Reading is a pastime that survived the invention of mobile phones, computers, and streaming platforms like Netflix. Despite all the new technology, reading is still loved by children and adults alike, allowing us to escape into our favourite fantasy words or learn about prominent people in their biographies.
While there are people out there who read to learn new information, there are those who are rather fond of reading for pleasure. These are the kind of people that can spend hours reading, being drawn into the world. These people love books and reading so much that it might not be super relaxing before bed, as you’re too excited to find out what happens next. But this isn’t most of us.
Reading books, aside from the obvious benefit of education, also allows you to relax and lose yourself in a narrative that is far from from what you are experiencing, and gives you different perspectives about a number of topics.
Reading also helps you sleep better and we’ll be looking into how this pastime can have you sleeping easy.
Hopefully you might be inspired to pick up the habit yourself. Read on!
Reading improves sleep quality
Whether you fancy a paperback or a classic hardbound, reading before going to bed is a good habit to build. Reading exercises the mind without leaving you feeling antsy and energetic.
One other good thing about reading before sleep is that it's an activity which you can do lying down. Little effort is required, allowing you to just relax and easily doze off.
When we talk about sleep quality, we’re talking about not only the amount of hours you sleep, but how you feel waking up in the morning and whether or not you’re refreshed. By reading before bed, you switch off from the world around you and ensure that both your mind and your body is rested and ready for the new day.
However, you should be reading books printed on paper instead of on electronic devices such as an iPad. The blue light emitted from these gadgets may affect your circadian rhythm and mess with your internal body clock.
That being said, Kindles and E-Readers should be fine, as they usually try to mimic the look of paper with little backlight. Just make sure to read with a lamp or in a well-lit room.
A good book lowers stress levels
A study conducted by the University of Sussex saw respondents have their stress levels increased by various means and consequently be reduced either by reading, listening to music, drinking tea, or taking a walk.
Surprisingly, it was shown that reading works best when it came to minimising the amount of stress a person experiences, by an estimated 68% compared with other options.
Beyond science, experience will show you that a good book before going to bed is like having a soothing massage for the mind. It allows the brain to process new information without the need to actually engage in any other activity.
Aside from that, reading also facilitates the creation of new memories that the mind can draw on for inspiration when dreaming.
Reading is good for mental health and creativity
Yes, you read that right, reading a good book can help you be more creative and flowing with new ideas when you wake up.
Like exercising early in the morning, reading before bed flexes the brain's muscles and as studies suggest, proves to be a good stimulant for creativity and imagination.
Rather than scrolling through social media, a few chapters of a good book before bedtime calms the brain down while allowing it to engage topics that spark your interest.
Whatever your particular taste is for books, reading on a subject that you are interested in goes beyond gaining information. It inspires you to write yourself or to indulge in new pursuits that you wouldn't try before.
Paired with a good night's rest, bedtime reading strengthens the brain's functions and gets your creative juices flowing.
More than just bedtime stories
Incorporating reading into your existing sleep habits involve a lot of pros and little to no cons. Aside from the benefits mentioned above, a good read before tucking in usually equates to good sleep if nothing else because reading in itself is a relaxing hobby. The only con we can see here is that if your book is too addictive, you’ll just want to keep reading to see what happens.
It's never too late to start a new bedtime routine, especially one that does wonders for both brain and body. Reading before bedtime affects our overall well-being and it's something that you should try to see the results for yourself. Happy reading and good night!