Reading at Bedtime

Had anyone had any improvement by giving up reading in bed? I used to read my iphone before I went to sleep but stopped that - I thought this change would prepare my brain for the night’s rest. But what about magazines or newspapers? I don’t want to stop if it’s not going to make a difference as I think 30 mins sends me straight to sleep.

It would make sense that reading an iphone/computer/kindle before bed might worsen things, but not for the reason you might think. There’s a reason that our bodies work as they do, getting tired in the evening and more alert in the morning, and it’s not just because we’ve spent a day expending energy.

When light hits our eyes, it sends a signal to the brain to stop producing melatonin—the natural chemical that makes you sleepy. Naturally, as the sun goes down, and we’re exposed to less light, our brains will naturally begin the production of melatonin, preparing the body for rest, making one tired. But when we interrupt that process by adding too much bright, artificial lighting before going to sleep, we interrupt the process, setting the brain back into a more alert state, which is not what one desires before bed. This interruption disrupts sleep cycles, therefore setting up a horrible process in which you get restless, poor sleep.

Having said that: by taking away the artificial lighting, you’re allowing your body to produce melatonin, therefore preparing the brain for restful sleep. With MAV, sleep is important, so getting better sleep could explain why you’re feeling better. On a good note, if this is the cause of your improvement, reading an actual book (paper book), will not interrupt your sleep, nor impede on melatonin production. If anything, reading will relax you. But stay away from screens late at night.

Hope this helps.