Do You Know What the Best Color Light for Sleep Is?

Red Night Light Bulb

This subject was raised recently in our family as my grandson is 23 months old now and is really starting to fuss over going to bed. Then when he is finally asleep he can wake up and scream a couple of times during the night as well.

The best color light for sleep is a soft ambient red amber or orange. It is recognized that it is not always possible for some to get to sleep without some sort of lighting for example young children. Their parents also need to attend to them at night. However, the number one option is to sleep in the darkest room possible.

Anyone who has had children will know that we just get over or used to one behavioral situation when another arises. This is now happening in my family.

Red Night Light Bulb

My daughter-in-law decided a night light was what was needed. Not only for her son but herself so she could function through the night without lighting up the night sky. I agreed with her wholeheartedly.

What I did not agree with were the color and fashion choices that were soon heading into my grandson’s room. Imagine if you will a bright green fluorescent tube type concoction in the shape of a desert cactus.

Being that I write all about sleep I jumped all over the research for night lighting as soon as I could. Following is all the information presented in layman’s terms, I could find regarding the color of lighting that is best for a bedroom.

The aim is to be able to function throughout the night whether it is going to the bathroom yourself. Or attending to the elderly or to babies or children without waking everyone with bright white light.

Koicaxy Cactus Light


The Science Behind How Different Colored Lights Affect Sleep Inducement

We all have a pigment that is sensitive to blue light. This pigment is called melanopsin. Some of us have this pigment while others do not.

Scientific tests were carried out on mice with several different colored lights.

Those tests conducted by Oxford University in 2016 revealed the following results.

It took 1 to 3 minutes to induce rapid onset sleep when exposed to green light.

Approximately 16 to 19 minutes to fall asleep when using blue light and anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes with violet light.

It was also found that when exposed to green, blue and violet corticosterone {the stress hormone} was increased.

Results suggested that the corticosterone hormone is responsive to light and could be causing some of us delayed sleep. When blocked it may reduce the time it takes to get to sleep.

Recent studies show that melatonin production is affected by fluorescent lights, the sun, and electronics such as phones, iPads, handheld electronic readers, computers, and television.

These devices are known to emit short-wavelength blue lighting. This is why researchers advise us to avoid these for a couple of hours before bedtime.

What Is the Worst Thing You Can Do in the Middle of the Night If You Have Trouble Getting Back to Sleep?

The worst thing to do in the night is to turn on a bright light if you go to the bathroom or have to get up to children.

Your brain registers the white light which means daytime this is due to the blue/green light in bright white light bulbs.

It is much better for it to remain as dark as possible so the brain recognizes that it is still night time.

So having a small night light in red, reddish amber or orange tones is so much better. This because you can still see and function using the soft red light glow but your brain is not being told by the blue or white light that it is daytime and you should stay awake.

Choosing the Correct Light Bulbs for Your Bedroom

Thanks to technology today you can purchase various light bulbs which can also be available in different colors.

You really do not need a red light bulb in the bedroom unless you really want one.

When choosing light bulbs for your bedroom best light bulbs for sleep are the incandescent warm white bulbs (click here to see modern equivalents at amazon) .

These are the traditional light bulbs our parents and grandparents used before technology introduced us to LED, Halogen and other energy-saving bulbs.

Use these in your bedroom, walk-in wardrobes, bathroom, and bedside lamp fittings. You should also consider using these in your living room if this is the place you relax before bed.

Not being around blue/white or white lights a couple of hours before bedtime will help you get to sleep faster.

Choosing the Best Night Light for Your Home

Do You Know What the Best Color Light for Sleep Is? - Tip Top SleepThese are the night lights we use they come in a packet of four and emit a soft red glow.

Red LED Night Lights

Do You Know What the Best Color Light for Sleep Is? - Tip Top Sleep

This red glow is perfect for night vision. They come with a light sensor and a dusk to dawn on-off design.

Safe for baby and children’s rooms as well as bathrooms, hallways, and stairs. Anywhere in the house, so you do not have to turn on any bright light during the night.

The LED is only .05 watts which saves money because it only uses 2.2 kWh per year and can run for over 10,000 hours.

Also, the price is right you should be able to pick them up anywhere. I got mine here at Amazon and they arrived the next day.

What Else Should You Avoid at Nighttime to Get to and Stay Asleep?

Do not use a smartphone for a couple of hours before bed. If you have to lower the brightness down all the way. This is still not ideal as the white light still shines through and stimulates your brain.

Research shows that those who reach for their smartphones during the night will stay awake longer. Not only the stimulation from the light but also from the information being digested.

If you really cannot keep your hands and eyes off your electronic devices you can use amber-colored glasses. Using these at night will block out the blue light which triggers the brain through the eyes that it is actually daytime.

You can see a whole range of some very nice looking glasses for men, women, and children at Amazon here…

blue light blocking glasses

These are mine and I actually use them all day while on the computer as well.

To Finish – Do You Know What the Best Color Light for Sleep Is?

Wherever you are in the evening before bed the best light you can surround yourself with is yellowish warm white lighting. Same for the bedroom and bedside lamps if you read in bed.

You can also use amber-colored glasses to watch television. While using smartphones as well as other electronic devices and read in bed. Every little bit helps if you have trouble getting to sleep.

Another option is to download a red light-emitting app on your phone and spark it up for two hours before bedtime. If you do not need a light on to watch television this is a great option.

Lastly, obtain some red or amber colored night lights. They come many shapes and sizes not only the wall socket type.

All the best in your quest to get back to sleep quickly if you have to get up during the night…

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Is the Best Color Night Light?

The best color night light is a small reddish, yellow or orange toned color.

Is Red Light Good for Sleeping?

Yes, it is the best light for sleeping because it does not emit blue or white light.

Is Green Light Good for Sleep?

On the color scale, it is better than blue or white light, but not as good as red, yellow or orange tones.

Best Paint and Furnishing Colors for Sleeping in Bedrooms

If you are looking to change up your bedroom for optimum sleep you need to read my article regarding the choice of colors to surround yourself with while sleeping.

Remember that paint colors and colors emitted from lights have very different effects on our senses.

To see my article about sleep-inducing colors called “what colors make you sleep better” go here

Categorized as Bedroom

By Michelle D.

Meet Michelle, founder of Tip Top Sleep, a website dedicated to helping you achieve the best sleep possible. With over 50 years of combined experience in the realm of sleep, Michelle and her team provide easy-to-follow tips and strategies to help you feel better, function better, and live better through optimal sleep. Let us help you prioritize your sleep and discover the power of a good night's rest.