Now we all love to read a good book. Get soaked up in its pages. Spend hours reading, page after page, letting the book take us to another world. So wouldn’t it be great if these books could not only make us happy, and busy but if they also had health benefits.
As you may know if you read my blog on a regular basis, I recently did a piece for university about the effects of reading with people suffering from depression called ‘Reading to Recovery’. I then got to wondering, are there really health benefits to reading? So without going to far in the science aspect of things because I don’t completely understand how these effects are measure, here are just a few of the health benefits some people have found through reading:
1. Reducing Stress: Simply by reading if you feel stressed can dramatically reduce your stress levels. A study by the University of Sussex in 2009 showed that reading for just 6 minutes can reduce your stress levels by 68%
2. Memory Improvement: Having to remember characters, plot twists, dates etc. in a novel can help improve your overall memory.
3. Keeps your brain young: A recent study by Rush University Medical Centre showed adults who did creative or intellectual activities such as reading had a slower rate of cognitive decline. Which means reading can even lower your chances of developing Alzheimer’s.
4. It can help you sleep better: Having a reading for bed ritual each night can signal to your body that it’s time to sleep. The move away from the ‘blue light’ emitted from our electrical devices such as mobile phones and laptops also allows our bodies to switch off. Unfortunately this does therefore question whether reading some ereaders before bed can have the same effect as mobile screens. But the reading before sleep ritual should still help.