Blue light helps people to relax more quickly, new research finds.
Compared with regular white light, people are able to recover from a stressful experience three times quicker when sitting under blue light.
Regular stresses such as that caused by arguing with a friend or having a close deadline at work could be best tackled with blue light.
In the small study, 12 people were first stressed and then performed a relaxation session under either blue or white light.
The study’s authors explain their conclusions:
“…blue lighting accelerates the relaxation process after stress in comparison with conventional white lighting.
The relaxation time decreased by approximately three-fold (1.1 vs. 3.5 minutes).
We also observed a convergence time (3.5–5 minutes) after which the advantage of blue lighting disappeared.
This is not the first time studies have found that coloured lighting can influence people’s emotions.
The study’s authors explain:
“A study about the influence of color of walls in learning environments proved that pale colors caused more relaxation than vivid colors, and that heart rate decreased with short-wavelength colors (e.g., violet, blue and green) in comparison with longer-wavelength (e.g., yellow and red).
In addition, a few authors have successfully treated people with behavior disorders by influencing their emotional states (e.g., causing mental calm) by color lighting.
For instance, pink light was successfully utilized to reduce aggressiveness of delinquents in prison.
Furthermore, another color-lighting-based method with blue light have been used for disruptive behavior disorders…”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE (Minguillon et al., 2017).