In these tragic and remarkable times, tear yourself away from the news, calm your mind, and in fact go to bed at a reasonable time can be a challenge. You can’t make the world less crazy, but according to Bill Gates and science, there is a simple solution to help you sleep better: put down your phone and grab a book.

Not only the billionaire book addict Swear by a bedtime read, studies suggest that falling asleep with a book can make you less stressed, more rested and empathetic, and maybe even richer.

Smarter, less stressed and better rested.

“I read for an hour almost every night. It’s part of falling asleep”, Gates said Seattle weather in 1990. Presumably he’s been a bit too busy to follow this habit a few times since then, but judging by the constant flow of book recommendations from Gateshe is still an avid bedtime reader. Many other icons and CEOs also swear by practice.

Obviously, spending an hour a night on a book helps you be a more informed person, but science suggests there are many reasons beyond just exercising your brain to keep a stack of books on your table. bedside :

  • You will probably sleep better. When the Sleep Junkie mattress review site surveyed 1,000 people, it found those who read before sleeping an average of one hour and 37 minutes longer than non-readers. Almost three-quarters said they had a harder time falling asleep without reading.

  • You might just end up richer. The correlation is certainly not a causal one here, but the same poll found that bedtime readers earn an average of $ 3,705 more per year.

  • You will be less stressed. Not convinced by the research conducted by mattress slingers? Okay, but a study by the UK University of Sussex showed reading before bed can reduce stress up to 68 percent. More than going for a walk, sipping tea or listening to music.

  • You will be more empathetic. Likewise, a review of academic research on the subject concluded that reading fiction can improve your empathy, by increasing your equalizer.

  • You will be more focused. Another strain of neuroscience research has compared the effects on our brain of the kind of deep reading we do when we get lost in a book with the skim reading we do on screens. The results show that sustained reading helps train our brains to focus and think carefully about complex issues. The tab break and Twitter hover is eroding those skills.

The obvious conclusion here is that if you want a stronger brain, less stress, and better sleep, do like Bill Gates and read before bed. I admit that I personally have trouble putting my phone down at the moment. But this science is a healthy reminder to keep up the good fight and try to get back to a bedtime book-reading routine.

The opinions expressed here by the columnists of Inc.com are theirs and not those of Inc.com.

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