As a kid, I read before bed every night. It was before the age of Netflix and other distractions, and even though I had a strict bedtime, I also had a nightlight that worked perfectly well for reading well into the evening. The most rebellious thing I ever did as a young bookworm was to stay up all night reading (probably reading Harry Potter, let's be honest), and I have no regrets.
Now, I often skip reading before bedtime, and I miss it. When life gets busy, even if you’re a bookworm, reading before you fall asleep is probably not a priority. You have so much going on, and sometimes reading just seems like more work — you would probably rather watch TV or scroll through social media to relax, instead of picking up a book.
However, there are many reasons that you should reach for a novel instead of another distraction before you go to sleep. It may seem exhausting to read before bed, but you’re trying to fall asleep, so isn’t that the point? If you once loved reading as part of your nighttime routine, it’s time to restart that habit. Here are some of the reasons that you should start reading every night before bed.
1. You Can Reduce Stress
Reading is scientifically proven to reduce stress. It's even more effective than drinking tea or taking a relaxing walk, and even reading for just six minutes can drastically reduce stress levels. If you often have trouble getting a good night's sleep, because you are too stressed, reading before bed can help alleviate this and lead to a more restful sleep.
2. You'll Improve Your Memory
Studies show that reading can improv your memory. If you get into the habit of reading each night before bed, you will improve your memory over time and have great long-term rewards.
3. Reading Makes You More Empathetic
According to scientific studies, reading literary fiction can make you a more empathetic person overall. If you read each night before falling asleep, you are actually contributing to your own self-improvement, because you can become a more empathetic and understanding person just by flipping pages.
4. You'll Avoid The Bad Effects Of Using Tech Before Bed
We've all seen the studies on how technology can negatively affect your sleep patterns, especially if you stare at bright screens right before drifting off. Scrolling through your phone before you sleep can suppress melatonin and keep your brain from letting you sleep. If you unplug from these devices just before bed and pick up a book instead, you will have a much more restful sleep.
5. You Can Read More Books
On average, Americans don't read a lot of books per year. You can be an outlier if you read every night before bed, because setting aside this time to read will allow you dedicated time just for books. Chip away at that TBR pile you've been meaning to get to a little bit each night.
6. Having A Nighttime Routine Can Help You Sleep
Having nightly habits before bedtime helps your brain recognize when it's time for sleep. If you read every night before sleeping, your body will take this as a sign that it's time to rest, and you will be able to fall asleep more easily. Not only can you enjoy a book, but you can beat insomnia, too.