How Reading at Night Will Lower Your Stress Levels

Go to sleep feeling good and relaxed with the simple act of reading

Brandon Bell
Oct 30 · 6 min read
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You can’t wait for your day to be over, life has decided to give you a challenge and now you have to deal with it. Everyone else seems like they’re having a good life while you’re dealing with stress. It’s ok to be in a pit sometimes but you can still make your day good even if it’s almost over.

When you’re getting ready for bed you may think it’s totally fine to scroll through Instagram or Twitter until you fall asleep. If it works for you then great but how much stress are you waking up with? We all know that social media can be a trap at times and we know that it could get addicting.

Too much scrolling at night can lead you into negativity. You may see somebody who you’re envious of post a picture of them on vacation or you may read a tweet from somebody you’ve never met before that causes you to respond with anger. As you can see, going to sleep with frustration and jealousy is not the most convenient way to get rest.

Your mind is still processing these thoughts as you sleep.

Why not replace your phone with a book instead? It doesn’t have to be a physical book, it could be a book downloaded on your phone or even an audiobook for crying out loud!

Books are the perfect way to end your night. They lead you into another world and they help you sleep with a smile on your face. If you’re looking for satisfaction at the end of your day, try picking up a book instead of your mobile device.

You’re too tired to read during the day, you might as well save that energy for that night. Reading isn’t something that should be forced, it’s almost like a supplement, an extra boost of motivation you can put into your life.

Between you and me, we both know how busy our minds can be before we go to bed. One solution to that madness is reading.

Give Yourself 30 Minutes to An Hour Before You Go to Sleep

Reading sounds boring, but with the right book, you will start doing it for longer than you may have thought. Every reader knows the partial sadness that they have to go through when they have to stop themself from reading at two in the morning. This is a good problem to have. It’s better than having to worry about how many likes your last post on Instagram got.

When I first began reading consistently it was a tough battle. I would try to read any chance I got and that led me to a lot of unnecessary stress. It wasn’t until I started reading for up to 30 minutes a night where I felt more at peace with myself. The layers of anxiety that I had throughout the day would disappear when I started reading.

You don’t have to read at night but it’s something you should consider. You stay up for an hour anyways watching YouTube videos, why not split that time devoted to a good book.

At the end of the day your more calm than usual, you’re in the comfort of your bed and for the next five to eight hours you don’t have to worry about anything else but the dreams that are going to come. Why not read the most you can while you’re this calm?

When you’re filled with stress and anxiety it can be hard to focus on a few pages at a time. No one is forcing you to read during the day unless you’re in school. For students, reading at night will also help you with reading during your classes. 30 minutes to an hour of light reading a night will help you to understand the textbooks that you’re reading on a daily basis.

This may seem like a lot of time but you have to take into consideration how many hours a day you spend on your phone. If we’re being honest here I’m guilty of having a long screen time as well but I noticed that those daily hours would decrease when I started picking up a book at night.

What to Read at Night

The heavy literature that you want to stay away from at this time of the day are genres like science, history, or current events. These genres are great for absorbing during the day when you’re mind is more open to stuff like that and isn’t exhausted.

The genres that you want to go towards are fiction, self-help, and sci-fi. These genres are great for their own particular reasons.

Let’s start off with fiction. Fictional novels have the ability to let you escape from reality. Diving into a story and taking the view of the main character gives you excitement. The time flies with these kinds of books, also you’re not going to want to put the book down. Some fiction books that you may want to look into for you nightly read include The Alchemist, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, and The Catcher In the Rye.

Moving on, another genre that may help you go to sleep with some motivation is self-help. In these books, you will find simple steps to take for becoming a better person and impactful insights from some of the world’s most successful people. It can be kind of weird to take advice from somebody who you’ve never met before but these authors do a great job showing some of the techniques to having a more peaceful life. Isn’t that what you want most when going to sleep? Peace of mind? Some books that you can check out for this genre include The Power of Positive Thinking, Think and Grow Rich, and 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself.

The last genre you should think about looking into in sci-fi which is short for science fiction. If you’re a fan of sci-fi movies then you’ll be more than likely to become a fan of the books as well. Most of the sci-fi movies that you’ve already seen have already been transformed into a book. If this isn’t a sign for you to start reading more then I don’t know what else to tell you. A few books that may help you sleep better in this genre include Dune, 1984, and Farenheight 451.

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Don’t Make The Process Any Harder Than It Needs to Be

There are a few things that you should be aware of in order to have the most enjoyable experience you can when reading at night. The first is eliminating all distractions to the best of your ability. It’s ok if you live near a busy road or a train stop. Make the best out of your experience by playing some background music in your room.

If you live in a more quiet area then make sure your phone is away from your bed and that your t.v. is off. This may be hard to get used to but it becomes easier over time.

If you’re reading a book from your phone, make sure that it’s downloaded so that you can put your phone on airplane mode while you’re reading, that way you won’t get disturbed with any notifications.

This is your alone time for the day, this is the time you deserve to yourself. Try setting the mood by lowering the lights in your room or piling up some pillows so that you’re seated in a comfortable position.

My go-to night time book reading routine is having a cup of tea next to me on my desk with my pen and highlighter on a pillow to my left. This puts me in a more focused state when getting ready to read.

Over time you will begin to realize what makes your reading experience more enjoyable. Use this 30 minutes to an hour at night to relax and let your mind have fun. It’s almost like you’re getting ready for the next day. If you go to sleep happy then you have a better chance of waking up happy than if you were on your phone the whole night.

Don’t stress yourself out when getting ready to read at night, it’s something that’s going to eliminate stress not add more.

Reading at night is one of the open secrets to finishing your day off on a calmer note. Not everyone does this, which is why you should try it for yourself and see if you can gain anything from it. I’ll leave you with a quote from Jim Rohn that says

“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.”

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Brandon Bell

Written by

A young adult who’s writing is geared towards self-improvement and self care. “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”

Curious

A community of people who are curious to find out what others have already figured out // Curious is a new personal growth publication by The Startup (https://medium.com/swlh).

Brandon Bell

Written by

A young adult who’s writing is geared towards self-improvement and self care. “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”

Curious

A community of people who are curious to find out what others have already figured out // Curious is a new personal growth publication by The Startup (https://medium.com/swlh).

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