People Who Read Before Bed Not Only Sleep Better, But Eat More Healthily and Make More Money
This sleep survey proves the benefits of a pre-snooze read go well beyond relaxation.
This story originally appeared on realsimple.com by Maggie Seaver.
If your go-to bedtime routine includes winding down with a great book, you’ve got a good thing going. We know you know that already (that’s why you keep doing it!), but reading before going to bed is not only working for you—it seems to have amazing, self-reported benefits for the masses, according to a recent survey.
Mattress and sleep product review site Sleep Junkie took the liberty of surveying 1,000 people about both their sleep habits and bedtime routines—namely, whether or not they read in bed.
Participants who read in bed at night range from those who read once a week to every night: 11 percent of survey takers read one or two nights a week, 12 percent read three or four, 7 percent read five or six, and 8 percent read every single night. Of the crowd getting a few pages in five or more nights a week, the average time spent reading comes out to 43 minutes.
The results don't lie: Whether they crack open a book three times a month or every night without fail, all respondents said doing so promotes relaxation, reduces stress, induces sleep, centers the mind, and improves sleep quality. All good things. Nearly three quarters of bedtime readers believe they’d have a harder time falling asleep if they didn’t regularly read in bed, and almost everyone (96 percent) would recommend reading before bed to others.
Compared to only 64 percent of non-bedtime readers, 76 percent of bedtime readers report being satisfied with their sleep quality. Not only that, but over the course of a week, bedtime readers clock an extra hour and 37 minutes than non-bedtime readers—that’s a lot of precious Zs.
We know sleep is vital for everything from maintaining physical health to improving cognitive fitness, and clearly reading before bed seems to boost both the quality and quantity of sleep. So it’s no shocker that this nightly ritual also indirectly affects other important aspects of life, including professional/financial success, physical health, and overall optimism.
Bedtime readers make more money….
Sleep Junkie’s survey takers who read before bed make an average income of $39,779, while nonreaders make $36,094.
Bedtime readers seem to make healthier choices….
Beyond money, bedtime readers are 12 percent more inclined to eat a healthy diet, 14 percent more likely to engage in “healthy recreation,” and 8 percent more likely to keep regular doctor/dentist appointments.
Bedtime readers have a more positive life outlook….
When respondents were asked if they believe they “get the most out of themselves,” nighttime bookworms took the cake, with 79 percent answer yes, compared to only 59 percent of nonreaders. And do they live life to the fullest? Heck yes, say 70 percent percent of bedtime readers, in contrast to 58 percent of nonreaders.
Does this mean if you’ve never liked to read in bed before turning out the lights, that you’re going to be sad and unsuccessful forever? Of course not. You may love to steal a few minutes in the morning to read a book or the paper with a cup of coffee. You may save that page-turner for when you’re hunkered down at a cafe for your lunch break. When it comes to reading, do you!
But one thing’s for sure, if you’re having trouble falling and/or staying asleepthese days, and you haven’t tried reading to calm your mind and coax your inner drowsiness, it might be time to give it a try. (Need some book recommendations for your bedside table? These are the Best Books of 2019—So Far)
This story originally appeared on realsimple.com