Bed reading


Reading in bed is a topic that has varying opinions, especially concerning its impact on sleep.

Benefits of Reading in Bed

  1. Relaxation and Unwinding: According to Diane Macedo on the podcast Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris, reading in bed can be beneficial if it helps you relax and unwind without increasing your anxiety. It is particularly helpful for distracting from worries about sleep and can aid in recognizing sleepy cues, making it easier to fall asleep when you are actually tired 1.

  2. Maintaining a Positive Habit: Kate Spencer from the podcast Forever35 shares that reading before bed has been a consistent practice for her, even during early parenthood, and it helps lull her to sleep 2.

Potential Risks and Considerations

  1. Avoiding Distractions: It's crucial to avoid getting absorbed in activities like scrolling through social media, which can lead to losing track of time and sleep disruption. Ideally, the activity in bed, like reading, should not cause you to miss bodily signs of tiredness 1.

  2. Impact on Cognitive and Emotional Health: Neil Pasricha on the Rich Roll Podcast suggests reading a couple of pages of fiction before sleep as a simple routine to improve overall happiness and cognitive function. It can also assist with issues like insomnia 3.

    Reading in Bed Debate

    Diane Macedo discusses the debate surrounding reading in bed and its impact on sleep. She emphasizes the importance of not feeling anxious in bed and suggests that if reading helps to relax and unwind, it can be beneficial for sleep. However, she warns against getting sucked into activities that distract from recognizing sleepy cues and going to bed at a reasonable time.

    Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

    How to Sleep Better | Diane Macedo
  3. Physical Book vs Digital Devices: Avoiding blue light from screens is beneficial. According to discussions in multiple episodes such as Forever35 and Rich Roll Podcast, physical books are preferable for bedtime reading as they don't emit blue light, which can interfere with melatonin production and sleep quality 3.

Overall, if reading in bed contributes positively to your relaxation without leading to sleep postponement, it can be integrated into a healthy bedtime routine. However, the type of content read and the medium (physical book versus digital) can influence the effects.