Getting a good night’s sleep is such a fundamental part of living a productive life, yet so many of us struggle with it. How are we supposed to tackle our ever-growing to-do lists or simply enjoy fun times with our friends and family when we’re constantly exhausted? According to a new study, the answer to finally catching more Zzz’s might be sitting on your bookshelf.
The experts at Sleep Junkie interviewed roughly 1,000 people about their nightly reading habits and found that winding down with a book might just help you get more sleep and enjoy a more restful slumber, and lead to plenty more improvements in your life.
The study separated participants into two groups — those who read at night and those who don't. The bookworms clocked in an average of about 43 minutes before tuckering out.
When asked how satisfied the participants were with their sleep, 76 percent of bedtime readers claimed to be happy. In contrast, only 64 percent of non-readers felt the same. Although both groups wished for more time asleep (hey, who doesn’t?), those who read in bed clocked in about an hour and 37 minutes more time sleeping than the non-reading group. That's a pretty significant amount of extra snoozing!
The study also made sure to factor how the bedtime readers were getting their stories. Nearly half of the participants relied on physical books, 40 percent used e-book readers, and 17 percent used a tablet or mobile phone. Interestingly enough, e-book readers were the most satisfied with their sleep at 81 percent, just slightly more than the 76 percent of sleepers who used traditional page-turners. The study claims that this is probably because e-readers have certain modes that allow you to read without needing a lot of light.
As for using a phone or tablet, only two-thirds of those readers reported enjoying their quality of sleep. Their reading material might have been relaxing, but this result definitely backs up the idea that we should all take a break from our devices while winding down for bed.
While a good night’s rest is important enough on its own, the study's results also showed those who read in bed reporting higher annual incomes, healthier eating habits, more active lifestyle, and even better at keeping regular check-ups with their doctors and dentists — all by an average 10 percent more than those who didn’t read in bed at night. When asked if they believed they were “getting the most out of life” and “living life to the fullest,” about 70 percent of readers agreed while only about 58 percent of non-readers did. More money and feeling of fulfillment? It's hard to argue with that.
“Maybe it’s because bedtime readers are consuming material on how to improve their business skills or lead a healthier lifestyle,” study author David Klose explained. He also claimed it could just be a sort of "fake it til you make it" cause and effect. “Regardless of the tangible benefits received through bedtime reading, the right mindset can make a big difference; just believing that you feel or perform better in other areas can be highly beneficial.”
More studies will need to be done to back these results up further, but it can’t hurt to try grabbing a book before you hit the hay tonight.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, FirstForWomen.com.