Alaska Sleep Education Center

8 Ways Reading Can Help You Sleep

Posted by Paisley Hansen on Mar 27, 2020 7:43:00 AM

reading

Getting relaxed so you can go to sleep can be difficult especially if you have had a stressful day. Getting your mind and body to relax before you head to bed is complicated unless you find the right activity to help you. One of the things you can do to get you ready to slumber is read.

Here are a few reasons why you should pick up a book at bedtime.

Reading Books Helps You Relax

Stress is one of the main reasons that you can have insomnia. Reading has been proven to reduce stress and allow you to relax. Also, when you read, you disconnect from your electronic devices which can also bring down your anxiety. It lets you focus on one thing instead of being pulled in multiple directions, giving you the alone time you need. Zeroing in on your book instead of the news or other types of modern media alleviates the stress you have been carrying all day and allows your body to prepare itself for sleep. When you are completely relaxed through an activity like reading, you can get a great night’s sleep.

Shut Off the Screen

Cell phone and computer screens, like your television, create a bright light when they are operating. While this illumination fills your dark bedroom, your body has a hard time sleeping. Whether it is a book from the library or printed copies of articles from the Contact Lenses Plus Blog, your eyes will be focused on paper pages instead of a device that is lit up even though there is a lamp on. Starting this activity an hour before you want to go to bed will help your body transition away from the glare of technology and assist it in falling asleep. The feel of paper between your fingers also can get you in the mindset that you are reading and therefore relaxing.

Books Give You Great Dreams

As you read, your mind plays the story along with the words. When you sleep, your brain pulls from the information you have processed through the day. This includes the book you were enjoying right before you fell asleep. With the creative content on the page, the story has the potential of becoming your next dream. It can be fuel to put you as the main character of your favorite novel, even if it is in your mind during your dream. It taps into your creative side and allows you to build your own story in your brain as you sleep. If you can write, you can share this tale with others through your own words. However, be careful of which genre you indulge in so that your dream is sweet instead of a nightmare.

It Is a Part Of a Daily Routine

When you commit an hour every night to read, you will make it part of your daily routine. It gives you something to look forward to every day. It might also continue to add structure to the rest of the day, which can also reduce your stress. This ritual can be a building block towards other healthy lifestyle choices. Begin your bedtime rituals early enough to allow at least an hour of reading before you plan to sleep. Try to give yourself plenty of time to avoid rushing the rest of your routine. It can be difficult to settle into your story if you are anxious from hurrying your other preparations for bed.

It Can Increase Your Knowledge

Setting aside an hour a day to read at bedtime will increase your intelligence. Sharing your reading time with your child allows them to learn new words and increase their vocabulary. When you do it, your brain is put through a workout. Your memory will become stronger the more books and magazines you enjoy which will preserve your cognitive function as you get older. It also helps you look at issues you need to solve in a different light. It will tap into your creative side so you can work through problems quickly and effectively. Your concentration will also improve with the time you spend in a book. All this will improve how you do your job at work as well as other projects you are involved in.

Be a Role Model

Hand with marker writing the word Beautiful Minds Inspire OthersWhen you settle into bed with a good book at the end of the day, your children will see your example and do so as well. The more reading that they do, the better they will do in school and on the tests they are given. Setting up a routine for them as well as well as yourself also gives you a habit to share that you can talk about. If they are young and need to be read to, it is an opportunity you can spend with them one on one. For a few moments of the day, you can guarantee that time with them as you help them build a love of literature. You can discuss the materials you are enjoying and encourage your child to give you their thoughts on what they like to read.

Helps You Feel For Others

You learn about characters in the stories that you read and feel what they feel through the words the author writes. You see what life is like through their point of view and experience their emotions as they go through the tale. When you are in your daily life, you learn to apply these emotions to those around you. If someone is sad or hurt, you will feel empathetic for them and be willing to reach out to help them. This typically works more for those who read fictional stories since these tend to have more character development within them. You may be able to derive something similar with a biography or autobiography, but other non-fiction tales have too few character descriptions to understand what they are feeling.

Create Your Own World

Set up your own space so that you can fully relax as you dive into your book. Adjust the lights, turn on some light music, and possibly have a glass of water, tea, or wine ready to sip. You will be able to relax even more as you settle into your tale. Before long you will be ready to sleep.

Eliminating stress from your life can be a challenge and holding too much anxiety can make it hard to get rest. Picking up a book and either reading it to yourself or to your child can get your mind in the right place, relax your body, and prepare your entire being for a great night of slumber.

We could all use a stress-free night of slumber, right?  So, read a bedtime story with your kids tonight or curl up with that novel you wanted to start reading a few years back.  And, make sure you subscribe to the Alaska Sleep Clinic sleep education blog.  Over 5 million people world-wide visited our website in both 2018 an 2019 to find answers to their sleep questions.

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Topics: sleep and children, relax, get better sleep

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