During the first four installments of the “Smarten Up” series, we have looked at how smart home technology can positively impact your family at home. From infancy to adult, the series has looked into some of the ways to relieve burdens from your day to day life. In the concluding edition of the “Smarten Up” series, we take a look at how the right smart lighting can make a big difference with your sleep habits.

The importance of colour and sleep

The mind enjoys processing things that we don’t have easy answers to. What led to certain colours and shades of them evolving in our minds for specific purposes? We may never know the true science behind that evolution but we have learned about certain colours that do things for us psychologically.

We’ve long thought that blue was the best colour to paint a bedroom. A UK study conducted earlier in the decade (by Hotel chain Travelodge of all people) suggested that of 2000 British homes, people with blue bedrooms were getting the best sleep (followed by yellow and green.) Purple and Brown fared poorly on the list.

Why Blue? Well, according to the US National Sleep Foundation’s, it has to do with the way your eyes perceive the colour. The Ganglion cells in your eyes process the color blue with feelings of serenity and warmth, thus helping you to relax and ease into bed better. You can read more about this phenomenon at the National Sleep Foundation’s website.

Don’t get your paintbrushes out just yet. A recent study suggests that blue isn’t necessarily an open and shut winner. Would you believe that the colour red is being perceived as a good option too? Considering red is usually a more abrasive and flashy color than blue, I wouldn’t have thought this to be the case, but who am I to question science? An article posted at Science 2.0 discusses a study conducted on hamsters suggests that a red nightlight caters to less depressive-like symptoms while blue actually contributes to it.

Using Smart Technology to affect your sleep

A couple of smart companies have decided to tackle the science of sleep. MiPow’s Playbulb line is one of them. With devices like the Playbulb Sphere, you can coordinate it with your smart device to create specialized sleep settings. It’s been said that rising and waking with the sunlight is one of the healthiest ways to wake up. You can create colour settings with your Playbulb Sphere that encourage you to fall and stay asleep and gradually rise awake. Playbulb is also a very inexpensive way to do this. I probably spend more on morning coffee every month than the cost of the Sphere.

Keep an eye out soon for a video discussing Playbulb Sphere’s capabilities and how it can help you get better sleep at night. 

Also on Plug In – MiPow PLAYBULB Connected Smart Lighting Review

If you want to take a much more advanced and analytical approach to your sleep, look to something like the Withings Aura Smart Sleep System. The European company offers a sensor that you tuck under your mattress that tracks your sleep activities, a bedside sensor that pushes light and sound and helps you sleep and then wake when it’s best through your sleep cycles. You can even combine this sleep action with the use of a wearable that measures sleep (like the Microsoft Band 2 or most Fitbits) in order to get the most comprehensive homemade analysis possible.

Getting enough sleep each night is something that we take for granted. Whether you do or do not get enough sleep, you should give yourself the best chance to get the deepest and most relaxing slumber possible. Maximize your opportunity with some helpful gadgets today.

Previous installments in the “Smarten Up” series include:

Smarten Up Series: Maintaining Optimal Temperature While You Sleep



Matt Paligaru
Emerging Technology
A technology nut at heart, I'm always interested in what makes our lives easier and helps us tick day to day. Whether Home Automation, toys, games (board and video) or everything in between, I'm always looking around the corner to see what drives us in today's day and age.