When you are planning your baby’s nursery, odds are you spend lots of time thinking through your specific design plans: color schemes, coordinating furniture, accents and finishing touches, etc. But here’s something you might not consider: how will the colors you select for your nursery impact your baby’s mood and (most importantly, for our purposes) your baby’s sleep? An important question indeed! Keep reading to learn more about how the colors you choose for your baby’s nursery might impact sleep.
How Color Will Impact Your Baby’s Sleep
Does color have an impact on your baby’s sleep and mood? In a word, yes! There is a whole field devoted to studying how color affects our perceptions, our moods, and our mental states; it’s called color psychology. It’s important, then, to think through your color choices before you start decorating the room in which your baby will be spending most of her time (especially if the baby will grow into toddlerhood and beyond in that room).
Worst Colors For Your Baby’s Nursery
Red/Orange: Red tends to raise a room’s energy level. Intense reds especially tend to feel exciting and vibrant. Red rooms tend to stimulate conversation and energize groups of people. Research demonstrates that the color red can actually raise blood pressure and speed up breathing and heart rate.
For this reason, red is generally considered too stimulating for bedrooms – and since you no doubt want your baby to SLEEP in his room, and not have a little middle-of-the-night party, it’s best if you avoid strong use of the color red in the nursery. The same rules apply for orange.
Yellow: Yellow is a bit trickier to pin down. On one hand, yellow tends to be a happier color that reminds us of days spent outside in the sunshine. Yellow is usually associated with morning or midday, so it makes a great color for kitchens. Pale yellows, like whites, can also make a room feel larger, so small rooms (like bathrooms or hallways) often look great when painted yellow. However, most designers agree that yellow is not a good “main” color.
Believe it or not, research indicates that people are more likely to lose their temper in a yellow interior. Babies also seem to cry more in yellow rooms. So it would seem that, in large quantities, yellow makes people feel anxious and upset. For this reason, it’s best if you avoid painting your baby’s entire nursery yellow, and instead stick to using yellow as an accent color.
Best Colors For Your Baby’s Nursery
Blue/Purple: Blue has a tendency to lower blood pressure and to slow breathing and heart rates. For this reason, blue is considered calming, serene, and relaxing. No wonder, then, that it’s often recommended for bedrooms! Just be aware that pale, pastel blues tend to look chilly and cold on the walls of rooms that receive little natural light. “Warmer” blues, such as periwinkle, tend to work better in these settings. Be aware, too, that while softer shades of blue are relaxing and look great as main room colors, dark blues tend to feel sad.
Purple is much the same; while dark purples may be too intense to use on all the walls of a room, pale purples (like lilac) evoke the same feelings of rest and relaxation but help you avoid the chilly, cold feel that pale blues can create.
Green: We have a winner! Green is widely considered to be the most restful color on the spectrum. Because it combines the cheerful “sunniness” of yellow and the calming effect of blue, green is suited for use in almost any room. Green evokes peaceful feelings of relaxation while maintaining a feeling of warmth and coziness. Because green has been shown to relieve stress and promote feelings of peace, it’s a great choice for your baby’s nursery.
What About Neutrals?
Don’t worry; we haven’t forgotten about those popular neutrals! Black makes a great accent color but is probably not a good choice for main schemes. White has become incredibly popular lately as a main color, but while it can feel bright and airy, it may not be the perfect choice for a child’s room (think spit-up and sticky fingerprints!) But closer to the middle of the neutral spectrum, shades of tan and gray make great colors for a baby’s nursery. Just strive to pick warmer neutrals, again to avoid that chilly, cold feeling you tend to get in rooms that rely on artificial light.