The 6-minute daily routine that science says helps you sleep better


A super fast and virtually free way to improve your sleep habits

A good night’s sleep can make a huge difference to your mood and wellness, as well as affect your long-term health. The benefits of good sleep are too well demonstrated to be worth discussing here. While there are a host of tricks that can help you, from the obvious things like investing in the best mattress for your type of sleep to the most surprising (some insomniacs rely on heavy blankets to help them sleep), a technology that costs nothing and is quick and easy enough to fit into even the busiest of chores.

Here it is: Read for six minutes before bed every night. This technology is based on research from the University of Sussex reported by telegraph in 2009. In the study, it was found that reading a book reduced participants’ stress by up to 68%. This made it the most effective stress reliever they tested.

The theory is that reading works well for relaxation because it distracts you from your personal fears, allowing you to escape your reality and enter the author’s world. According to cognitive neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis, who led the study, reading allows you to enter into an altered state of consciousness that relaxes the brain.

The researchers raised participants’ stress levels through a combination of exercises and tests, before asking them to perform a series of traditional relaxation techniques, such as walking, listening to music, or having a cup of tea (although the latter might not be ideal before bed, though). anyway). Aspects such as heart rate and muscle tone were monitored as indicators of stress. Reading turns out to be the most effective of all.

The most surprising part of the study was that they found that these lower levels of stress were evident after just six minutes of silent reading. This is short enough not to affect your daily routine too much. Although, of course, you may end up extending that period if you end up putting your book on hold.

These findings were supported by a 2021 UK national survey from Penguin Random House, which found that those who read as part of their bedtime routine tended to sleep better, and for longer, than those who didn’t read. Reading has also been rated as one of the most effective tools for falling asleep, hitting yoga, white noise, and even sleeping pills.

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