In the 21st century, most people have a device in their pockets or attached to their hands almost every waking moment. But screen time is one of the worst things you can do before bed. What’s a better nighttime activity? Try reading.
The benefits of reading before bed are plentiful. Here’s a look at 7 reasons why reading before bed is so good for you, if you can find a way to set aside your devices and pick up a good book.
1. Promote Mental Health
Reading before bedtime is almost like taking a multivitamin. While nighttime reading isn’t going to cure cancer, it does offer a number of benefits that promote overall mental health and wellness.
For example, reading before bed can help reduce anxiety and depression. In Great Britain, some mental health professionals have even started to prescribe pre-bedtime reading to patients suffering from depression.
Of course, reading isn’t a cure-all for those who are suffering from depression, but it can be a key and helpful part of a plan for comprehensive treatment.
2. Refresh Brain
Think of your brain as a muscle. Just like any other muscle, it needs to work out and then it needs to rest. After a long day of using your brain for work or projects around the house or even for social interactions, reading helps the brain wind down and reach an optimal state for rest and recovery.
This is important at any age, but it’s particularly important as you get older. A study finds that activities like reading can make an individual 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. You’ll want to eat the right foods for your brain, but you’ll also want to read to refresh your brain.
3. Boost Concentration
Concentration isn’t a talent that you’re born with. Rather, it’s a skill that you develop over time. The most you practice concentration, the better you’re going to be at it.
Watching television and listening to music are fairly passive activities that don’t require much reading. But reading is different. Reading forces the mind to concentrate, which means that those who read regularly (like right before bed, for example) are better able to concentrate than those who do not.
4. Enhance Creativity
When you read, you begin to see problems and their solutions. That’s why people who read tend to be far more creative than those who don’t. Reading changes the way that you think, the way that you approach problems and the way that you develop solutions. Creativity is an asset in almost any line of work, so enhance your creativity by reading before bed.
5. Develop Empathy
When you read fiction, you get to experience the lives of others. For example, a man reading about a woman gains a deep understanding of what it’s like to be a female. An American reading about someone in Eastern Europe better understands what it’s like to live in a different place. Someone wealthy develops an understanding of what’s it’s like to be poor through reading, and so on.
That’s called “empathy.” It’s hard to understand the experiences of people far different from you if you choose not to read. Try reading before bed, and you’ll discover you’re far better at empathizing than you would be otherwise.
6. Reduce Stress
Life is stressful. There’s work to worry about and kids to worry about and a slew of other obligations to meet. When you read before bed, you actually reduce the amount of stress you’re experiencing.
Researchers at a university in the United Kingdom actually quantified the effect of reading on stress. They found that simply picking up a book and reading before going to sleep can reduce stress by 68%.
The same study compared other stress-reducing activities, including going for a walk and listening to music. It found that reading made the greatest impact on stress reduction. So, pick up a book before bed, and discover just how much it helps you forget the challenges of your day.
7. Improve Sleep Quality
Many people sleep right next to their smartphones, and it’s common to scroll through Facebook or other social media platforms before turning off the lights. But using a smartphone (or other screens) right before bedtime actually lowers melatonin levels and makes it harder for us to fall asleep.
Reading is just the opposite. Reading helps shift the mode of the human brain, and it actually helps the body prepare for rest. If you can develop a consistent routine that includes reading before bed (rather than screen time), you’ll find that you get better quality sleep night after night.
Getting great sleep is partially about having the right bedding. For example, you’ll want the best pillow for how you sleep (like the options available when you check out these reviews), but you’ll also want to be in the type of mindset that reading helps create.
Julie is a Professional health writer, experienced blogger, and a coach. She is a writer by day and a reader by night. She also loves to write about beauty,education, technology etc. Currently, she is working with slimmingpillsinfo.co.uk“