Did you know that reading before bed helps to promote better sleep? It’s true! There are many reasons why this is, but I will list a few of my favorites. When we read, our heart rate slows down and the body releases relaxing hormones called endorphins. This makes us feel calm and relaxed so it’s easier for us to fall asleep.
Reading also keeps your brain active which signals your body that it’s time to get ready for sleep. Plus, reading triggers memories from the book in your mind which can create calming thoughts or even help you forget about any worries or stressors from the day. Just make sure you’re not too tired when starting because if you are then reading might actually keep you up more!
Have you heard that Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, discovered how to construct rockets by reading books? And he’s not the only CEO who enjoys reading. Warren Buffett claims to devote up to five or six hours each day reading. CEOs read on average 60 books each year.
While CEOs are some of the most productive people on the globe, they find time to read. While some claim to listen to audiobooks, many others discover that reading before bedtime is one of the greatest ways to unwind while also gaining new knowledge and information.
While the process of learning how to relax may make you more comfortable with yourself, it is also possible that it can help you fall asleep faster. So why not give it a go? You have a good probability of getting a better night’s sleep, and you could learn something in the process!
Reading makes you sleepy
We’ve discussed how reading has a variety of effects on your brain. Despite the fact that it may stimulate it, reading can also make it drowsy. How is it possible? When you read, your eye muscles must execute a rapid scan in a very patterned manner from left to right.
The pupils are devoting 100 percent of their attention to you. Micro eye movement is occurring, as well as focusing. After all, if you aren’t paying attention to the words, phrases, and paragraphs in front of you, it’s easy to lose your bearings.
As a result of all these little motions, the body may grow weary as you work out your muscles more and more, eventually resulting in your eyes closing completely (and staying shut if you fall asleep!).
If you’re reading in bed, it’s easy to fall asleep after a while. If you’re falling asleep because of reading, consider whether there may be other factors involved. Because your body has trained itself to link that location with sleep, it’s easy for you to fall asleep there. As your muscles relax, a domino effect may occur as your body succumbs to sleep against your will! The key is to choose a location for reading, such as a chair or sofa. Make positive connections and you’ll be able to read and focus for hours.
Create an oasis of peace and serenity
What is the most relaxing way to wind down before going to sleep? Certainly not with a violent police drama or news that makes you feel gloomy. It’s important to establish a calm environment where you can relax your nerves and prepare your mind for sleep.
The light emitted by television and computer displays will have the opposite impact. This is why there’s no better way to relax than to read a book. The fact that you can buy e-books at any moment, instead of having to wait for them to arrive in the mail, also helps you read more quickly. According to experts, if you choose an e-book rather than a paper book, your reading speed may be reduced by 30% or more.
Boost your brainpower
Reading can help you discover a million other places, as well as enhance your intellect. Your brain is also a muscle that requires exercise to stay healthy.
Reading is more neurologically challenging than speaking or processing images. Ken Hugh, Ph.D., president, and director of research at Haskins Laboratories says ‘parts of the brain that have evolved for other functions—such as vision, language, and associative learning—connect in a specific neural circuit for reading, which is very challenging’. This implies that reading is a fantastic exercise for your brain while having fun.
Reading has also been linked to a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. According to research, individuals who exercise their brains by reading, solving puzzles, or playing chess are 2.5 times less likely to get dementia.
This is most likely thanks to the fact that Alzheimer’s disease is frequently linked to individuals whose cognitive activity has been decreased. Reading may not only help you feel better right now, but it may also have a long-term impact on your health.
Reading before bedtime may help you relax considerably. A University of Sussex research published in the Telegraph found that raising people’s stress levels reduced their tension levels afterward.
Cognitive Neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis found that ‘reading worked best, reducing stress levels by 68%. It was better than listening to music (61%), drinking tea or coffee (54%), and taking a walk (42%). It only took 6 minutes for participants’ stress levels to be reduced.
When you’re reading a great book, your mind is occupied by other issues for a while. Stories allow your mind the luxury of escaping to another place for a short time. This implies you may put your own problems aside. Reading decreases muscular tension and slows down breathing, leaving you feeling calmer.
So, how does this affect your sleep? According to the Sleep Council, ‘39% of individuals who read before going to sleep report having a great night’s sleep. It makes perfect sense that an activity that reduces stress would help you fall asleep. Reading is also a better option than watching TV or checking your phone. These produce bluish light that tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime.
This is why, according to a survey by The Guardian, 49 percent of Brits would rather read a book than watch TV before going to sleep and couldn’t go asleep without reading at least one chapter of their current book.
Reading before bed is an age-old tradition, and it’s one that many people still enjoy. For some, reading helps them fall asleep–while for others, the bedtime story has long since been forgotten.
Whatever your reason for wanting to start this routine again or trying new things in order to break out of a rut at home (or better yet not getting into any), we recommend adding more books to your life as soon as possible!