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Sleep Help - Tips on Reading as a Sleep Aid
February 24, 2012

Are you needing some help in falling asleep? Perhaps you are like me and find that there are nights when it's just hard for you to wind down. Do you have a mind that won't shut down? Sometimes it's silly things of no consequence that my wandering mind will go to and other times it may be thoughts about situations that are of serious concern. Either way - they keep me awake when I should be sleeping.

One of the best ways for me to "shut down" and "shut out" these thoughts is to replace them. For me, reading a book can do just that. But don't think you can just turn on your bedside lamp and grab any book to do the trick.

Oh no, a suspenseful mystery novel may excite and stimulate you so that you feel compelled to find out "who done it." Since I love to read, I have stayed up late to finish a book - but that defeats the purpose here.

Find a genre of books or an author that you like so that you look forward to reading a few pages but you don't have to know what happens next. I find that the classics are great "sleep reads." I enjoy them, but if I don't finish a page or chapter, I can joyfully fall asleep. Another sleep reading rule, is do not choose professional books or journals that require your full attention and concentration.

The lighting that you use to read is just as important as the book you read. Melatonin is an important hormone that increases in production in response to darkness. The brighter the light the less melatonin is produced. This means that the brighter the reading light the more you are hurting, not helping, your ability to fall asleep.

Find out what my favorite book light is that keeps the room dark but provides just enough light to enjoy, hopefully, just a few pages before drifting off to sleep.

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