Saturday, 27 January 2018

Book Up, Phone Down



I decided I have not been reading enough in the past couple of years. 

I love reading and used to read so much when I was younger, but then I got older and more tired and made up excuses to keep refreshing social media instead. Bad Laura.

So January came and in a cliche manner I am I decided to set a few goals, one of them being to read more.

I was already trying to read more by reading on the tram, so I tried to think of another time I could slot it into my day. Then the light bulb flickered on and I decided I would try to read each night before bed, groundbreaking I know. 

Basically I’ve been making sure I read for around 30 minutes each night at bed time, on Sunday to Thursday. As well as doing this I have given myself a strict no phone and no TV policy so I don’t get distracted.

I am usually awful at sleeping, I have been for many years. Sometimes I go through stretches where I can’t help completely crashing out on the sofa, other times I just lay in the dark for hours on end praying for sleep to come take me.

A lovely benefit to the reading/no phone combo is that my sleep pattern has improved massively. Not only am I getting a good 8 hours a night, I am also falling into such deep sleeps. I’ve never felt so refreshed this regularly.

There have been a few studies on phone usage before bed and according to one of them on the NHS website it can “delay and reduce sleep” and using a phone before going to bed could “damage your health” (there were some limitations to this study so it’s not scientifically completely proven).

One site says that the blue light emitted by phones/televisions/tablets can restrain the production of melatonin, which is the hormone that controls your circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycle). Reduced melatonin makes it more difficult to fall asleep and then stay asleep.

Reading has often helped me to fall asleep. Studies have shown reading before you go to bed can reduce your stress levels, clearing your mind and making it easier to sleep. I’m currently reading a book on Egyptian history at bed time as it’s one of those books that is interesting, but not a omg-I-have-to-find-out-what-happens-next kinda book.

So not only am I hitting my January goal of reading more, I am also getting many good nights sleep! I would highly recommend putting you phone down and picking a good book up before bed. I’m not sure if it will work for everyone but I slept better from the very first night.

What books have you been reading lately?

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