Huffo had an interesting piece recently about why we sleep so well in hotel beds. In short, their hypothesis is that sheets in hotels are most often all-white, which symbolizes luxury and signals a luxurious or special experience, which leads to a more restful sleep. Hmm. While I agree that white is the best color for sheets, I'm not sure sheet color is the only variable when it comes to the most restful night possible.
I personally prefer white sheets for many reasons. First and foremost, solid white sheets are clean-looking. But moreover, they are uncomplicated, calming and restful to the eye, and I think visual simplicity actually has more to do with your quality of sleep than sheet color. Clean, organized surroundings allow our minds to feel more clear and therefore enter into restful states more easily. According to Physchologist and Author Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter, “clutter bombards our minds with excessive stimuli, causing our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren’t necessary or important.” Right on.
Consider the rest of the room. Most people (and by most people I mean me and everyone I know, cause I'm not, like, a scientist) have a stockpile of unecessary ephemera on their bedside table at home. Right now I have three chapsticks, some books I'll never read and a candle. Plus a three-foot stack of magazines on the floor, some clean (but unfolded) tee shirts on the chair, and a pile of unopened mail on my desk. By contrast, even the most luxurious hotels are likely to only be accessorized with a clock and a bottle of water by the bed. Ever think how great it is to walk into a freshly-cleaned hotel room? The bed is tightly made and there's order to your surroundings - even your cosmetics have found their way into a lovely little grid by the sink (be sure to tip your maid extra if she does this because damn.)
It seems that when it comes to relaxing, simplicity and order is key. Being in your own home can sometimes be a reminder of all the upkeep your life requires: laundry to be done, floors to be swept, dishes to be put away. It's no wonder that getting away from all that leads to a better night of sleep. The best way I've found, truly, to get a good night's sleep, is to organize my space and put all the clutter out of sight. Feel free to buy striped sheets or blue sheets or white sheets, just remember to clean your room.