Reduce Stress and Relax with More Reading, Less Screen Time

Dr. Angela Seabright
Gretchen Maurer

| 2 min read

get lost in a good book
For avid readers there is nothing better than becoming so engrossed in a good book that you lose yourself in it. Reading can help your overall mental health in more ways than you may think. It can help your creative side, writing skills, and strengthen your mind.
It’s time to set the iPads and Kindles down, because picking up a physical book can also help you de-stress and sleep better. In fact, researchers have found that reading can reduce your stress better and faster than other common methods such as going for a walk or listening to music.
Getting caught up in a book allows your mind to focus on just one thing — the story. This allows your mind to eliminate the stress from work, unanswered emails and social media notifications, letting your brain relax and fall asleep faster.
Try setting aside a 15-30 minutes before you go to sleep for reading, and you will start to see a change in your sleeping behavior.
Reading keeps your mind active and moving. It allows you to paint the picture of the story in your head all while keeping multiple story lines in line with each other. For avid readers, reading for at least an hour a day may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life.
Books allow you to travel the world without leaving your couch. Falling in love or relating with different characters allows us to see the world from a new perspective. This benefits our own personal relationships and encourages us to be more empathetic and see different sides of a situation.
Are you looking for a few options for your next adventure? Here are a few of my favorites:
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Sallinger
  • Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
  • The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
Do you have a favorite book? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo Credit: quattrostagioni via Flickr
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