3 reasons you should read before going to bed

Shutterstock

Insomnia, in the abstract, is a collision of neurons and preoccupations allied against our well being. Treating the disorder is more like a process than a regimen; one that sometimes begins with adopting curious techniques to engage the rattle that keeps us tossing and turning into lengthening days.

Among these curious techniques that contribute to good night’s sleep previously reported on by Ladders, reading might be the most multifaceted. According to a new survey conducted by Sleepjunkie of over 1,000 participants, those that read in bed are 17% more likely to receive quality rest in addition to making an average of three thousand more annually compared to those that do not.

Sleep Tolkien

Although the benefits are well documented, both here in the new study and academic literature previously published, only 15% of the study pool read in bed five or more nights a week. Ninety-six percent of these would enthusiastically recommend the ritual to others; 65% citing reductions to stress, 63% because it helps them fall asleep easier and faster, 63% believes in centers the mind, and just about half said when they fell asleep they did so longer and more satisfyingly after they did a little reading first.

No one is suggesting finishing Clarissa at night before counting sheep either, as all it took for respondents to observe advantageous effects to their health was 43 minutes of reading a night. While the majority (44%) of bed readers preferred traditional physical copies of books, 38% occasioned E-books and 17% privileged reading on their phone or tablet. For whatever reason, E-book readers were affected the most profoundly, as this group reported the least instances of insomnia compared to the other two. All three faired better than those that didn’t read at all before bed, however.

On balance, bedtime readers slept 37 minutes more a week than wakeful philistines.  Moreover, bed readers were more than 10% likely to eat healthily, visit the doctor and dentist regularly, and live life to the fullest.

Sleepjunkie adds, “Bedtime readers reported an annual income just under $40,000 annually. Nonreaders fell shorter, reporting yearly earnings of just over $36,000. Maybe it’s because bedtime readers are consuming material on how to improve their business skills or lead a healthier lifestyle. Our respondents who read in bed tended to eat healthier, participate in recreation activities at a higher rate, and visit their health care providers on a more consistent basis than those who did not read.”

Throughout the day, various considerations request our attention until our dismissal sees them return, barbed by nightfall. The best way to steady tossing and turning caused by an incessant replay of all things you didn’t get to that day, is by practicing mindfulness. A study published recently in the Jama Network found that adults that habitually practices exercises designed to help them focus moment to moment thoughts, emotions, and experiences,  evidenced lower fatigue, less depressive symptoms, and insomnia.  

Reading occupies a unique place in the distraction cannon because it retains all of its recreational prowess while proffering several boosts to cognition, sleep quality and even finances. The more popular vices of digression seemed to cause the opposite effect. Fifty-three percent of respondents that tooled around on their laptop in bed had trouble falling asleep, 51% felt this way after using social media, and 29% after streaming TV shows and movies.

The authors conclude: “One effective strategy is keeping such devices out of the bedroom and reserving your sleeping space as a tech-free oasis designed to calm you down and not rev you up. Another idea is making sure your notifications and news alerts are turned off an hour or so before bed.”