If you are a regular reader, you know how relaxing it is to sit down with a good book. Reading can transport you to other times and places and can help you forget the worries of the real world.
Besides reducing stress, reading can improve your mental and physical health in important ways. For example, consider these scientifically verified benefits of reading:
1) Get Better Sleep
Bedtime rituals aren’t just for kids—sleep experts recommend doing the same thing every night before bed to calm your mind. Reading under dim lights is a quiet and soothing activity that readies you for sleep. On the other hand, watching TV or spending time in front of your computer exposes you to bright lights—a signal to the brain that it’s daytime.
2) Improve Memory
While the brain is not a muscle, it still needs exercise. Regular reading stimulates the brain and improves memory. Studies also show that people who read regularly are less likely to get Alzheimer’s disease.
3) Ease Depression
Reading can help lift your spirits. A recent study demonstrated that patients with depression who read self-help books and received nonprofessional guidance on how to use them had substantially better results than those who received standard therapy.
4) Stay Connected
Researchers have discovered that reading can provide an experience similar to a real-life relationship, which enhances readers’ feelings of satisfaction and inclusion. One study reported that “books give readers more than an opportunity to tune out and submerge themselves in fantasy worlds. Books provide the opportunity for social connection and the blissful calm that comes from becoming a part of something larger than oneself for a precious, fleeting moment.”
These are just a few of the advantages of reading regularly—others include increasing your vocabulary, being encouraged to pursue life goals, and becoming more empathetic. So stock up on books at the Library—you can check out up to 50 at a time—and read your way to better health. Be sure check out our display of health-related books near the front entrance!
Sedona Public Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, partially supported by the City of Sedona and Yavapai and Coconino Counties. We also require donations and grants to fund our operations. Your tax-deductible donation may be sent to: Sedona Public Library, 3250 White Bear Road, Sedona, AZ 86336.
Sedona Public Library
Column for March 25, 2016
Written by: Elizabeth Cate, Collection Development Libraria
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