Reading a book before dozing off has been a sleep ritual for ages now. But does it help you sleep or is it just an addiction like any other?
Let us find out.
According to research, picking positive literature before bed does you a world of good. Here are the reasons:
- Eases your troubles
Since it is one of the best ways to distract your mind, so obviously it makes you forget about your stresses for a while.
You are picked up and dropped into an imaginary world, where the problems get solved without you putting in any effort.
A study by the University of Sussex, published in The Telegraph, shows that reading lowers stress levels by 68 per cent, a number higher than what is achieved through drinking tea or listening to music.
Reading is an active meditation, where through the activity of reading, you reach a meditative state, a state of pure bliss.
- A workout for your brain
Like all other muscles in the body, the brain too needs exercise to function better. Reading serves as that much needed but highly enjoyable workout.
Compared to talking or processing visuals, reading works offers a greater neurological challenge. When we read, the parts of our brain that deal with vision, language, and associative learning, are required to form a circuit. As a result, the brain gets a nice and fulfilling workout sesh!
Moreover, according to research, people who read are less likely to have brain illnesses that develop due to less brain activity. This means, reading is not only beneficial to you now, but also in the future.
- Bedtime stories for greater imagination
Reading books before bed works as a stimulus to your own creativity. It broadens your mind by presenting a variety of perspectives to look at and absorb.
Research suggests, our vocabulary, general knowledge about the world, our ability to communicate and to reason, all of these are enhanced by reading.
Reading out to children before sleep impacts them greatly too. Children learn 50 per cent more words from books, than they do from television.
- Increases empathy
The ability to understand someone else, or something else even, and sharing their feelings with them, reading gives you this superpower called empathy.
Reading a book that is written from another person’s perspective or the perspective of many characters who live in this other person’s head, what better way to be more empathetic than that, right?
This means, reading not only increases your IQ, but also your EQ. The activity of snuggling up with a book before calling it a day makes you kinder and emotionally intelligent.
- Aids deep sleep
When you are feeling calm and peaceful inside, you are going to sleep better.
Reading books that helps us feel more positive, giving us reasons to smile and be happy, improves the quality of our sleep.
- Heals the body and the mind
In a world where every third person is battling an illness of some kind, either associated with the body or the mind (or worse, both!), reading comes as a healer.
Let us look at anxiety, for instance. It is basically about being stuck with a feeling, in this case a negative one. By reading, you move your attention from this negative feeling to a positive one that the book is supplying you with. Do you notice the shift in emotions? Over a period of time, reading lowers your anxiety hugely.
- Makes us an optimist
The best way to start seeing the glass half full, or may be even overflowing with hope and love, is to become a book lover.
When reading, we are always looking forward to what’s going to happen next, while thoroughly enjoying what’s happening now. Imagine looking at life the same way! We would soon be bidding adieu to our miseries and constant worries.
This Book Lovers Day snuggle up with some positive literature. Make it a habit to read something light-hearted and happy every night before hitting the bed. Within just a month of doing this, you are likely to see positive results such as better sleep quality and fresher mornings.