When You Read A Book Before Bed, This Is What Happens

What do you do right before bed? As much as we want to reveal that we meditate or write in our journals, many of us would have to admit these admirable bedtime activities are not a part of our nightly routines. According to a survey reported via the Sleep Foundation, approximately four in 10 Americans take their phone with them to bed. This is concerning because screen time right before shut-eye has been shown to decrease a person's melatonin production and disturb their quality of sleep, per the Sleep Foundation. Luckily, there is an old-school method of entertainment that we can turn to that may improve our pre-bedtime habits.

As it turns out, reading a book may be just the medicine you need if you can't seem to stop thinking about your annoying colleague or tomorrow's big presentation. According to a 2009 study done by researchers at the University of Sussex, just six minutes of reading reduced levels of stress by 68%, reports Insider, making reading before bed an enticing habit to adopt.

Reading before bed can give you a creative boost

It doesn't matter what you're reading — if it's Harry Potter or diving into Newton's laws of motion for the first time. Reading is "More than merely a distraction, but an active engaging of the imagination," one that "causes you to enter an altered state of consciousness," study author and psychologist Dr. David Lewis tells Insider. In addition to a book's ability to reduce stress and transport us into an altered state of mind, Medium reports that reading before bed could give you a much-needed creative boost. Reading the page of a fictional tale can help you process information, engage in problem-solving skills, and boost creativity the next day.

If you need a little motivation to bend a book's binding before bed, you might be encouraged to know that some of the most successful and creative minds of our time are hashing over stories instead of blearily staring at Instagram stories while in bed. Insider lists a few famous names who read before bed including fashion designer Vera Wang, former President Barack Obama, and billionaire book lover Bill Gates.

If you're not ready to commit to a book, you can try reading shorter magazine articles instead. Who knows? A break from the screen may lead you to find a story you fall in love with. And really, is there anything better than that to fall asleep to?