The City Mattress Blog

Is It Good to Read Before Bed?


night light with book and glasses

We’re often told to do it, but is it really a good idea to read before bed? The answer is yes! Reading before bed can have many positive effects on our health and well-being. However, like anything else in life, there are certain disadvantages to reading before bed. We’ll explore both and then explain how to minimize the cons while elevating the pros.

Advantages of Reading Before Bed

According to research, nearly a quarter of Americans go a year or more without reading a book. And that’s unfortunate because reading before bed can bring significant advantages to your life. Improved focus, concentration and memory recall are some of the immediate benefits. In addition, reduced stress levels can help improve sleep quality, while increased knowledge, creativity and problem-solving skills can significantly improve your day-to-day life.

Reading helps the brain focus and process information more clearly. It also has a calming effect due to the immersive nature of getting lost in a book or article for a few minutes each night. This time away from screens, in particular, can have a powerful impact on mental health by allowing our minds to take a break from the hectic pace often associated with modern life.

reading book in bed

Source: Andrey_Popov/

The cognitive benefits of reading before bed go beyond the increased focus. People who spend time reading before bed have improved memory recall and better overall comprehension skills when compared to those who don’t read as much. This is especially true for older adults. On top of this, reading also increases knowledge by exposing us to new ideas, different points of view and opportunities for further exploration. Additionally, enhanced creativity and problem-solving skills come with these additional information layers, which can be immensely beneficial in the professional world.

Find the Perfect Mattress

Disadvantages of Reading Before Bed

Although there are many advantages associated with reading before bed, it’s important to be aware of the potential disadvantages that can come along with it. For starters, spending too much time trying to finish a book or an article can lead to late nights and leave you feeling fatigued during the day.

Another issue is exposure to artificial light from e-readers, tablets or phones, which can have an unfavorable impact on sleep quality, as research has shown that blue light suppresses the production of melatonin in our bodies. Melatonin is essential for healthy sleeping patterns, and insufficient levels can lead to difficulty in getting up in the morning.

man looking at tablet in bed

Source: bbernard/

Last, if you’re sitting or lying in an awkward or uncomfortable position while reading, this could lead to neck and back pain. You may not notice it at first, but the discomfort and pain can become noticeable once you shift and move in a different position.

Snuggle Up in Premium Linens & Bedding

How to Maximize the Benefits and Minimize the Disadvantages of Reading Before Bed

To ensure that you can maximize the benefits associated with reading before bed while minimizing any potential drawbacks, it’s important to understand how to effectively incorporate reading into your bedtime routine. To begin, try scheduling a specific amount of time each night for reading as part of your bedtime routine. You can even use a dedicated sleep calculator to work out exactly how much sleep you need and schedule your reading accordingly, so you don’t stay up too late or miss important rest.

Next, limit exposure to blue light from devices by opting for paper books or using blue light-blocking glasses/screen functions, especially at night. Also, choose a relaxing book genre, like romance or nonfiction, with no cliffhangers, so you don’t stay up too late trying to figure out what happens next. Together, these reduce the stimulation that might otherwise keep you awake. Finally, consider where you read and try finding a comfortable position on your mattress to avoid any pressure point pain. Ensuring you have a good-quality mattress is just as important for supporting you while reading as when you sleep. Here are a couple of our favorites:

  • Tempur-Pedic – A Tempur-Pedic mattress is a great choice for those who enjoy reading before bed as it provides support and comfort that helps you to relax. The mattresses use a unique material known as TEMPUR, which molds to your body shape, providing optimal support and reducing pressure on your back and neck. Tempur-Pedic mattresses also offer superior motion isolation technology, allowing your sleep partner to sleep happily. At the same time, you shift every now and then while reading.
  • Casper – A Casper mattress is also fantastic for those looking to read before bed because it offers a unique combination of comfort and support. It has three layers of premium foam that gently cradles the body, allowing you to relax and sink into the mattress without any pressure points. The mattress also features Zoned Support Technology, which means the center third is firmer to provide extra lumbar support and ensure healthy spinal alignment — perfect when sitting up or leaning against the headboard while reading.

Final Thoughts

Reading before bed can be a great way to relax and unwind after a long day. As long as you manage your time wisely and take the necessary precautions with exposure to blue light, it can positively affect your mental well-being. With proper preparation, such as investing in a quality mattress that supports comfortable reading positions or using blue light-blocking glasses/screen filters, you should reap all of the benefits associated with reading before bed without any negative consequences. So go ahead — pick up that book or magazine and read away.