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What color light helps you sleep? Here’s why you should invest in some red lights for your bedroom

How to choose the right color lighting for your every mood

Color psychology tells us many things about how we’re influenced by what we see. Aside from cultural significance, most colors trigger similar psychological reactions in people. Some colors agitate or excite and others calm and pacify, putting you in a relaxed mindset.

You can use relaxing colors in several ways to help you design a room or aesthetic and alter the ambiance, depending on your mood. For example, even if you don’t choose a specific color, certain bulbs like incandescents or fluorescents have their own warm or cold light. These dramatically change the way a room feels.

If you want to achieve a certain look with color, here is some insight into which to choose if you want calm zen before you hit the hay each night or a wake-up call before you leave for work in the morning.

Red light in bedroom

What LED light colors help you sleep?

The number one way to help you sleep at night is no lights at all. Blackout curtains are the definitive sleep solution, next to white noise. You’ll find that any light source isn’t ideal for fully restful sleep, but this may not be an option for you.

If you can’t sleep without light or are looking for the best night light to add to a room, you need to know which colors to avoid and which to invest in. First, don’t use blue lights for any bedroom lighting. If you use fluorescent bulbs, make sure you choose a warm setting. Cold daylight bulbs signal your brain to release serotonin and dopamine, waking your brain. Warmer lights like conventional incandescent or warm fluorescents signal melatonin production instead.

Red light and sleep

Red light wavelengths encourage your brain to produce melatonin. This naturally occurring hormone tells your body it’s time to sleep. The darker it gets, the more your body releases to put you into REM and circadian rhythm.

One study found that red light therapy helped improve sleep quality. The participants had a deeper sleep and fell asleep faster, too. If you need lights in your room at night, red LEDs or bulbs are the way to go.

Blue light and sleep

Blue lights are well known for keeping people alert by suppressing melatonin production. Blue or cool-toned lighting negatively impacts your sleep and is found in many places we may not even realize. For example, your phone, TV, and other devices produce blue light. Blue light filtering glasses can counteract the fatigue it causes.

You should unplug 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime to give your body time to replenish its melatonin stores. You can also activate warm filters or night lights to mitigate late-night working or scrolling in bed.

Red lightbulb

What are the most relaxing light colors?

The most relaxing light colors depend on how you plan to relax. Different colors are better for waking up, falling asleep, or entering a meditative trance state. Relaxing in the morning is different than attempting to fall asleep, so let’s take a deeper look at a few different light colors and their effect on your mental state.


As discussed above, red lighting is ideal if you need a light at night. For example, your pre-sleep ritual might involve guided breathing, a white noise exercise, meditation, and so on. If you do bedtime yoga to relax, you obviously can’t do this in the dark. Instead, a red light will put you in the right headspace.


Consider pink lighting if you need light to wake up in the morning (as most people do), and sunrise is too early. Pink lights are a good color for infant and young children’s rooms. Not only do they add a fairy tale feel to a room, but they’re also calming. If you want a new way to spruce up your yoga spot or favorite napping space, pink lighting can set a relaxing tone, too.


Blue lighting is good for certain moods. Although it’s not ideal for resting, blue is a calming color in and of itself. Different LED devices use blue for relaxing light shows. If you like a galaxy or starry sky, blue lighting might put you in the perfect mood for a chill hangout experience.


Green is a calming color known to improve wakefulness. Many professional gamers use green to help them focus during intensive streaming sessions and important competitions. Green pierces through darkness better than other colors, making it ideal for dark work settings that require energy and attentiveness. If you’re looking at shifting from blue or white light to another focusing color, green may be your go-to.

After reviewing these different color options, you can make the best decision for your needs. For example, a better night’s sleep may start with covering up or unplugging those blue- and green-lit appliances. Or, perhaps you’ll switch to red lighting when you wind down for the evening. With a bit of trial and error, you’ll be on your way to those important Zzzzzzz’s in no time! 

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Amanda Hoyer
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Degreed in Psychology and English, Amanda fell into copywriting and blogging when she discovered an innate gift for narrative…
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