Reading perhaps is the best habit a person can manifest. So, the next time you see your nerdy friend with a book. Don’t make fun of them, at least. Reading has tremendous powers when it comes to fuelling the development of all aspects. The effects that it can make on human life is really understated.
In the words of Vera Nazarian, the American-Russian writer,
whenever you read a good book somewhere in the world, a door opens to allow in more light. Reading is known to boost our overall brain power. Yes, you read that, right!
Neuroscientists have discovered that reading a book can improve our brain function on a variety of level. Researches at Emory University found that when our brain is engaged in a book, it improves the connectivity in our brain.
Bibliotherapy is the use of books along with other therapy to support mental well-being. This, along with several compelling research, indicates that reading, especially before going to bed, can be extremely beneficial for the overall health of a person.
Read ahead to understand the benefits of reading before going to bed-
1. Reduces stress
A study from the University of Sussex found that reading can greatly reduce stress hormones in adults- by more than 60%.
It is even better at reducing stress than listening to music, which reduces stress by 61% and drinking tea and coffee, which reduces stress by 54%.
So, if you are someone who is leading a very stressful life due to whatever reasons, try to inculcate the habit of reading a physical book before sleeping.
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2. Better sleep
A survey conducted among 10000 people found that those who read before bed slept an average of an hour and 37 minutes more than those who don’t read. People who have insomnia or just have a hard time falling asleep should actually try the practice of reading in their daily lifestyle.
J.K. Rowling, the British author of the famous Harry Potter series, once quoted,
I will defend the importance of bed-time stories to my last gasp. Remember how our parents used to narrate bedtime stories to us when we were kids, well there was a scientific reason behind it, along with sentimental reasons.
3. Boost creativity
Reading books enhances the overall functioning of the brain. Psychology of researchers found reading books is associated with vocabulary, general knowledge, verbal skills. As you read different books, you are exposed to new and different words, perhaps a vocabulary that you may not use daily.
4. Creates empathy
Researches at the New school in New York City have found evidence that literary fiction improves the reader’s capacity to understand what others are thinking and feeling.
5. Improved focus and concentration
In the internet-crazed world, attention is drawn in a million different directions at once because we are busy multi-tasking all the time. In a single span of 5 minutes, an average person divides his time between working on his task, checking his e-mail, chatting with a couple of people, along keeping an eye on social media. This sort of behaviour causes a stress level to rise, and it lowers the productivity rate.
When we read a book, all our attention is drawn to the story; the rest of the world takes a pause, and we are extremely immersed in absorbing what we are reading.
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6. Less exposure to screen
The blue light emitted from screens suppresses the brain’s ability to secrete melatonin, the hormone responsible for making us feel sleepy. Exposure to gadgets like smartphones, laptops or televisions can worsen the quality of our sleep.
So, grabbing an actual book is the best sleep-inducing habit. This way, our brain develops a virtual relation between reading and sleeping as it becomes a signal for the brain that it is time to call it a day; falling asleep becomes an easier process overall.
7. Improved mental health
A study on 96 patients who happened to be suffering from a mild case of depression found that the people who inculcated the habit of reading a book before going to bed saw several improvements in their symptoms. In comparison, the people who continued their usual lifestyle and didn’t receive this bibliotherapy didn’t see any changes in their symptoms.
So, reading not only improves your functioning of the brain, but it actually helps in curing mental health disorders.
8. The Best source of entertainment
Though many of us like to buy books and put them on shelves to brag about, very few of us actually read.
Books come in so many different genres that every literate person can definitely find them captivating enough to be engrossed. Whether your taste lies in classic literature, poetry, fashion, spiritual texts, drama, romance or self-help, books are the best budget-friendly entertainment to offer.