Reading, Relaxation and Mental Health

Reading, Sleep, Mental Health, Books

If I ever had a problem sleeping, all I had to do, aside from drinking a cup of hot tea or taking a nice warm bath was to read. Did you know that reading is a great antidote to sleeplessness and great for mental health? According to research conducted by the University of Sussex, reading can reduce stress levels by 68%. Further research went on to note that reading works faster and better to calm frazzled nerves than drinking a cup of tea, going for a walk or listening to music.

Cognitive Neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis who conducted this test stated: “Losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation.” He goes on to say, “This is more than merely a distraction but an active engaging of the imagination as the words on the printed page stimulate your creativity and cause you to enter what is essentially an altered state of consciousness.”

Wow, there you have it! Another benefit and reason to grab a book, sit down and read. It is also suggested that we read from a hardcopy book versus that of a tablet for relaxation, due to the stimulating illumination from the screen of a computer, tablet or e-reader. As we continue to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month along with Better Sleep Month, let’s take this bit of advice and do more reading, because it is indeed good for our mental health, as well as a great sleeping aid.

Now, I understand the real reason why people read in bed. They had the right idea all along!

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