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Comforting bedtime reading 

April 30, 2023


The purpose of bedtime reading is to relax and unwind in preparation for a restful night’s sleep. So, it’s ideal to have a book or selection of books on your nightstand to read in bed.  

Paper books are best

Choose paper books before bed rather than reading from a screen. Electronic devices emit blue light which can interfere with sleep patterns and suppress melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep.  

With devices there is also the temptation to switch to other apps or websites and before you know it, you’re down a rabbit hole for an hour past your bedtime. Paper books eliminate these issues and make it easier for your mind to wind down.


The night may be dark but keep bedtime reading light

This is not a time for books which stimulate your intellect or provoke strong emotions. Books that deal with difficult or distressing subjects will be the opposite of relaxing. 

Think comforting, light and enjoyable, but not such page-turners that you’ll be unable to put the book down until way past the time you want to be asleep. It can be a tricky balance, but light novels, romance, cosy mysteries, and feel-good stories are great options. They’ll provide an enjoyable reading experience without stimulating your mind too much. Another good option is to reread a favourite book or series that you already love.


Some book options to try

You’re probably only going to be reading for a short time each night before bed. Shorter books under 300 pages are easiest, and you’re less likely to get bored.  

Some recommendations are The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams, or light mysteries by Dame Agatha Christie and Dame Ngaio Marsh. Classic short story authors such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Roald Dahl, and P.G. Wodehouse are also ideal for bedtime reading. 

If you prefer non-fiction, choose books that are informative and engaging but not intellectually demanding or disturbing. Biographies, memoirs, travelogues, or popular science books are enjoyable and educational without requiring too much mental exertion. An amusing travel memoir to try is A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.

Don't underestimate children's books either. Classics like Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne, The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams, or the Narnia series by C. S. Lewis can provide a gentle and nostalgic reading experience.


Slowing down to wind down

As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, reading at bedtime gives you an opportunity to slow down, turn off your screens, and rediscover the simple pleasure of winding down at the end of the day with a good book. Sleep well!