It’s after midnight and you’re staring at the ceiling again. You’ve tried watching late-night TV and Seinfeld reruns but nothing seems to be helping you snooze. Before resorting to TV for bed, you should always try turning on a small light and opening a good book. There’s no sleep like the one that comes while enveloped in a book. While this theory has been tested before, let’s go over why and how reading before bed can help you sleep peacefully throughout the night.
According to PsychCentral, it’s important to create a pre-sleep routine. If your body recognizes that you’re doing the same functions every night before bed, it will begin to pick up on them. For instance, if you read before bed every night, your body will recognize this and realize that it’s time for sleep. Along with a nightly routine, make sure the mattress you are sleeping on is comfortable. A natural mattress can make all the difference in sleeping through the night.
If you do wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall asleep within twenty minutes, try reading near a dim light. Anything brighter than dim could stimulate your senses and make you more alert than before.
One warning I must mention however, is to be careful with your choice of pre-sleep reading material. If you’re reading a very exciting or suspenseful book, it may have the opposite effect and you could end up reading much later into the night then you had originally planned. (I have to say I’m very guilty of this one.) WikiHow has a solution for this problem: try reading a book before bed that you’ve already read before. Maybe it’s your favorite book, or one you wanted more from the first time around. It helps when you already know the ending to a book and it makes the cliffhangers less surprising and less stimulating to your senses. Only you know which book genre will keep you awake and which one helps to put you to sleep.
Make sure you stay away from heavy topics as your reading material choice before bed. Not only is reading a good way to relax, but according to GoodRelaxation, it can actually put the previous events of the day behind you. I often find that if I don’t read before bed, I’ll end up lying awake, replaying the day in my head. Reading helps to stop this habit and allows you to get lost into a world that’s not your own.
Reading before bed only works for people who actually enjoy reading. If you’re not a big reader, there are other techniques to help you fall asleep naturally. Many people swear by crossword puzzles before bed.
If you’re having trouble finding the right reading material for bed time, try doing a little research. Here are some books I’ve found that are best to read before bed. In case you were wondering, here’s some of the worst to read before bed as well. Sweet dreams, and happy reading!
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