In a previous post Blue Light; Hero or Villain I discussed the role played by harmful blue light in damaging the eyes which has been accelerated by an ageing global population and a younger generation making regular, heavy use of blue light-emitting technology.
However my favourite colour for relaxing has always been blue – the blue of the ocean and the sky – and this has now been scientifically validated through preliminary research by a University of Granada team that suggests that blue lighting does accelerate post-stress relaxation.
As reproduced from the excellent Psyblog journal, the study found that 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 study people were first stressed and then performed a relaxation session under either blue or white light.
The study’s authors explained 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 further;
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…”
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