Sleep is a vital component of living a healthy life, and it's something we all struggle with from time to time. The best nightly activity to help you prepare for sleep is to read before going to bed, but deciding what to read can get tricky! You don't want such a dry, dull book that you can't even make it to page two, but you also don't want a suspenseful thriller that keeps you up all night.
So instead of reading something boring or overly stimulating, we found the seven best books about sleep to help you get more. Not only can the act of reading one of them allow you to fall asleep faster, but you might learn something useful in the process that can improve your bedtime habits for life.
Say Goodnight to Insomnia
Say Goodnight to Insomnia is a six-week, research-backed program developed by Harvard Medical School to help you conquer insomnia using natural remedies. The book focuses on changing the way you think about sleep and how to transform rest from an enemy into a friend. Dr. Gregg and Dr. Jacobs developed the program that includes managing negative emotions, creating a healthy diet, and learning how to quiet your mind and body.
It even comes with a complete insomnia self-assessment that you can use as a tool to learn how to change your habits that will help you apply the information presented in the book to your daily life.
The Nocturnal Journal: A Late-Night Exploration of What's Really on Your Mind
The Nocturnal Journal is an illustrated journal that allows you to express yourself and think about other things besides sleeping. One of the worst things you can do while experiencing insomnia is to just lay in bed all night, so this book is great to keep by your nightstand.
It will help you pinpoint what is keeping you up at night, whether it's stress, worry, or general anxiety, while illustrations by artist Lee Crutchley will keep you busy and take your mind off your insomnia.
Sleep Soundly Every Night, Feel Fantastic Every Day: A Doctor's Guide to Solving Your Sleep Problems
This is a great book that can help with sleeping disorders. Sleep Soundly Every Night, Feel Fantastic Every Day focuses on helping you identify your sleeping issues, so you can apply targeted solutions to help resolve them.
You will learn the tools you need to identify the specific sleep disturbance you have and give you the tools you need to fix it. This book targets the primary sleep disorders: sleep eating, insomnia, sleep apnea, sleepwalking, snoring, and restless legs syndrome.
How to Sleep Well: The Science of Sleeping Smarter, Living Better and Being Productive
This guidebook will teach you how to change your sleep schedule to get back on track to living and sleeping better. It focuses on the science of sleeping smart, living better, and being more productive during the day. The premise is to teach you to stop sabotaging your sleep schedule, so you wake up feeling energized and refreshed.
The book explains the science behind the importance of sleep and goes into the common root causes of sleep deprivation. You will learn how to support healthy sleep during your waking hours and how improving your sleep schedule can impact and improve other areas of your life.
Dangerously Sleepy: Overworked Americans and the Cult of Manly Wakefulness
Dangerously Sleepy is the first book to examine the correlation between overworked schedules and sleep deprivation from the nineteenth century. It suggests that untenable work schedules have led to sleep loss and several sleep disorders, such as shift work sleep disorder.
It's that notion of us now living in a 24/7, on-demand culture where we put more value into constantly working versus prioritizing sleep, i.e., the viewpoint of believing sleep is a waste of time that you could've used to work instead. Health and labor historian Alan Derickson chronicles the link between overwork and sleep deprivation and how this affects your overall health.
The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep is Broken and How to Fix It
In the Sleep Solution, author Dr. Chris Winter explains why your sleep is broken and how to fix it. He has helped over 10,000 patients get better rest without sleeping pills. Winter presents the essential, often counterintuitive, rules of sleep science that can help us better understand the importance of sleep.
He concludes that we often hide behind excuses that block us from getting a good night's rest and challenges readers to take control. This book is an excellent resource for anyone trying not to rely on sleeping pills and to have the best good night's sleep.
Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams
Professor and scientific expert Matthew Walker explores twenty years of cutting-edge research on humans and primates to solve the mystery of why sleep matters and why we've neglected it in recent years. He dives into REM sleep, why sleep patterns change over a lifetime, and how caffeine impacts sleep. Walker also provides research that links the neglect of rest to sleep deprivation and almost every primary disease.
His theory is that all living things need sleep because it affects all aspects of your physical, mental, and emotional health. In Why We Sleep, he outlines what rest is and why you should sleep and offers suggestions on improving the quality of your sleep.
Sleep is super important for everyone and a necessary component of life that we must not ignore. Understanding the positive attributes of a good night's sleep can motivate you to change your current bedtime habits and get to bed earlier.
The next time you are looking for bedtime reading material or inspiration to finally get rid of your insomnia, check out one of the recommendations on this list. The books above can help you better understand the logistics of sleep and influence you to get more sleep so you can improve your health and all areas of your life.
For more sleep content that can help you find some peace of mind, check out our exploration of how sleeping with the TV on affects sleep quality, our guide on how to make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary, and our complete guide to rest and recovery. Good night, and good luck in getting a better night's sleep.
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