When you hear the phrase “lights out,” you know it’s time to go to sleep. While keeping the lights on can interfere with sleep, some studies show that turning on certain colors of light, such as dark blue, can help lure you to sleep.

But there other colors in your bedroom that may affect your sleep, too, including those on your walls. Colors can affect your mood, so being surrounded by the wrong color for relaxation could potentially affect your sleep quality.

Read on to learn exactly how the color of your bedroom walls may be affecting your sleep and which tones you should stick with to achieve the best sleep possible every night.

While you may paint your walls for aesthetic appeal, the colors may affect you psychologically, including your ability to sleep. Certain colors may evoke relaxation, while others stimulate your mind and make you more awake.

Overall, muted colors are the best for your bedroom walls, and blue, green, and yellow may offer the most benefits.


Blue is perhaps the best color for your bedroom. Not only is it more muted, but blue tones also tend to have more calming effects on the brain, as shown in a 2018 study of blue walls in a university residence hall.

All shades of blue can evoke a tranquil atmosphere, but stick with lighter shades on your bedroom walls for the best effect.


Green can be reminiscent of nature, which may put you in a relaxing mood. For many people, green is also a harmonizing and refreshing color of choice.


While yellow isn’t always sleep-inducing, it can be helpful to wake up in a yellow bedroom because of the color’s happy connotations. As with blue and green, stick with lighter shades that are less likely to distract you from your sleep.


Certain earth tones may also be appropriate for your bedroom walls, as long as they’re not too dark. Other options include beige and soft white. Silver is another alternative that may create a more peaceful atmosphere that may be conducive to better sleep.

Avoid glossy paint

No matter which color you choose, the finish of the paint may be equally important in terms of sleep quality. An overly glossy finish can reflect light and, in turn, stimulate your brain, so aim for a more flat or matte one instead.

As a rule of thumb, overly vibrant colors should be avoided in bedrooms. These include loud reds and oranges, which are considered to be energetic and uplifting colors. Research from 2014 suggests that red can increase your fight-or-flight instinct, making you more alert and aware of your surroundings.

Bright or neon pinks and purples may also be too stimulating when you’re winding down for sleep. Dark grays and browns aren’t recommended because they may evoke feelings of uncertainty.

If you simply must have a more vibrant color, consider a more muted version. For example, a bright purple may be swapped out for lavender, and fire-engine red can be replaced with a soft salmon shade.

Depending on the layout of your home, you may still be able to incorporate some of the more vibrant colors in other rooms of your home. Consider saving the more energetic colors for your home office or in your child’s playroom.

The ancient Chinese practice of Feng shui may also be worth considering when you’re selecting colors for your bedroom walls. Feng shui focuses on balance in your daily living spaces to help create energy.

Sleep is recognized as a vital form of rejuvenation, so it makes sense that Feng shui principles may also be applied to your bedroom. In terms of color, lighter tones such as cream, beige, and white are preferred over other shades found on the traditional color wheel.

But Feng shui also recognizes the need for using other colors in your bedroom depending on what aspect of your life you’re trying to achieve balance in. For example, painting an east-facing wall green is believed to benefit your health.

Once you turn out the lights in your bedroom, you may be less likely to see the colors on your walls and notice any effects, depending on how dark they are.

Aside from painting soothing colors on your bedroom walls, here are some other ways you can help create a sleep-friendly bedroom:

  • Install blackout curtains to keep out early morning sunlight and light from streetlamps.
  • Install light switch dimmers that you can lower as you start to unwind.
  • Keep the thermostat low.
  • Have multiple bedding layers, including the top sheet, comforter, and an extra blanket.
  • Use more muted or color-coordinating accents and decorations.
  • Create white noise with fans or phone apps.

There are also aspects of your bedroom that may not be conducive to sleep. Keep the following items out of your bedroom for a better night’s rest:

  • cellphones, tablets, and laptops, which emit melatonin-suppressing blue light
  • televisions
  • food

Before you opt for a color that may brighten your room, consider that lighter and more muted colors are best for bedrooms. Research shows that your sleep may depend on it.

Besides the color of your walls, it’s important to address other aspects of your bedroom to help encourage a better night’s sleep. If despite making changes, you continue to experience insomnia or other chronic sleep issues, see a doctor for advice.