Today is a pretty exciting day here at Love, Sawyer. Why? Well, it’s taco Tuesday! It’s also they day I get to share my first ever guest post! It’s about reading before bedtime, a topic very close to my heart. I’m super excited!
So let me tell you a bit about our guest today. His name is Brian Ferrett and he blogs about all things sleep over at My Sleepy Ferret. Make your way over there and see all the awesome things he has been up to.
Like I said, Brian blogs all about sleep which is my second favorite thing to do in the bedroom. The first is reading, if you were curious. I know what you were thinking, and it wasn’t reading, was it? 😉
Anyway, he was kind enough to use his expertise and put together a post about reading before bedtime. Turns out there’s actually a lot of benefits.
What Reading Before Bedtime Can Do For You
Reading can have a lot of benefits outside of knowing more about the topics we read. We can
read for enjoyment or for insight. What about reading for sleep?
Fortunately, there are studies that indicate the positive effects of reading before bedtime.
Reading can also have beneficial consequences we might not have known.
So how does reading before bedtime help? In this post, we will examine how it helps and the strategy you can employ to make reading a part of your nighttime routine.
The Effects Of Reading
It’s difficult to fall asleep when we are stressed or anxious. Reading each day before we snooze
can reset our physiological responses and help us ease into bedtime.
Dr. David Lewis, a cognitive neuropsychologist from the University of Sussex has found that
reading can reduce stress levels by 68% (source). This is accomplished from a mere 6 minutes
of reading! We can essentially put ourselves to sleep by reading for ourselves.
Reading also forces us to be more present and mindful of the moment. If you feel anxious
because of something that can happen or find yourself thinking about your past frequently, it’s
difficult to do either of these two as you are reading. The eye movement required and the
demand on the brain power needed to understand the meaningful messages from a book can
take your mind off of the most stressful of times. That way, you can start the next day strong by
having a good night’s rest today.
Reading is also known to make you more empathetic and is associated with slowing the
cognitive decline in senior adults. It’s no wonder even the National Sleep Foundation
recommends reading as an activity to wind down the body and shift into sleep mode. You can
also learn more about sleep and better sleep practices from MySleepyFerret.
How Should We Start Reading?
One quick point we must make is to avoid reading from a screen. This applies to smartphones,
e-readers, and laptops. The blue light emitted from the screens increase mental alertness and
wakefulness, which isn’t good for our sleep.
What you can do is choose a book beforehand. You can do your research on summaries online,
then visit a nearby library to borrow the book or go to a bookstore to purchase it. Alternatively, you
can order the book online through websites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Our
recommendation is to pick out at least 3 books and have them beside your bed when it’s time to
read. That way, you can pick and choose whichever one is the most interesting to you at the
As an easy guideline, you can immerse yourself in reading for 5 minutes each night.
Remember, only 6 minutes is enough to reduce your stress by more than half its level. You can
read longer as you become more comfortable with the routine.
You won’t have to read quickly or anything. If you are concerned about reading too slow, you
can bet that over time, our minds become fluent and proficient in what it does. That means the
more you read, the quicker it can become at comprehending the words on the pages and
making sense of what it is you are reading. In turn, you become better and quicker at reading
You don’t necessarily have to read a book in order to “become more empathetic” or “to get
smarter”. These are good goals and directions to have! It’s especially important if you are
starting out to read books that you simply enjoy without self-judgment or criticism.
Go with the flow, pick out the 3, and read for 5 minutes each night. You’ll be surprised how
much your life, your attitude, and your sleep can transform!
We hope this post enlightens and encourages you to read before bedtime if you don’t already.
It’s a perfect way to calm down for the night and end the day on a positive note. All the benefits
of reading are scientifically backed, and even just 5 minutes a night can do wonders for our
mind and well-being. If you don’t already read before bed, try starting tonight!
Share your bedtime routine. What are you reading tonight? How has reading before
bedtime helped you?
Having a hard time figuring out what to read before bedtime tonight? Take a gander through my book reviews for some wonderful recommendations.