“Instead of ending the day with a screen, end it with a page.”
I usually end my nights watching a Ted talk on my laptop. It’s practically become a habit now. Last night, I decided instead to revive an old habit and read a book for 20 minutes before bed. And when I woke up this morning I remembered why I used to read a lot more before bed before the internet was so readily available: because it REALLY helped me relax and knocked me out cold. It made for a much more relaxing pre-bed ritual, and that’s not surprising.
The minutes leading up to bed can really shape how you sleep. Do/see something exciting and odds are you’ll be so excited you can’t even get to bed. Do something relaxing, and odds are you’ll sleep easier. But more than doing something relaxing is HOW you do it. Although watching a TED talk was a great way to learn something before bed, I found myself wide awake after. The likely cause? Artificial light from the television. Reading a book with a bedside lamp is slightly different in that you aren’t looking directly at a source of light.
But all that aside, there’s just something very relaxing about a book: the crisp sound of page turning, that old book, or new book smell, every texture and sound as experienced by the reader, the weight of the book, being able to quickly determine where in the book you are just by holding the book and reading it and so on.
There’s a lot going on with a book that doesn’t quite happen with a screen. Next time you want to read an online article on an iPad, watch something on your television, or surf via your smartphone, give a book a chance and see if it helps you fall asleep quicker. New technology can be a great thing. But sometimes, classics never die…
(If you’re reading this right now before bed, GO READ A BOOK!)
Additional Food For Thought