We generally choose paint colors based on our personal taste and preferences, but did you know that the shades you choose do more than just add to your décor? A study conducted by Travelodge found that the paint color in your bedrooms can also correlate to how much sleep and sex you have!
The connection between colors and our emotions has long been acknowledged, with shades like reds and blacks being considered powerful and assertive and shades like blue and yellow being seen as cheerful and uplifting. However, most people don’t take this into consideration when they’re choosing their décor but after reading this, you may be reaching for the paint brush!
The study looked at the habits and bedroom colors of 2000 participants in the UK and found that people with blue rooms are having the best sleep, clocking in at an average of seven hours and 52 minutes a night. It also found that those with caramel colored rooms have sex three times per week, the highest rate in the survey.
While it may seem a bit far-fetched to assume that our paint color can have an effect on our sleep, the connection between colors and our mood is actually backed by science. Specialized receptors in our eye, known as ganglion cells, pick up colors and send messages to the brain, which in turn has a physiological effect on us.
The study found that the color blue can help us to feel relax and calm and can even lower our blood pressure and heart rate.
“This is an amazing result, as there are specialised receptors called ganglion cells in the retina part of our eyes, which are most sensitive to the colour blue,” says Chris Idzikowski, a sleep expert at the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, in a press release about the study. “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. That interaction between light, sleep and wakefulness is supremely important."
If blue isn’t your shade of choice, don’t worry! The study found a number of other sleep supporting shades.
Yellow, which seems to calm our nervous system and create a safe and cozy environment, came in second place. Participants with yellow rooms got an average of seven hours and 40 minutes of sleep per night.
Silver and green were a near tie for third place. Participants with silver rooms, which is believed to mimic the appearance of moonlight, got an average of seven hours and 33 minutes of sleep, while participants with green rooms, which is believed to be calming and soothing, got an average of seven hours and 30 minutes per night.
The study had a couple of surprising findings as well. While you might assume that orange would be too stimulating to promote good sleep, it resulted in an average of seven hours at 28 minutes. The study reported that it creates a “stable and reassuring atmosphere and can even help digestion.”
Also surprising: participants with grey rooms only get an average of six hours and 12 minutes of sleep. Seeing that it’s so similar to silver (which fared well in the study), and that’s it’s a muted and relaxed color, you might assume that it would be a more sleep inducing shade. However, the study suggests that it can feel depressing and may thus contribute to a restless sleep.
The study found that brown, white, and cream colored rooms were often the shades of choice for workaholics, but the shade associated with the worst sleep was purple.
It noted that this color may be too stimulating and may make it difficult for people to shut off their brains’ for sleep. Participants with purple rooms got an average of just five hours and 56 minutes of sleep, well below the recommended average of 7-8 hours.
Color Therapy & Holistic Interior Design consultant, Suzy Chiazzari, noted that “purple has a strong connection with the more artistic community being a color reported to stimulate creativity and the unconscious mind. Therefore, sleeping in a purple room is more likely to promote vivid dreams or even nightmares; resulting in you feeling tired in the morning.”
Color isn’t the only thing that can affect your sleep. Also helpful? Sex! The study found that participants with a caramel décor scheme have sex an average of three times per week. And if you’re looking to boost your sex life, make sure you’re not sleeping in a red colored room: while this hue is often associated with love and passion, the study showed that participants with a red décor had sex just once per week.
So, should we all run out and paint our rooms blue or caramel? Not necessarily. While colors do have general effects on us, we are all affected differently. What may be calming to one person may be stress inducing and irritating to another. So next time you’re looking for a room makeover, browse through paint swatches to find the one that resonates best with you.
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