“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” – Confucius
Let me ask you a question. Are you one of the 25% of Americans who have not read a single book in the whole of last year? If you are, then read this because you will be amazed at how beneficial reading is for your health, especially if you read before bed. If you already do, just pat yourself on the back because you really know how to look after yourself. Here are six amazing things that will happen when you dedicate some time to reading before bed.
“So much is yet to come. Soon will be blankets and pillows, and books by the bed to make the stuff of dreams. And then tomorrows.” – Jim McCann, Return of the Dapper Men
1. You will sleep better
Reading helps put your consciousness on another plane, which will induce sleep. Look at how children adore stories before bedtime, as that helps them to get a great night’s sleep. Moving into a fictional world eases the tension and helps them relax better. That is one of the best ways to get a really restful sleep. What a pity it is that so many of us lose this habit as adults.
2. You will reduce your stress levels
Researchers at the University of Surrey (UK) did a study to see if stress levels were reduced by reading, especially before bed. They found that stress levels were reduced by as much as 68 percent. So, if you are stressed out, why not pick up a book before you go to bed? It will really help you to switch off and de-stress.
3. You will become more creative
You might think that high-powered executives will read books on marketing before they drift off. Actually, many successful entrepreneurs read anything and everything before bedtime. Why? Research shows that they are going to be much more creative and will have more passion for their projects. It is like looking at the world with a different pair of glasses every time. You begin to see problems, people, and situations with more creativity and ingenuity. We need a brain workout a lot more than that workout in the gym which we are so hung up about.Advertising
4. You will be able to concentrate better
All that messaging and playing around with social media while trying to keep up with everything that is happening in the world is ruining our concentration. We never really concentrate on anything. But reading before bedtime will force us to process the information without all the visual aids of the computer or smartphone. We are training our brains to concentrate. It can help us focus on our to-do list for tomorrow. If you don’t use it, you will lose it.
“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx
5. You will be a more empathetic person
What makes you empathetic? It is simply the ability to see the world from the perspective of another person and to be more sympathetic to where they are coming from. Reading fiction is a marvelous way to discover and understand how others feel and act. The work of Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada supports the premise that reading can make us more empathetic:Advertising
“Narratives offer a unique opportunity to engage this capacity, as we identify with characters’ longings and frustrations, guess at their hidden motives and track their encounters with friends and enemies, neighbors and lovers.” – Raymond Mar
6. You will create an oasis of peace and serenity
What is the best way to wind down before bedtime? Certainly not with the TV on with a violent police drama, or the news with depressing headlines. You need to create a quiet space where you can calm your nerves and help your mind get ready for sleep. The blue light emitted from TV and computer screens will do the opposite. This is why there is nothing like reading a book to quieten everything and everyone down. By the way, the experts say that if you choose an e-book instead of a paper book, your reading speed can be reduced by as much as 30 percent.
“But a book is a book is a book. A reassuring, feel-the-weight, take-your-own-time kind of thing.” – Garland, 1982
Featured photo credit: Jean-Etienne Minh- Duy Poirrier via flickr.com
Last Updated on March 25, 2020
How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life
When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.
So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life
It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.
2. Drink in Moderation
I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity. Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.
3. Reduce Stress in Your Life
Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.
4. Watch Less Television
A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t. It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.
Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.
5. Eat Less Red Meat
Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer. Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.
If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.
6. Don’t Smoke
This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.
Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity. Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.
8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
9. Be Optimistic
Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists. Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.
10. Own a Pet
Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease. Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.
11. Drink Coffee
Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life. Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.
12. Eat Less
Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.
Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure. Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.
Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.
How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners
14. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease. It may also increase the risk of cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.
15. Laugh Often
Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.
16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun
Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.
17. Cook Your Own Food
When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.
Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.
18. Eat Mushrooms
Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.
Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.
20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.
Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health
21. Have Sex
Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease. It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!
More Health Tips
- Powerful Daily Routine Examples for a Healthy and High-Achieving You
- Make These 17 Health Goals Into Daily Habits for Better Overall Wellness
- How to Work Towards a Healthy Life Balance
Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com