In this time of constant technological connection, our sleep is suffering. The blue light emitted from screens disrupts melatonin levels. By checking “one last email” you are waking your brain up when you should be relaxing. Then there is the stress of reading the news. As we now know, reading a book helps you to relax.
Having enough restful sleep makes a big impact on how you feel and how productive you are the next day. Instead of checking your work emails or surfing the web before bed, put the screens away and reach for a good book instead. You will thank yourself the next day!
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Just as exercise helps your body stay healthier longer, reading is an exercise that helps keep your brain fit. As they say, use it or lose it! Doing puzzles and reading as you age is proven to slow Dementia and Alzheimers . The next time you cozy up to read with a cup of tea, you can say you are getting your daily dose of (brain) exercise.
Is reading important to you? If it is, it likely will be important to your children. It is proven that “parents are children’s first and most enduring educators and have a huge influence on their development” .
Reading to your child is of course key, but so is showing them that reading matters to you, too. Most parents know that children are excellent mimics, so give them access to books and let them see you reading. It won’t be long until you catch your little person reading to their stuffed animals or curled up with a book instead of watching television.
Reading is a way to escape your own life, and can take you to faraway lands, other times, and put you in other people’s shoes. By viewing the world from a point of view that is not your own, you become more empathetic.
In fact, “the currently predominant view is that literary fiction... can be linked to the human capacity to comprehend that other people hold beliefs and desires and that these may differ from one’s own beliefs and desires”
Simply, reading helps you understand people from their points of view, not just your own.
If you could reduce your stress levels in under ten minutes by doing something you enjoy, would you? A popular study done by the University of Sussex showed that “stress levels declined by 68 percent after participants read for just six minutes” . A good book transports you to another place where your own stresses don’t exist, allowing you to relax.
We stack books with full intent to read them all, but then time escapes us while our To Be Read pile grows ever taller. Luckily, there are ways we can make time for reading.
Reading for pure enjoyment has been on a sad decline for a while now, with reports saying 24% of Americans haven’t read at all for pleasure this last year.
Life gets busy; books don’t get prioritized. Pew Research Center states the average American is still likely to read around 12 books a year.
But with over a million books being published each year, the undeniable fact is: we need to find more time to read.
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