Reading has long been heralded as an inexpensive hobby that provides a multitude of benefits. With e-books and bookstores readily available, it is convenient and easy to pick up a book at any given time. Moreover, with the diverse genres available, there is sure to be something that will catch your eye. Reading is also a great way to kill time! As you curl up in a cozy corner with a book, you won’t even notice the hours passing by.
Regardless of age, we can all benefit from reading. If you or your loved ones are looking to pick up a new hobby, reading should certainly be an activity you can consider. Research has shown that reading can improve physical and mental health by putting you in a better mood, reducing your stress levels, and more! You should take up reading as a hobby if you have yet to do so! Here’s what you should know about the benefits of reading.
Improves Your Sleep
Insomnia and other sleep disorders are exceptionally common among older adults, and this is often caused by an overly active mind. However, this may be easily resolved by reading for a mere 10 minutes before bedtime. Since reading requires little physical exertion, it will slowly ease you into a state of rest and make it easy for you to drift off to sleep. When you fall asleep naturally, your sleep quality is enhanced and you will feel well-rested upon waking.
Additionally, incorporating reading into your bedtime routine is a guaranteed way to help you sleep better. By reading before going to bed, your body system will begin to recognize that it is time to sleep. As you read, your brain will release hormones that signal to the rest of your body that it is time to wind down, relax and get ready to sleep. Thus, not only does reading help to combat insomnia, it also helps seniors to fall asleep more easily.
Delays the Onset of Dementia and Strengthens Memory
Since reading helps to protect brain structures that are crucial for memory retention, experts believe that older people who read are less prone to developing Alzheimer’s disease, and can even delay the onset of dementia. Reading also reinforces the neural connections within the brain, thereby slowing down neural degeneration.
Moreover, reading is a mentally stimulating activity that promotes increased concentration and focus. While you are engaged in reading, your brain is building more and more neural connections. Hence, with increased reading frequency, you will find it increasingly easy to recall facts and past events. Reading can keep your mind sharp, thereby keeping dementia at bay.
Promotes Social Interactions
Humans are social creatures who love to share and exchange information. Someone who has just finished a riveting book will want to talk about it with others. Hence, if you’ve read a good book, it can make for a great conversation! Be it discussing exciting plot twists or debating over the characters’ motivations, reading can promote social interactions and provides an avenue for the expression of thoughts and ideas with others.
The benefits of social interactions for seniors are countless, and having day-to-day engagements with others can preventing them from feeling lonely. Bonding over a shared love for books is a sure way to help you meet like-minded people and forge new relationships.