World Sleep Day: Want to read yourself to sleep? 7 books that can help you nod off
It has been proven that reading can boost our health in multiple ways. Studies show that it improves focus, reduces stress, increases empathy. Overall, it makes you a better person - and it also helps you sleep better.
Though you may be ages past the time your parents read to you until you drifted off, a perfect book could provide the calm your mind needs to unwind and fall asleep.
There are endless benefits of reading before bed. Cognitive neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis found that “reading worked best, reducing stress levels by 68 per cent.”
While choosing which book to read is a highly personal choice, one should be careful not to pick a book that will rev up your nervous system, making you desperate to find out what happens in the end. Eventually pushing you to pull an all-nighter and impeding you from your original goal (as we’ve all been guilty of doing).
As research suggests, you need a book that is calming while also being intellectually stimulating. Before turning in for the night, take a look at seven books from various genres recommended by The Penguin Random House, one of the largest publishing companies in the world:
1. Exhalation - Ted Chiang
One of the New York Times 10 Best Books for the Year 2019, it is a collection of nine original, provocative and moving stories that tackle humanity’s oldest questions. It has been recognised to change the way you think, feel and see the world.
2. Well-Behaved Indian Women - Saumya Dave
Saumya Dave, a writer and resident psychiatrist, debuts with this ‘feel-good’ mother-daughter fiction. Praised by Emily Griffin, #1 New York Times best-selling author, among others, it is a story of three generations of women who struggle to define themselves while pursuing their dreams.
3. Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert
The instant #1 New York Times bestseller by Elizabeth Gilbert, a Goodreads author, has been praised to be a must-read for anyone hoping to live a creative life. The author shares her wisdom and unique perspectives on embracing our curiosity and has been remarked to be “a celebration of a creative lie”, The Washington Post.
4. Why We Sleep – Matthew Walker
This is a popular science book about sleep authored by the renowned neuroscientist and sleep researcher, Matthew Walker. Walker explains how neglecting sleep can impact your creativity, memory, heart, mental health, and even your lifespan. Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, is a known bookworm who continues to advocate the importance of reading before bed and remarks, “this book put me to sleep” in his blog on gatesnotes.com.
5. The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman
For all mystery lovers, this book is perfectly funny, clever and highly entertaining, as remarked by The New York Times. Osman’s work asserted the Christmas top spot in 2020, making it one of the most sought-after bedtime reads.
6. Party of Two - Jasmine Guillory
This New York Times bestseller is a short and sweet romance ensuing a chance meeting with a handsome stranger that turns into a whirlwind affair. The Penguin Random House guarantees a good mood and sweet dreams with this book before bed.
7. Lot: Stories – Bryan Washington
One of former US President, Barack Obama’s favourite books of the year 2019, has been remarked as one of the most dynamic, funny and clever portrayals of community, family and life. Based in the city of Houston, Washington paints an unforgettable portrait of a young man’s life in the sprawling and diverse setting.
A good book and a good night’s sleep go hand in hand. It’s time to turn on your night lamp, grab your favourite book and get comfortable, all ready to nod off!