We at iUniverse are indeed book lovers, and we fully know the pleasures of climbing into bed with a good book before drifting off to quiet slumbers. At the same time, our experience and research shows that some types of books are better than others if you want to enter the Land of Nod peacefully and get a restful, restorative sleep. Please find some helpful tips and observations below:
- Avoid a topic that is likely to upset or disturb you, like current events and politics. You don’t want to fall asleep in a bad mood, do you?
- Newspapers, in print edition, shouldn’t be in your bed: the print is filthy and will make your sheets and hands dirty.
- Page-turners, like books by James Patterson and John Grisham, are nice, but bear in mind that they will keep you up past your ideal drifting-off time, and you may regret it in the morning
- Horror fiction: it will cause you to start hearing and imagining all sorts of noises in the house, such as creaks of windows and doors, and will make you worry about what is underneath your bed. You may even get up and check the locks on the doors!
You want to find the right mix between interesting and boring. If a book is too interesting, too stimulating, it will keep you up. But if a book is too boring, your mind, not yet tired enough to sleep, will start to wander, and then you are not controlling your thoughts.
From the self-help genre: many gurus, including Napoleon Hill, advise reading something that is helpful to your psychological well-being. Something that is inspiriting, confidence-building, and which seeps into your subconscious to influence your thoughts and actions. Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” contains guidance on how to train the mind to see opportunities, and is a great book to read for someone who wants to be ambitious. Likewise, books by Tony Robbins or Jim Rohn, that are instructive, positive, and uplifting,
- Literature: I knew an English Professor who ritually read Spenser’s The Faerie Queene each night before going to bed. The Faerie Queene would not be classified as a “page-turner”, and its use of language and complex imagery would certainly be likely to tire the reader! But “To each their own”, as the saying goes. The classics are often rewarding reading without being addictive page-turners, so they are safe for perusing before you nod off.
- History books: this genre is often very useful, as these books provide knowledge without deliberately trying to titillate the reader into reading more. The same applies to other kinds of non-fiction, depending on your interests.
- Humor: of course, light reading that makes you smile is a nice way to end the conscious part of your day. Why not fall asleep laughing?