Call it Color Psychology or whatever you will, but color has a direct influence on our physiology, behavior and ability to lead a nourished life.
I love when the ancient science of Feng Shui is confirmed by modern research. Nailed it! Color and design and the influence it has on our lives — and what do do about it — is the subject of my upcoming book. (Email me to be notified of it’s release date.)
A Travelodge UK survey of 2000 British about their sleep and the color of their bedrooms.
The results show precisely what Feng Shui has been saying for a couple thousand years: in particular, that those with blue bedrooms sleep the most, an average of 7 hours and 52 minutes a night and those with caramel colored bedrooms are having more sex, on average three times per week.
Blue is a wavelength that, as Chris Idzikowski, Sleep Expert from the Edinburgh Sleep Centre comments: “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. 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.”
According to Feng Shui, light blue and light green are colors that inspire independence, in a spa-like fashion, with the focus on self and healing. Flesh tones are colors that inspire nourishment, connection and warmth. It’s been that way for thousands of years not because anyone “said so” but because it’s our body’s natural physiological response. Look past the cultural markers and instead on Light’s influence on our body and it’s responses. It’s fascinating!
Other color findings:
- Purple is the worst for sleep — those in purple bedrooms get an average of 5 hrs. 56 minutes a night.
- Silver is calming, like moonlight, but those in silver bedrooms are more motivated to exercise in their bedroom. (eyebrow raise, no comment)
- As to Grey, the study reports: “…people in gray rooms get an average of only six hours and 12 minutes of sleep per night and spend at least 3 nights per week buying online. [Feng Shui: grey is about commerce.] Mitchell reports that brown and grey can be “dreary and depressing, especially in the bedroom, and make occupants feel emotionally isolated and uncomfortable — resulting in a restless sleep,” the study says.” Feng Shui has been saying for thousands of years that grey is about commerce and community, duty and honor. Brown is subordinate and subservient, but grounding.
- Brown: “…Those with a brown, cream or white bedroom are most likely workaholics who take their work to bed with them at least three times per week. Shop workers are most likely to have these colors in their bedrooms.” Feng Shui says: Nailed it again!
- Orange, a social color, “will relax muscles and increase digestion” yes! But according to Feng Shui, orange increases your desire for socialization and will tend to create excitement, not the best for sleep…but maybe you don’t want sleep?
- Yellow — I find the report interesting and curious: “Certain shades of yellow come in second in promoting the best night’s sleep: seven hours and 40 minutes on average per night. Warm yellow relaxes the body by stimulating the nervous system and calming the nerves.” Sounds odd. Yellow is happy color, does stimulate the nervous system…I would say, it depends on how bright and how much…to much or too bright can create over thinking and digestive issues, it’s recommended against for children’s rooms as it has been shown to create a colicky response in babies…the digestion issue.
- Green is reported as being #3 on the sleep scale. Green, in Feng Shui, is like blue, inspiring independence and green is very healing.
- Red according to the survey, “…Not much magic apparently happens in red bedrooms, where couples make love once a week on average.” Red is a color that, like orange, needs to be used with “caution” because of it’s ability to stimulate and in large amounts increase hypertension and that’s not good for sleep or sex.
Color is that amazing!
But before you head out to paint the bedroom beige (or blue) understand that HOW you use the color is also very important.
Even though the color is conducive to sleep (and according to the study less sex) this particular bedroom, featured on Houzz.com, is not only blue, inspiring sleep/not sex, but has other design elements that would over time influence even more distance between the people sharing it.
Feng Shui with no judgement, no good, no bad, asks: “is this what you want?” It might be, Feng Shui and you are that powerful. Need some personal space? This is a good bedroom for that even beyond the color. Want more intimacy, make some changes!
Some Easy Design Notes from Feng Shui
When YOU look at this image, notice “feel.” Just a moment, take the time. Check in for two seconds.
There is a LOT going on in this room which our bodies interpret as an excuse for distance perhaps leading to a break up. The design of this room is very “cool” with very little snuggle factor.
Notice all the stripes: our bodies would read those stripes as drawing boundaries. Look at the picture as a collection of colors that create motion. Stripes, stripes, stripes.
Yes the soft blue would inspire independence and therefore sleep, but the white ceiling and trim “activate” and energize–more conflict. The hardwood floors, although beautiful are not mitigated by softness as you would get into and out of bed–hardness and perhaps coldness.
Love Blue But Want More Connection?
If you LOVE blue and want more connection here are some ideas:
Solution: add softness to the room, reduce the conflict of the white and paint the trim and ceiling a soft blue. Replace the striped rug which is directing attention out the windows. You’ll be surprised.
Land your eye on the bed: Create focused attention on the bed, not so much on the navy panels on the windows. Further focus the attention on the bed with luxurious linens.
Diminish separation: At the bottom and top of the bed, notice the separation of windows and the separation of the ottomans. Solution: Replace the stools one, signalling to our body one relationship rather than two people, and add sheers over the window to draw a consistent picture, then hang the navy panels on either side creating one long window instead of two.
Bed in Safety/Power Position: The bed being placed under the window would also add a layer of stress that our bodies feel but our minds may override. Solution: place the bed on another wall but if you cannot, use the sheers and panels solution described above.
Yes, of course, I see the ceiling fan: That’s another post.
Do you want everything in your life to be easier?
Thousands of years of wonderful information rests in the science of Feng Shui. Stick around!
In the next post, I’ll share more about how to use color, shape, design and placement to improve your life, improve your career and relationships. Got a question or an issue? Email me!
You can also study with me to learn how to arrange your home and office, or help others, for your most vibrant life!
All my best,