The best colors to paint your bedroom for better sleep

A wellness design expert explains the connection between color and sleep.

Mercey Livingston CNET Contributor
Mercey Livingston is a health and wellness writer and certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She's written about fitness and wellness for Well+Good, Women's Health, Business Insider, and Prevention.com among others. When not writing, she enjoys reading and trying out workout classes all over New York City.
Mercey Livingston
3 min read

Some experts say the colors in your bedroom can affect your sleep.

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Ideally, your bedroom should feel like a safe haven where you can go to unwind, relax and recharge when you need it most. As much time as you can spend hunting down the best comfortable mattress, pillow, sleep trackers and other upgrades for your bedroom, there's another factor that could also impact your sleep quality: the color of your walls.

If you live in a rental home or apartment, chances are you didn't have a say in the paint colors for your home. But if you do get to choose, colors that help promote relaxation and rest could be conducive to better sleep, according to Jamie Gold, a wellness design consultant and the author of Wellness by Design: A Room-by-Room Guide to Optimizing Your Home for Health, Fitness and Happiness.

Creating a more serene environment in your bedroom can make a difference in how well you sleep. For some people, using specific colors can help create that ideal sleep environment. If you're curious about the connection between colors and sleep, keep reading for Gold's insights on how to select colors that are more conducive to sleep.

What colors are best for sleep?

When I chose the colors for my bedroom, I selected colors based on my personal preference and style. But you can be even more strategic with your bedroom since "some colors stimulate your senses, while others help you relax," according to Gold. 

There's nothing wrong with selecting colors for your home that you simply enjoy. But if you're looking for ways to connect color to wellness, you can be even more intentional when you choose. "Comfort and joy is one of my five facets of wellness design, and including your favorite color in your home can certainly enhance that. You do want to be strategic about it, though, and understanding color properties can help," Gold says.

Again, you'll want to select colors for your walls and decor or bedding that you truly enjoy, but, "according to color scientists, conducive colors that invite tranquility to your bedroom include light blue, purple, soft peach, soft green, pink or apricot. Neutrals like beige, brown and taupe can also work," Gold says. 

If you can't paint your walls, bring in calming colors with decor, such as bedding, rugs, art and curtains.


Red is a more stimulating color that may not belong in the bedroom. 

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Colors to avoid in your bedroom

You may want to think twice about using bright, bold colors in your bedroom and save them for other rooms like an office where you want to feel stimulated. "I painted my office a brick red for both its creative, stimulating properties, and because the room opens onto a private patio with brick red walls and I wanted the indoor-outdoor visual connection," Gold says.  

"I wouldn't have put that color in my bedroom even if it also opened onto the patio. That room is painted in soft, deep plum, which I find relaxing; plus it reminds me of my favorite wine country trips for happy memories," he explains. 

Again, the colors you ultimately find comforting or stimulating can vary based on your own personal experiences. But in general, you want to "avoid stimulating colors like red, orange and bright yellow. These are known to generate energy, so you want to keep those out of a room where downshifting into sleep is the goal," Gold says. 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.