Need a Mental Boost? Read Before Bed
By Rachel Carver
Are you one of the 24 percent of Americans who has not picked up a book this year? If so, you might want to consider finding a good read.
A great time to relax with a good book is before you hit the sack. Reading has been linked to an increased quality of sleep. Reading can also give you a greater sense of empathy and decrease your risk of developing dementia.
Here are some additional benefits of bedtime reading.
Reading Reduces Stress
Reading is a great way to take your mind off of life for awhile. Whether you get lost in a romance novel or are drawn in by a compelling thriller, focusing on the plot will distract you from the dirty kitchen or the projects waiting for you in the morning.
University of Sussex researchers found that just six minutes of reading before bed reduced stress by 68 percent, making it more relaxing than listening to music or drinking tea.
Read to Meditate
Reading can clear your mind in a similar manner to meditation. According to a Review of General Psychology study, reading allows you to experience emotions and understand the relationships between those emotions. Reading causes you to push your own goals, feelings, and thoughts away to make room to truly experience the world of story characters.
Reading Minimizes Screen Time
Too much screen time before bed can interfere with circadian rhythms, which can disrupt sleep. Black and white pages do not interfere with sleep like the blue lights in smartphones and tablets. If you are thinking about buying an e-reader, choose one that minimizes the amount of blue wavelength light.
Read to Establish a Bedtime Routine
Bedtime rituals can help you fall asleep faster and get the rest you need. Opening a book at the same time each night will tell your brain that it is time to start preparing for sleep.
Bedtime routines help you transition from a day of busy activities into a relaxed state. Scrolling through social media does not count as relaxing reading. In addition to exposing your eyes to the blue wavelength light before you want to close them, you will most likely see something on Facebook that will stress you out or get you excited. This usually makes it harder to fall asleep. Find a good fiction book to prepare your mind for sleep.
If you have not recently picked up a book, ask your friends and family for suggestions. You can also order paperback books on Amazon for reasonable prices.
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