent tossing and turning, there’s nothing worse than waking up feeling like two of the Seven Dwarves: sleepy… and grumpy.

Research suggests certain colours are more conducive to sleep, and there’s one colour that stands out above the rest. 

Key findings from a British survey reveal people with blue-painted bedrooms have the best sleep.

In 2013 Travelodge conducted a survey of 2,000 Britons, and discovered on average people with blue bedrooms get seven hours and fifty-two minutes per night.

Swirly waves of colour inspired by the lapping sea create a calm and peaceful environment for sleeping in this soothing bedroom. Wall in Resene Grey Seal with painted swirls in Resene Mystery and Resene Remember Me. Floor in Resene White Island. Styling by Gem Adams and image by Wendy Fenwick. Photo credit: Resene

58% of people with a blue wall colour reported waking up feeling happy and refreshed. 

So how do those sleeping in blue rooms get the best rest?

Resene colour consultant Brenda Ngatai suggests the colour blue is connected to water, sea and sky.

"When you close your eyes and think about the sea it’s peaceful, calm and relaxing – something nature has given to us.

"A bedroom is a place where people go to rest and feel at ease, so colours are important. Bedrooms should have soft comforting colours – nothing too zingy and bright. I suggest people look at peaceful colours – soft blues and green with touches of yellow warmth. Also a hint of magenta, lilac and mauve can work well too.

A wonderfully nocturnal bedroom. Wall, skirting, shelf and brackets are Resene Nocturnal. Floor colour Resene Viktor and side timber table Resene Organic. Styling by Vanessa Nouwens and image by Wendy Fenwick. Photo credit: Resene

"It depends on their personality but they should try a colour out using Resene testpots or A4 drawdown colour swatches options.

"I’d suggest using three good colours in a bedroom. But you need to consider the size of a room and what’s on the floor, and be mindful of lighting.

"People tend to love a hint of blue with grey undertones," Ngatai says. "Mid blues like Resene Liberty and Resene Safehaven, and deep blues like Resene Indian Ink are currently popular."

The research found other favourable bedroom décor colours for a good night’s sleep are yellow, green, silver and orange.

Green is the third most restful colour for sleep. Wall in Resene Leap Year. Floor in Resene Aquamarine. Sideboard drawers in Resene Surf Crest. Vine leaves in Resene Feijoa, Resene Summer Green and Resene Ottoman. Styling Emily Somerville-Ryan and image by Wendy Fenwick. Photo credit: Resene

Purple, red, brown, gold and grey are colours people seeking a good night's rest should refrain from painting their bedrooms, according to the study.

So what if your room is one of these colours? Is it really worth going out and getting a few of buckets of blue paint just for another couple of hours of rest? Research suggests so, as failing to get enough sleep can have lasting negative effects on your health.

Excitable colours are sometimes not recommended for bedrooms as they may discourage sleep, but the rich tones of Resene Cleopatra has enough earthiness to give it a calming, cocooning edge. Styling by Megan Harrison-Turner and image by Bryce Carleton. Photo credit: Resene

"Ambience can affect your sleep quality. Make sure your bedroom is as comfortable as possible. Ideally you want "a quiet, dark, and cool environment," says Dr Karen Carlson, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who wrote Harvard Women’s Watch. "All of these things promote sleep onset."

Changing the colour of your room may not solve all your sleep issues. Other factors in your life may be preventing you from getting enough shut eye.

Carlson suggests other ways to get a better night’s sleep include exercise, establishing a sleep ritual, de-stressing, and avoiding a big meal, alcohol or caffeine before bedtime.

Beachy image with sleepy names. Colours are Resene Rascal on the wall, Resene Unwind on the floor, and a Resene Mozart cane bedside table. Styling by Claudia Kozub and image by Wendy Fenwick. Photo credit: Resene

Still, there's nothing wrong with trying to create the right sleep atmosphere. Pick a paint colour that allows you to relax and let the stress of the previous day melt away.

Average hours of sleep per night*

Blue   = 7:52

Yellow = 7:40

Green = 7:36

Silver = 7:33

Orange = 7:28

Colour meanings:*

Blue – calming and soothing prevents nightmares

Yellow – warmth and comfort relaxation

Green – restful and calming

Silver – sleep inducing

Orange – warmth, relaxation and helpful to digestion

Red – passion, love and energy

Gold – warmth but linked to wealth – provides financial anxiety

Grey – dreary and depressing

Brown – sad and sombre

Purple – mental stimulation – can provide nightmares

*Travelodge Info-graphic 

Orange represents warmth creating a stable and reassuring atmosphere. Feature wall in Resene Grenadier (orange) and Resene Rice Cake. Lamp shade, side wall and floor in Resene Rice Cake. Styling by LeeAnn Yare and image by Melanie Jenkins Photo credit: Resene

For bedroom colour style tips and tricks visit Resene

This article is created for Resene.