10 Amazing Benefits of Reading Before Bed
Reading before bed is definitely one of the best habits that one can form. This habit not only betters our sleep quality but also positively influences our entire day’s activities by bestowing on to us a re-energized body and a relaxed mind every morning. This article focuses on the benefits of reading before going to sleep.
Here are 10 benefits of reading before bed:
1. It reduces stress and anxiety
According to a Research by the University of Sussex, reading for even six minutes can reduce our stress levels by as high as 68 percent!
Psychologists believe that this is probably because when we are lost in a book, our mind is focused on reading and that little distraction from the real world and our problems into a literary world eases the tensions in muscles and heart.
Reading before bed can benefit us immensely in reducing our stress and relaxing our brain before we doze off to sleep.
However, avoid reading thrillers, horror, and mystery or suspense type genres of books before going to bed. If you are so lost in such books, you might end up staying awake instead. So, better read some calming, inspirational books that would give you positive vibes without making you impatient.
2. It decreases the time that we are exposed to screens
Using any screen-gadgets like smartphones, laptop or even television just before bed can really hamper our sleep. This is due to the fact that the blue light emitted from screens interfere with our brain’s ability to secrete melatonin, a hormone that makes us feel sleepy.
So, if we put our time before bed in reading instead, we are most certainly reducing the time that we are being exposed to screens.
However, this is valid only if you are reading physical book and not in your smartphones or laptops or other reading devices. Though some e-book readers do have features to minimize blue light emission, it would still be better if you read a physical book at night.
3. It helps us relax our body and prepare it for sleep
Reading calms not just our mind, but also our body. Our body becomes tired from our day’s activities and reading before bed acts as a transition between a working body to shutting it off for sleep. In a way, reading before going to bed prepares our body for a good night sleep!
4. It acts as an effective sleep-inducing habit
Have you ever been in a situation when you were trying hard to sleep but couldn’t?
Well, almost all of us have been there and it is really very frustrating to be in such a situation. But if you build a habit of reading before bed, you can develop a virtual relation between reading and dozing off to sleep.
In such cases, reading before bed can actually act as a signal for the brain that it is now time to sleep. And thus it becomes easier to fall asleep.
5. It improves our sleep quality
Once our body and mind are relaxed, our sleep quality is bound to improve. You might have noticed it yourself that whenever you go to bed with your mind full of impatient thoughts, you find it difficult to sleep. And even if you somehow doze off, you are not in a deep sleep.
Reading before bed clears or minimizes such thoughts by focusing us into the book. So, our mind is clear of impatient thoughts and this, in turn, helps us to sleep better!
6. Reading before bed positively influences our dreams
Most often our dreams are influenced by the thoughts in our mind before we go to bed.
If you had a rough day or if you are in some sort of mental stress, it is very likely that your dreams will be unpleasant and disturbing. But reading a good book before bed will help you focus on something pleasant and calming. And hence the quality of your dreams also becomes better and pleasant.
In some cases, you might end up dreaming about the amazing fiction characters and places that you just read about and you might yourself get to be a part of their world. Isn’t that amazing?
7. We are likely to wake up mentally relaxed
A sound sleep is very important to wake up the next morning with a re-energized body and a relaxed mind. With the improved quality of sleep, we are likely to enjoy such experiences more often.
Reading before bed almost ensures that we get a calm and good night sleep. And therefore we can wake up in the morning with our mind and body ready for the day’s work once again.
So in a way we can say that reading before we go off to sleep influences not just our sleep quality but also our entire day’s activities.
8. Reading before bed is more effective
Nights are usually quiet and peaceful with less buzz and distractions in comparison to the daytime when the human activities and noises are quite high.
Because of this we can concentrate better and read without much distractions. And this is why reading before bed is comparatively more effective and focused form of reading.
9. It makes us more empathic
Being empathic means being able to understand and share the feelings of others. Books connect us with their characters and plots. We become a part of the book and feel what the characters are supposed to feel. We try to understand their pain and grievances.
Books also somehow make us feel connected with the authors. We are constantly in some sort of conversation with the book. When we are attentive to reading books, we are actually listening to what the book has to say to us. This makes us a good listener. So reading books develop empathy and thus help us to understand what others feel under different circumstances.
Though this benefit is not limited to just reading before bed, it certainly is a good idea since reading at that time is more effective and focused
10. Reading Before Bed Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
According to National Institute on Aging (NIA), “Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks”
Although Alzheimer’s disease cannot be reversed, there are certain habits that can significantly lower the risk of this disease. NIA suggests reading before bed as an effective method to get a good night’s sleep, which in turn helps in lowering and preventing the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
So, these were some of the ways that show the benefits of reading before bed. If you haven’t developed this habit yet, do not worry. It’s never too late to start. I hope after knowing how reading before bed impacts your life, you will start this habit soon and experience these amazing benefits for yourself!