Sleeping With Lights On: Sleep-Friendly Light Colors

When it comes to lighting, a dark room with no light is best for sleeping. The color of the light in your bedroom before bed may change the way you sleep. There are different kinds of light that can help you sleep, and this article will talk about the best ones.

Key takeaways:

The circadian rhythm is the body's natural clock for when to wake up and go to sleep. Our bodies have their own 24-hour clocks that tell us when it is daytime and nighttime and when to sleep and be awake. When our body sees daylight, the brain associates it is time to be awake; when it is dark out, it knows to start winding down for bed.

Light hits light receptors in your eyes, which tell your brain where you are in your circadian rhythm. The type of light that your eyes see affects whether they make more or less melatonin. You will see a pattern if you think about colors in terms of how you see the sky when you sleep.

Different colors for better sleep quality

Some people do not think of light when they want to get a good night's sleep. This is because light is often associated with being awake. Different kinds of light can change how you wake up and go to sleep. Different colors of light give off different amounts of light. The way we sleep might change because of these different colored lights.

Red light color

Red light does not trigger the body to think it is awake, causing no disruption in the circadian rhythm. Because of this, it is a good color to use when going to sleep. Red light has been shown to increase melatonin output production during night hours and improve waking during the day. Red light therapy has many health benefits outside of sleeping as well.

Yellow light color

When used dimly as a light source, yellow light can have little impact on your ability to fall asleep. When compared to other colors, such as white, blue, or purple, yellow does not suppress melatonin production as much as the others. However, if a bright yellow light is used, it may mimic sunlight, causing a suppression of melatonin.

Orange light color

Orange is similar to yellow light. It has little impact on your circadian rhythm when used in dim lighting. If used too brightly, it can suppress melatonin in response, inhibiting sleep. Compared to brighter lights, orange is better suited for sleeping.

Colors to avoid for better sleep

Most lighting can affect how you sleep. When it comes to sleep, you want to avoid light colors associated with daytime. The light receptors in the eye are more sensitive to blue lights and cooler tones than warmer tones.

White light color

White light can be used for light therapy to help people treat depression or sleep disorders when used at night, it can prevent falling asleep. Light therapy with white lights can be used to treat seasonal depression in areas where it is gray and cloudy. It can trigger the brain into thinking the sun is shining. It can also reset your circadian rhythm by using bright light during the day so your body is ready to sleep at night.

Blue light color

Blue light suppresses melatonin and disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm at night. While not suited for nighttime, blue light can be beneficial. Blue lights come from electronics such as your phone, LED lights, and Fluorescent lights. Over time, these bright lights can cause damage to your eyes, but in moderation, blue lighting may be able to help you feel more awake during the day.

Violet light color

Violet or purple light may also suppress melatonin production in people. Violet light is often associated with ultraviolet (UV) lighting. UV lighting can stimulate awakeness in a way similar to sunlight. UV light therapy can be used for light therapy to increase mood and prevent depression. Depression caused by seasons, caused by seasonal affect depression (SAD), can be treated with UV light therapy to simulate sunlight.

Green light color

Greenlight also prevents sleepiness by suppressing melatonin production. Greenlight isn’t as strong at this as blue light, though. While it may not be good for sleep, green as a color therapy may help ease stress and help relaxation. This may be due to the fact that it is a common color found in nature.

Creating a calming atmosphere for sleep

When it comes to peaceful sleep, having a calming environment can help reduce stress and promote sleep. Here are a few things you can do to create a calming atmosphere while trying to sleep:

  • Create a dark environment
  • Play sleep sounds
  • Use aromatherapy
  • Sleep in comfortable bedding
  • Keep the room cool at night
  • Do not watch TV or play on the phone while in bed

What to consider when choosing lighting for a bedroom?

Color can create a calming atmosphere when decorating your bedroom to promote sleep. When choosing lighting, it is important to choose warm lighting over cooler lighting. Choose a warm yellow, orange, or red light for the bedroom once the light goes down. When getting ready for bed, ideally, the lights should be off, and electronics should be put away for at least an hour before trying to sleep.

Just like adults, children and babies respond to light in the same way. If a night light is needed in the room to see while sleeping at night, red or amber lighting would be the best to not disrupt the child's sleep cycle.

Different colors of lights can stimulate your internal wake-sleep clock. The colors are often associated with the day and night cycle of the sun. Bright and cool hues such as blue and green can cause someone to be more awake.

On the other hand, warmer, dim lights such as red and orange can stimulate a nighttime environment, helping someone to sleep. While sleeping in the dark is the preferred way to sleep over lighting, different colored lights can be better for you than others when it comes to sleep.


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