The benefits of reading before bedtime

The benefits of reading before bedtime

In today’s digital age, many have fallen into the habit of constantly being in front of their devices and not being able to handle a dark, quiet room at night.

If you find yourself struggling with rest or falling asleep with your phone by your head, reading a book may be the solution for better nights and more productive days.

Here are six reasons why you should put your phone away and pick up a book before bedtime.

1. Reading reduces stress

You can read as a way to escape from the chaotic world and go on an adventure with the book’s characters, helping you to forget about your day’s worries.

Research shows that reading for just 30 minutes is associated with a lower heart rate and lower blood pressure. As few as six minutes of reading can reduce stress by 68 per cent and provide a more considerable benefit than drinking tea or listening to music.

You’ll want to choose a relaxing book before bed so the story doesn’t have the opposite effect. Choose an old favourite — a book about wellness or a fun adventure that won’t give you an adrenaline rush.

2. Reading will help you to sleep better

Reading can relax your mind and if you read in bed before going to sleep, you can create that association of relaxing and winding down as part of your night-time routine.

Since you’ve relaxed into sleep instead of forcing yourself, you can rest more deeply and feel more replenished when you wake up.

The relaxing properties of reading could also help you fall asleep faster, as you’re less likely to deal with racing thoughts. This can help provide you with a more restful night.

3. Reading helps reduce screen time

If you’re reading a book, you will likely not be watching television or scrolling on your phone or computer. Your devices provide unnecessary stimulation and have the ability to suppress melatonin — an essential hormone for sleep.

If you research ways to practise self-care, taking a break from technology always makes the list.  Seeing texts or emails before bed can make it difficult to relax – your mind will be racing thinking about what you need to do the next day. Social media can also lead to the fear of missing out on late-night activities, as well as lead you down an addictive rabbit hole of posts.

Leaving the screens off before bed can encourage your body to wind down and produce enough melatonin naturally to get quality sleep.

4. Reading encourages empathy

Modern science shows that mirror neurons help cause empathy when we do something or see someone else doing it.

Empathy is essential for understanding others and responding appropriately to different situations, as this aids in building relationships and socially navigating the world.

Research has found that these neurons are impacted by reading. When you read, you can put yourself in the characters’ shoes, create a deep connection with the protagonist and understand them.

5. Reading helps you retain more

A 2013 study showed reading improved the brain’s ability to understand different stories and think more critically.

Your brain consolidates your short-term memory as you sleep, which helps ensure the things you read before bed stick with you longer, helping you remember information the next day.

Retaining information keeps you from being frustrated by the need to review the material again and can save time for exploring other ideas and activities.

6. Reading improves creativity

Reading allows you to explore new worlds and learn more about natural and fictional problems. Doing so as a habit introduces you to creative problem-solving and exposes you to new perspectives.

Creativity is a vital part of life, regardless of your hobbies or career. It helps you develop new ideas and solve problems more effectively.

When you read, you learn from your character’s experiences and think about what you would do in certain situations. Reading can also activate different areas of your brain that contribute to creativity.

Pick up a book before bed

Reading before going to bed is a great way to relax your mind and enhance sleep quality. If you’re seeking better sleep, put down your devices and pick up a book before you drift off.

Cora Gold - Writer - SHE DEFINED

Cora Gold

Cora Gold is the Editor-in-Chief of Revivalist magazine, a site dedicated to women’s lifestyle, home and adventure. Cora has a passion for writing to inspire women to live life to the fullest.