Subscribe

Will a coloring book help you sleep better?

Research suggests coloring may lower stress, aid relaxation, and improve sleep and attention spans. 

  • close
    Kindergartner LaMysia Deloney colors in a fire safety-themed coloring book at Brownell STEM Academy in Flint, Mich.
    Jake May/The Flint Journal/AP
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

The next time you're stressed, consider picking up a pack of crayons and a coloring book.

Because coloring books aren't just child's play anymore.

It turns out the newest market for coloring books is stressed-out adults looking for some cheap, fun, creative relaxation.

Recommended: 100 of the best children's books

That's according to a series of recent reports that suggest coloring may be beneficial to adults. The practice, research suggests, may lower stress, aid relaxation, boost creativity, even help improve sleep and attention spans.

Which is why a number of coloring books for adults are hitting the market around the world. Color-happy adults can choose from a plethora of coloring books, including ones devoted to geometric-shaped designs called mandalas, others featuring intricately-inked drawings ("Colour Therapy: An Anti-Stress Colouring Book," by Michael O'Mara Books), some humorous ones by comedians (Coloring for Grown-Ups and The Hipster Coloring Book for Adults), even high-end designer coloring books (French fashion house Hermes has one for $160).

The books have become popular in countries in Europe and North America and among professionals who need a creative outlet or a quick way to relax.

It turns out this isn't something new.

"One of the first psychologists to apply coloring as a relaxation technique was Carl G. Jüng in the early 20th century," reports the Huffington Post. "He did this through mandalas: circular designs with concentric shapes...with origin[s] in India."

There is, of course, a reason this trend has taken off more recently – like old-fashioned candies and retro ice cream sodas, it brings adults back to their childhoods, a time in which most of us had less stress.

Science also backs up this trend, according to psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala. When coloring, we activate different areas of our two cerebral hemispheres, she told the Huffington Post. 

"The action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors," she said. "This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills [coordination necessary to make small, precise movements]. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress."

Kicking stress with a pack of crayons and a brand new coloring book? That's a trend we can get behind.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK