September 24, 2019
If your go-to bedtime routine includes winding down with a great book, you may be experiencing a host of benefits beyond diversion and relaxation, according to a recent survey of 1,000 people by the sleep product review site Sleep Junkie.
Respondents who said they read in bed at night ranged from those who read once a week to those who open a book every night, according to a report on the study by Real Simple:
- 11% said they read one or two nights a week;
- 12% read three or four times;
- 7%, five or six; and
- 8% percent read every single night.
And of the avid readers getting a few pages in during five or more nights a week, the average time spent reading was 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.
In fact, Real Simple reports, nearly 75% of bedtime readers believe they’d have a harder time falling asleep if they didn’t regularly read in bed, and almost everyone (96%) would recommend reading before bed to others.
Compared to only 64% of non-bedtime readers, 76% of bedtime readers report being satisfied with the quality of their sleep. What’s more, over the course of a week, bedtime readers self-report that they clock an extra hour and 37 minutes more Zs than non-bedtime readers.
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 surprise that this nightly ritual also may indirectly affect other important aspects of life—including professional/financial success, physical health, and overall optimism.
According to the survey results, bedtime readers:
- Make more money: Respondents who read before bed make an average income of $39,779, while nonreaders make $36,094.
- Make healthier choices: They are 12% more liekly to eat a healthy diet, 14% more likely to engage in “healthy % more likely to keep regular doctor/dentist appointments.
- Have a more positive life outlook: When respondents were asked whether they believe they “get the most out of themselves,” nighttime bookworms took the cake, with 79% saying “yes,” compared to only 59% of nonreaders. And do they live life to the fullest? Heck yes, say 70% of bedtime readers, in contrast to 58% of nonreaders.
So, don’t save those bedtime stories just for the kids. A little Goodnight Moon might help all of us.
Research contact: @RealSimple