Is it OK if I Read in Bed?

This question is not being asked by a young girl or boy hoping to get permission from parents. If the father or mother tells their child it is OK to read in bed, then they can. Of course, if you are an adult, you do not have to ask anyone for permission to read in bed.
The question here has to do with whether it is healthy to read while lying in bed, right before going to sleep. Stated a different way: If I read before going to bed, that is, reading while lying down, will it have a negative effect on your sleep?

Yes, and No

If you are looking for a “yes” you will find it here. If you are looking for a “no” you will also find it here, because there are studies and research results that show reading in bed, before going to sleep, is a good way to relax the body and the brain, to the point that it will help a person go to sleep. But there are also good indications that your brain will not retain information as well as if you are sitting upright and are reading when you are fresh (during the day).

One of the most important steps an individual can take when they have difficulty getting to sleep is to create and use a routine, every night. The body and mind begins to take its clues from this routine and will be better prepared for sleep. Some studies have found that taking up a book after waking during the night will help you getting back to sleep more quickly.

It is important to select the correct material for your night reading. It will probably be best to avoid a suspenseful story or a book that is filled with a lot of action. You could end up getting just the opposite effect. Read one of the books you have that will relax you, make you feel comfortable, even happy (without causing you to become too excited).

No “Deep” Subjects

It may be best to avoid some of the heavier material you have around the house, because that probably will not relax you and may stimulate your brain to the point that you are thinking too much while trying to go to sleep. Reading a relaxing book can help push some of the day’s activities and issues out of your mind. These are the items that usually keep you awake longer than you like.

With all of this firmly in your mind, you probably want to avoid trying to study while lying in bed. Most of the time you will become sleepy, and your brain will not retain the information as well as it might if you study at other times. If the body is too relaxed, the information is not absorbed efficiently. Our brains are preparing for sleep, especially if we have a pre-sleep routine, and the important information in your material can escape you. It’s OK to read for relaxation, but not for study. So – Yes, and No.

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