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By Paul Brucker
Is there a connection between the color of your bedroom walls and the quality of your sleep? You bet, according to a new sleep study conducted by Travelodge, the operator of several chains of hotels. To reach its findings, Travelodge studied bedrooms in 2,000 homes across England.
“Room color does influence your mood and sets the tone for your living environment,” concludes Travelodge interior designer Frances Whitley. “Therefore it’s important to choose a bedroom décor that will help you relax and induce sleep.”
People who sleep in a blue room have the highest average sleep time per night: Almost eight hours. Blue, according to the study, provides us with calmness and also relaxes our heart rate and blood pressure. And 58% of the people with a blue bedroom usually wake up feeling happy.
Does this surprise you? It doesn’t surprise Dr. Chris Idzikowski, who studies sleep at the Edinburgh Sleep Centre. There are specialized receptors in the retina of our eyes, which are most sensitive to the color blue, he reports. “These receptors feed information into an area deep in our brain that controls 24 hour rhythms, and affects how we perform and feel during the day,” he says. “That interaction between light, sleep and wakefulness is supremely important.”
Here are the average sleep times per color of bedroom:
What’s the problem with purple? Purple is too mentally stimulating, which makes it tough to unwind after a hectic day, the study suggests. Plus, purple stimulates creativity and the unconscious mind, explains color therapy and design consultant Suzy Chiazzari. “Sleeping in a purple room is more likely to promote vivid dreams or even nightmares, resulting in you feeling tired in the morning,” she says.
Other findings from the Travelodge report:
The study is not without its detractors. Mailonline.com, the website for England’s Daily Mail newspaper, published an article about the study, which prompted a reader to comment: “Normally when you go to bed, it’s dark and when you sleep your eyes are closed. So what does it matter what color your bedroom walls have?”
One another note, The Better Sleep Council, a non-profit organization supported by the mattress industry, offers this advice: “The walls of your bedroom are a blank canvas for self-expression; bathe them with colors that reflect your personality and tones that make you feel at ease.”