With decorative lighting options becoming more affordable and trendier, it may be time for you to start considering night lights to enhance your sleeping experience. There is a common misconception that night lights are unhealthy for sleeping, which is completely false. As long as you are using lights with suitable color and brightness, night lights can actually improve your sleeping experience a lot.
Before we look at the best color lights for sleeping, we need to see exactly why night lights are useful for our sleep. A lot of people do not prefer to sleep in complete darkness, instead they prefer low levels of ambient light. Night lights are the perfect solution for these people.
Even if you’re someone who likes to sleep in the dark, you may be surprised to hear that certain colors generate chemicals and hormones in our brain that actually help us fall asleep. So we’d say that night lights are definitely an option worth considering.
Positive Effects of The Right Color
Various research shows that our body responds differently to different colors. In order to find the best color lights for sleeping, we need to look at exactly what happens when our eyes see various colored lights.
When our eyes see various colors, particular cells in the retina known as ganglion cells respond to the different colors by sending signals to a special part of our brain called the hypothalamus. The Hypothalamus performs various functions such as releasing hormones, controlling body temperature, etc. The hormones and chemicals released by the hypothalamus control how our body feels. Hormones such as melatonin help us feel sleepy and tired, whereas hormones like cortisol help us to wake up and feel energized.
This means that when the eyes see particular colors, we can get our brain to release chemicals and hormones that make us feel relaxed and drowsy. So by choosing the correct night light colors, we can get our brain to release the chemicals that will make us fall asleep faster.
Why Choose LEDs Over Night Lights?
Although night lights provide a soft and ambient light that is suitable for sleeping, a similar kind of effect can be generated by using LED lights. There are quite a few reasons why LED lights can be preferable over traditional night lights.
Firstly, LED lights are much more affordable compared to night lights. Various lengths of LED strips can be purchased with options to have a remote control. Secondly, a night light will likely only illuminate parts of the room. Whereas with a long enough strip of LED lights, a room can be illuminated equally. Finally, most LED lights these days are multi-colored, meaning that users can change the color of the lighting to a various range of colors.
In some cases, the LED strips even come with the option of choosing custom colors and brightness, which can make it easier for you to find the best color lights for sleeping.
What LED Color Lights are Best for Sleeping?
Red: Although red is not associated as a calm color, the case is different when it comes to red colored lights. As said earlier, the brain releases a hormone called melatonin which helps us fall asleep quicker. As red light has a high wavelength, it does not prevent our brain from releasing melatonin which can make us fall asleep quicker.
Yellow and Orange: As a warm color, yellow also has a higher wavelength which does not hamper the release of melatonin. Red can be an intense color which can make us uneasy and stressed, therefore yellow and orange are good alternatives.
Green: As green is the color of nature, our brain associates this color with calm and relaxing emotions which can help us reduce stress and anxiety. Additionally, our eyes can see the most shades of green which can enhance the visual experience from our surroundings.
What LED Color Lights are Not Good for Sleeping?
Blue: Although blue is known as a calming color, there is a big difference between blue color and blue light. As blue light has a low wavelength, it prevents our brain from releasing melatonin which stops us from falling asleep.
There is a reason why screens on our phones and laptops have a blue light filter. Blue lights are very dangerous for our eyes and can have major long term health hazards.
Purple: Like blue, purple also has a relatively low wavelength which also prevents melatonin from being produced. Therefore, we recommend avoiding purple lights.
Choosing the Right Bedroom Paint for Sleep
In addition to adding lights, you can also consider changing the paint color of your room to enhance your sleeping experience even further. Although changing the paint of your room may not be a cost friendly option, if you are planning to paint your room these colors might be a good option:
Blue: Although blue lights are not recommended, blue colored walls can have an opposite effect. The color blue has a calming effect on our brain. Moreover, research has shown that blue light can actually reduce blood pressure.
Yellow and Orange: As mentioned earlier, these high wavelength colors help fall asleep quicker. Also, yellow and orange are colors that are associated with spring which generates positive emotions in our brain.
Green: Green is also a very suitable choice for painting a room. As said before, green is the color of nature which can provide a soothing experience.
Here are some paint colors that we do not recommend:
Red: Although red light is good for stimulating sleep, the color red as a wall paint is discouraged because red colored walls can increase heart rate and blood pressure. Therefore, this is not a good option for painting your walls.
Brown: As a color, brown is often associated with emotions of gloom and sadness. Therefore, we discourage this paint color for the best state of mind.
Choosing a Light for Sleeping
So far, we have discussed the suitable kinds of light as well as the benefit of various colors of light as well as wall paint. All things considered, we can say that the best color lights for sleeping are definitely warmer color lights such as red, orange and yellow. This is because these colored lights do not stop the production of melatonin in our brain and therefore help us fall asleep quicker.
In order to make sure that the light is uniformly spread throughout the room, we recommend getting LED strips. Additionally, using LED lights will also allow you to change the color during other times of the day to better suit your mood.
The best color lights for sleeping are the ones that help your brain realize that it’s time to fall asleep. On top of that, your brain also associates some colors with calming presences such as nature, sunrise, sunset, etc. Therefore, keep these things in mind when the color of your night lights.
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I am a fellow LED light enthusiast who has completed his Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering and now has been doing my Master’s on the same subject. Born in 1994, I am a big fan of shiny things since I was just four years old!