6 Proven Benefits of Reading


Before The Late Show and video games, reading was one of the only options for entertainment. Sadly, watching TV and other activities are quickly replacing reading. This doesn’t simply mean that people don’t understand classic literature, however; we are also missing out on the many other benefits of reading:

Reading helps you relax

Stress is increased by obsessing over your problems, so one of the best ways of getting rid of stress is to “get out of your own head” by concentrating on something else. When you read, you begin to see the world from the character’s point of view, distracting you from your own problems. You don’t have to devote hours of reading to get this benefit though- a recent Sussex University study showed that up to 68% of stress was relieved by just 6 minuets of reading.

Reading helps you sleep

People are creatures of habit, so reading a book before bed is a good way to signal your body to wind down; eventually, you start associating this reading time with sleep, making it easy for you to go to bed. Since light emitted by electronic devices cause your brain to wake up, habits like watching TV or scrolling through Facebook before bed are less effective at helping you sleep. Be sure to read in dim light, however, as brighter light can also cause you to stay awake.

Reading helps your brain

According to imustread.com, children who were read to as babies scored higher on standardized tests. Reading isn’t just effective for children, however; studies have shown that people who read tend to have less memory loss later in life. While this is more of a correlation than a cause, many doctors liken the brain to a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it becomes. Since reading is one of the best way to give your brain a “workout,” reading may make the brain stronger.

Reading helps your kids

Seventy-five percent of parents want their children to read more, but taking away electronic devices and forcing books on children doesn’t work and may even cause children to resent reading. Rather than forcing your children to read, encourage children to read their entire lives.

Reading out loud to your children shouldn’t stop after they reach school age, however; some experts believe that reading with your children until they reach middle school helps kids catch the “reading bug.” Children read to during elementary school are 40% more likely to read for fun 5 days a week or more.

Reading makes you a better person

You don’t have to read self help books to improve yourself using books. Since reading fiction opens your mind to different perspectives, you begin to understand other people’s motivations. This makes you more empathetic in real life, which helps you comfort friends and avoid conflict.

Michelle Schoffro