Why Reading is Good For Your Health

With Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest offering near-constant advice on how to gain a better life, wardrobe and career, it can be hard to switch off.

According to Ofcom, the average UK adult spends eight hours and 41 minutes a day on a media device – longer than the average time spent sleeping! However, this can cause problems with sleep, mood and even the way we’re eating. So, as an alternative to your screen, why not consider picking up a book?

We worked with Mattress Online who have looked into the many ways reading can benefit your health. And, there are oh so many more benefits than being able to impress your friends with your knowledge of literature.

In fact, reading is good for your mind and body!

Here are some of the ways that reading can improve your health:

De-stress

According to a study by Dr David Lewis at the University of Sussex, reading can help to reduce stress by 68%. It helped participants in the study to de-stress more quickly than listening to music, drinking a hot drink or going for a walk.

According to a study at Johns Hopkins University, stress is not just an unpleasant experience, it can also promote disease. Stress has been linked to all sorts of illnesses, including cancer, lung disease and autoimmune conditions.

Defeat Loneliness

Recent studies have found that loneliness can be bad for your health. According to Mind, loneliness is closely connected to mental health problems. And although social media can connect us to other people, it doesn’t create the close bonds or human contact needed to overcome loneliness. In fact, many people believe our society is lonelier than ever before.

Reading has been suggested as a new way to overcome loneliness. Not only is reading engrossing, but it is often shared. If you’ve read a book you’ve enjoyed, why not pass it on to a friend.

Sleep better

The study at the University of Sussex also found that just six minutes of reading was needed to prepare for sleep. Reading for this amount of time helps to significantly relax and step away from the days activities and worries.

The Mayo Clinic found that having reading as part of your pre-sleep ritual can help to off-set the time spent in front of the blue light of screens. This blue light prevents the production of melatonin which prepares the body to sleep. By reading instead of watching television for example, the body can prepare for sleep. This means that not only will you get more sleep, but you will also get a better quality of rest.

Neurological health

As the population gets older, we are more and more aware of keeping our brains healthy. According to The Alzheimer’s Society, there are around 850,000 people in the UK with dementia and one in 14 people over 65 will develop dementia. The Alzheimer’s Society states that one of the key ways to reduce the risk of dementia is to keep your brain active. Reading is a brilliant way to do this.

Learning something new every day is a great way to keep the mind active, so you could consider reading some non-fiction books as well as novels.

Help Yourself

Self-help books are considered a low-intensity intervention; therefore, they can be highly beneficial to people with depression or anxiety. While the information within the book can help someone to improve their own health – both mental and physical – it is also restricted. There’s no falling down the rabbit hole as there is when researching health problems on the internet.

Reading is a relaxing way to learn about how to help yourself and any health problems you might have.

For more information about how reading can help you in your every day life, take a look at the full information by Mattress Online here.

Charlotte Giver

Charlotte is the founder and editor-in-chief at Your Coffee Break magazine. With a background in PR working in Los Angeles and Barcelona, Charlotte has been running Your Coffee Break from the YCB HQ in London’s Covent Garden for the past 8 years. She is a mother, an avid reader, runner and puts a little too much time into her morning brew.

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