Just one more chapter. I’ve said that to myself countless times throughout my life. There are some books that grab you so much the thought of not knowing what happens next is unbearable. So I stay up late and read one more chapter, which turns into five more chapters. And next thing I know, it’s 2 a.m. on a weeknight and I have to wake up in a few hours for a 7:30 a.m. call.
I tend to read the majority of books at night after dinner. That gives plenty of time to get some chapters in with minimal distraction. But the downside is knowing when to stop. For instance, I recently read The Nightingale and I couldn’t put the book down, I had to know how it would end. I think I finished that one about 1 a.m. and my work day definitely came early the next day. Thankfully, there’s coffee.
So what’s interesting is that studies say that reading before bed can help with sleep. A study from researchers at University of Sussex showed that six minutes of reading reduces stress by 68% (more relaxing than either music or a cup of tea), thus clearing the mind and readying the body for sleep, according to Business Insider.
The reasoning, per psychologist and study author Dr. David Lewis is that a book is “more than merely a distraction, but an active engaging of the imagination,” one that “causes you to enter an altered state of consciousness,” Business Insider stated.
Hmm. So while I’ve stayed up late with some books, other ones can cause me to fall asleep. And not because it isn’t a good read. I wonder why one book will keep one up but the other book (which is just as good) will help them fall asleep? I’m curious if there are any studies on that.
Back to the staying up late dilemma.
I’m kind of an expert in this area and I’ve tried a couple different ways to avoid the next day book hungover. I tried to read after work but then I stop to get dinner ready, we run errands or watch something on TV (usually the news or sports). So that’s out for me.
And since I workout most mornings, reading before work just isn’t feasible.
Just go with it. Yes, embrace the curiosity of what the next chapter will bring. If I stay up late one night reading, the next night I make sure I go to bed earlier. Now that’s balance, right?
Which books have kept you up at night?