In these days, where reading is done more in small “grabs”, where we browse or skim, and reading is done one social media post at a time, reading before bed can seem like a luxury. After all, there is always another social media post to catch up on…
But there are also benefits of putting aside those devices and reading a book before bed.
You will sleep better
Reading helps put your consciousness on another plane, which will help induce sleep and improve the quality of sleep. Reading before bed helps to minimize those thoughts running around your head after a busy day and allows you to focus on the story you are reading.
Reading before bed positively influences our dreams
Most often our dreams are influenced by the thoughts in our mind before we go to bed. So, those thoughts running through your head after a stressful day can bring on unpleasant or disturbing dreams. Reading a good book that you enjoy can help you focus on something pleasant and calming, and hence the quality of your dreams can also become happier.
You will reduce stress levels
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!. Researchers at the University of Surrey (UK) did a study that found that stress levels were reduced by as much as 68% by reading, especially before bed. The study author, psychologist Dr. David Lewis states that a book is “more than merely a distraction, but an active engaging of the imagination,” one that “causes you to enter an altered state of consciousness.”
You will become more creative
Reading is looking at the world with a different pair of glasses each time. You begin to see problems, people, and situations with more creativity and ingenuity. A brain workout via reading is as beneficial as a gym workout for our body.
You will be able to concentrate better
The way we interact with the world through social media and news bites has had an impact on our ability to concentrate for longer periods of time. But reading before bedtime forces us to process information without all the visual aids of a smartphone, tablet or computer. Reading a book is training your brain to concentrate, as skill that needs constant maintenance.
You will be a more empathetic person
Being empathetic is the ability to see the world from the perspective of another person and to be more sympathetic to their point of view. According to research of Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, reading fiction is one way to discover and understand how others feel and act.
It decreases the time we are exposed to screens.
Using any screen-gadgets like smartphones, laptops 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. Reading before bed helps you create a quiet space where you can calm your nerves and help your mind get ready for sleep. When the mind is engaged in a world constructed by words, tension evaporates and the body relaxes, paving the way for sleep.
You will more likely 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.
It 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.
[To read more…
“These 6 Amazing Things Will Happen If You Read Before Bed” by Robert Locke, Lifehack.org
“The surprising benefits of reading before bed”, Business Insider,