We’re well aware sleeping can be anyone’s favorite pastime, but there’s nothing better than reading a good book. Sleeping takes up, on average, 8 hours of our 24-hour day. That leaves us with 16 hours of reading time. Okay, minus the hours spent working, socializing, and other daily activities. However, as book lovers, we prioritize our reading time. Once you get to the end of this list, you’ll finally realize that reading is better than sleeping.
Why is Reading Better Than Sleeping?
There are a lot more benefits to reading than you might think. Reading entertains us, improves our focus, and positively affects our overall health and quality of life. Now what does reading a book do for us that sleep can’t? Here are eight reasons why reading is better than sleeping.
1. You can bookmark your favorite scenes, unlike your dreams.
We’ve all experienced crazy dreams, good dreams, and nightmares. However, we then wake up with no memory of them at all. We might remember very few details if anything at all. While reading, we don’t really have the option to forget that one cringe scene, the romantic meet-cute, or the scene that had us on the edge of our seats. For that, I’m grateful for bookmarks. I’ll always be able to look back at a chapter or page that made me want to remember it.
2. You can read at any time.
Unlike sleeping, you can read at any time of the day. Some of us struggle to keep up with our sleeping schedules, probably because we’re up late at night reading. Why sleep when you can see how the protagonist unravels the dark truth from their past or finally find out how the antagonist gets their revenge? Any book lover knows that if we’re on the last chapter, we’re finishing it no matter what time it is. We need to see how the story ends.
3. You can read anywhere.
Besides the ability to read anytime, we can read anywhere. For example, you sleeping during your friend’s wedding? Not cool. Reading during your friend’s wedding? Also, not cool, but way more acceptable. When sleeping anywhere, there are a lot of questions that run through our heads. Falling asleep on the beach, you might accidentally fry for hours. Reading on the beach, you’re more aware of the sun and have a built-in umbrella for your face! Ultimately, you can comfortably read anywhere, whereas sleeping requires a lot more self-awareness of your surroundings. No one wants to sleep in public around people they don’t know.
4. Reading reduces your stress.
Yes, reading reduces a lot of our stress. According to HuffPost, reading a book can positively influence our mental health and well-being. The University of Sussex in the United Kingdom conducted a study where they found that reading can reduce stress levels by as much as 68 percent, even more than listening to music or going for a walk. Although sleep can also be a great stress reducer, it’s a lot harder to make time for sleep when we’re stressed out. It’s even harder falling asleep. Reading allows us to escape throughout our day and doesn’t require us to lie with our thoughts. We’re distracted by a different world entirely.
5. Reading increases your vocabulary and improves communication skills.
This one may be the most obvious. Reading allows us to expand our vocabulary and improves our communication skills. It’s much easier to learn new words with so much context. Plus, it’s a lot more fun reading and learning new words in our favorite books than in a dictionary. By reading the dialogue between two characters, we understand the purpose of communication in a scene. We learn that words have a specific purpose. This concept also goes for reading in other languages. If we could learn a language, new words, or gain communication skills in our sleep, we’d be taking advantage of it every chance we get.
6. Reading helps you focus with a clear timeline unlike your dreams.
Although I love a chaotic dream as much as the next person, I never know what’s going on. While sleeping, one minute, I’ll dream about a dinosaur attacking my neighborhood, and the next minute I’m playing poker with my sisters and a stray cat. Sometimes we need some stability in our lives. Reading helps us focus and keeps our attention with a storyline that makes sense in its own way. We’re forced to pay attention when we read. Sleeping almost does the exact opposite. It requires little of our focus. Our bodies are too focused on completing the essential rem cycle. Reading allows us to focus on details and process events as they happen.
7. You don’t have to worry about anyone stealing your book covers.
I know it’s cheesy but think about it. One of the worst things about sleeping with someone is having your covers ripped off or away from you. Imagine the coldest night, and suddenly your only heat source is stolen from you. No one is stealing your book cover unless you lend your favorite book to your least responsible friend. You know better than that. Your books and their covers are safe and sound, sitting on your bookshelf waiting for you.
8. Reading teaches you empathy.
Finally, according to Discover Magazine, reading teaches us how to have empathy. Researches have found a link between reading fiction and understanding empathy. Readers learn empathy through literature that sparks change or shows a new perspective. We can learn to understand others in different scenarios from different cultures by reading fiction. We’re more likely to embrace new experiences or feelings when we read about characters that go through deep character development. Sadly, you can’t develop deep connections to strangers or empathy while sleeping. We learn more about ourselves when we read. Therefore, we are able to relate to people more.
Whether you’re team sleep or team reading, there are great benefits to both. You have to admit reading does a lot more for you than you originaly thought. Reading challenges us, teaches us and provides us with out favorite entertainment, stories. Nothing can be better than reading your favorite book, even sleeping. At Bookstr, we encourage you to share your own reasons why you think sleeping or reading is better.
If you’re looking for more books to read while you should be sleeping, keep reading here!