Bedtime Reading: Why and What To Read
“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” – Confucius
Two problems so many of us have: not reading enough and not being able to sleep. Imagine if we told you that you could kill two birds with one…book? Reading has been proven to actually help you get better sleep. It transports your mind out of the present moment and to another plane of consciousness which helps you focus and relax at the same time. Perhaps this is why children love hearing bedtime stories before they go to sleep. It helps ease the mind and lets you forget everything that went wrong during the day, only to think about what you’re reading or listening to.
Reading overall has been found to reduce stress, by as much as 68% according to some researchers! One of the main reasons for insomnia is stress so it only makes sense that you bust out some of that nervous energy with a good book before calling it a night. By allowing yourself those 15 or 20 minutes of uninterrupted time to simply read and wind down, you will find that not only will you sleep better but you will wake up feeling more relaxed.
According to The Sleep Council, 39% of those who read before bed, sleep very well. This makes reading the perfect alternative to scrolling through Instagram, chatting on the phone, watching a television show or finishing up your work. Apart from helping you sleep better, reading also boosts your brain power with associative learning helping you become more creative. When thinking about what to read before bed, here are a few options you could consider.
Non-Fiction: Some of us enjoy reading ancient philosophy, biographies and stories about the past that transport us to another time period. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is also a great way to give your life a little perspective, and put your problems in line with those who have gone through much worse. If you’re interested in self-improvement, there are great books on meditation, confidence, critical thinking and human history that might both help you and help you sleep better.
Fiction: Reading a suspenseful thriller right before bed might not be the best solution but if that’s what you enjoy reading, then it’s better than nothing! Personally, we love read all kinds of books and find that the New York Times best seller list is a great place to start. Find something that your friends recommend like a light romance or a gripping drama to get your mind wrapped up in something else before you sleep.
News and Articles: If you need to read for work, don’t do this before you sleep. Your sleep routine is sacred and it shouldn’t involve anything that feels stressful or urgent. Take this time to flip through the newspaper or go through an interesting article that you’ve been wanting to read for yourself, rather than for work.
So the next time you pop on your favourite Dandelion pyjamas, curl up in bed with a good book for better, more restful sleep.