In today’s information age, the traditional reading of a book or newspaper before bedtime is a dying ritual. After all, the TV fits into your pocket and you can literally watch anything you want in bed. So why bother reading? You’re not a monk after all.
But it turns out that reading before going to bed can be more beneficial than you would expect. There are three very good, scientifically supported reasons to open a book before you fall asleep.
1. A BETTER NIGHT’S SLEEP
According to cognitive neuropsychologist and sleep scientist, David Lewis, you will sleep better if you read for six minutes before you fall asleep. The ritual reduces stress by as much as 68%, a figure much higher than other rituals, such as drinking tea or listening to music. This relaxation leads to a deeper, more relaxed sleep, making your mornings easier and your days more productive.
But how much can you read in just six minutes? That’s just a few pages… unless you use the award-winning speed reading technique. This technique allows you to get the most out of your reading experience, making your evening ritual even more relaxing and efficient.
2. INCREASED CREATIVITY
Psychologists believe that creativity is stimulated by meeting ‘the need for cognitive closure’ – that is, the universal human urge for concrete answers to questions. According to recent studies, reading fiction satisfies this urge for closure, as well-written fiction books generally provide more definitive answers to life’s more abstract questions. So if you spend more time on the creativity of others, you will find that you yourself become more creative. The old saying turns out to be true: if you want to write, you have to read first.
3. LESS EXPOSURE TO BLUE LIGHT
No matter how many times you may have heard this, it just can’t be said often enough: blue light before bedtime will disrupt your sleeping pattern, because the blue wavelengths affect your concentration, reaction time and mood. While this can be good if you have to work through the evening, you may not be able to use this extra stimulation properly before you go to bed. By swapping your screen for a book, your brain will be less exposed to blue light, which will help you sleep better.