Secret to sleep? Study says bedroom color can affect rest, sex, shopping habits

photo The Harrison home of Rick and Becky Hansard has a pale blue master bedroom. The color is ranked tops for inducing sleep.


Here are study results on best colors for inducing sleep in a bedroom.1. Pale Blue: Tops, this color was associated with feelings of calmness such as rippling water or blue sky; it's also said to help reduce blood pressure and heart rate.2. Warm Yellow: When not used in a vibrantly bright shade, yellow calms nerves, projects a "soothing vibe."3. Green: Respondents say they woke up "feeling upbeat and positive."4. Silver: Silver mimics moonlight, "cues brain that it's night."6. Orange: A surprising choice, warm shades of orange were found to relax muscles and "create a stable, reassuring atmosphere."7. Gray: Although similar to silver, the color didn't perform as well. "Dreary and depressing, it made occupants feel emotionally isolated and uncomfortable, resulting in restless sleep," says the study.8. Brown, cream or white: These colors were associated with "workaholics who take their work to bed with them at least three times a week."9. Purple: Considered elegant, it also was thought to be "overly mentally stimulating." So after a busy work day, it made it difficult to turn off the mind and go to sleep.

Tossing and turning at night? Staring at the bedroom walls instead of drifting off to sleep?

The problem might be the color of your bedroom.

A new survey reports that homeowners whose bedroom walls are painted light blue get the best sleep at night, an average of seven hours and 52 minutes. Purple walls were found to be the least conducive to rest, with people averaging just under six hours of sleep.

This new survey, just released by, was conducted by Travelodge hotel chain of 2,000 guests. Houzz is a website that monitors current trends in architecture, interior design, landscape design and home improvement.

The survey showed how room color can affect sleep, shopping habits and even sex life. Couples in room with a caramel decor reported the most sex, an average of three times a week. Not much magic happened in red bedrooms, where romance dwindled to an average of once a week, according to the survey.

"We have done a lot of spa-blue bedrooms over the last several months, especially in blue and chocolate brown combinations," says Marsha Yessick, owner of Yessick's Design Center in Chattanooga. "It is a restful color. But we've done it so much now I think all of us are trying to use some fresher colors."

Yessick says that, as homeowners look to update their blue-and-chocolate decor, they are keeping the brown tones and pairing them with green, another restful color.

Margie Burgin, owner of Chic Solutions in Hixson, says she has seen the pale blue room morph into a pale turquoise shade paired with brown.

"Now fabric companies are throwing in chartreuse in bed and window fabrics, which gives the blue shade an updated look in yellow-green. Pairing yellow-green with blue-green gives it a new twist," she says.

Ironically, the paint colors so prevalent in new home builds in Chattanooga ranked low on the list. Eric Baker, assistant manager of Sherwin Williams on Dayton Boulevard, says soft gray and taupe shades remain top choices for new home interiors as well as remodeling jobs.

"If you're staying with neutrals, green is always a soothing color to have in the bedroom," Burgin says, suggesting beige or taupe as an accent color.

"Gray has a little bit more contemporary feeling," Yessick believes. "Since we are so traditional in this area, I would say taupe is more frequently used in new homes and remodeling."

She suggests pairing a soft yellow with light gray for an updated look.

The survey also revealed how colors correlated with professions. For example, it found pale blue was the top choice of teachers, builders and civil servants. Bankers leaned toward a gold decor; while people in gray rooms spent the most time shopping online in bed.

Contact staff writer Susan Pierce at or 423-757-6284.