I started reading a lot more as a way to calm my mind before bed when the pandemic began a year ago. Since then, I’ve found that I sleep better when I read a book before bed rather than scroll through social media on my phone or watch the news.
Reading before bed reduces stress, boosts brain power, and promotes better sleep. According to a study from the University of Sussex, just six minutes of reading can reduce stress by 68%.
Because I’m not scrolling on my phone before bed, I’m not upsetting my circadian rhythm with the blue light from my phone screen. And what most people don’t realize is that sleep isn’t the only thing that is disturbed from blue light exposure prior to bed. Harvard recently released a study linking blue light exposure at night to obesity and diabetes. Exposure to blue light at night suppresses the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that influences circadian rhythms. Ways to protect yourself from blue light exposure at night include wearing blue light glasses, installing a blue light filter on your phone, or putting your phone away before bed and reading, like I do.
Reading before sleeping is all the rage! Here are five excellent health and wellness reads on my nightstand right now.
1. Ancient Remedies by Dr. Josh Axe
Dr. Josh Axe is a certified doctor of natural medicine and clinical nutritionist who is on a mission to help people live healthier lives. He is also the founder of the famous natural health website, DrAxe.com. His book, Ancient Remedies: Secrets to Healing with Herbs, Essential Oils, CBD, and the Most Powerful Natural Medicine in History, contains so much knowledge on ancient healing practices.
In the book, he explores ancient Chinese, Ayurvedic, and Greek treatments and remedies. Dr. Josh Axe explains the benefits of medicinal herbs and mind-body practices using science-backed research. This book is a must-have guide to heal our bodies using ancient holistic practices. Be sure to try the delicious recipes included in the back of the book, too!
2. The Pegan Diet: 21 Practical Principles for Reclaiming Your Health in a Nutritionally Confusing World by Dr. Mark Hyman
Dr. Mark Hyman studies functional medicine and food’s ability to heal our bodies. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking to cut down on sugar consumption.
Dr. Mark Hyman’s newest book explains how to use food as medicine. The book combines the paleo diet and the vegan diet to heal the body and prevent disease. He suggests limiting sugar and increasing the number of healthy vegetables to heal chronic illness. With his 21 guiding principles to get healthier, it’s easier than ever to kick sugar to the curb!
3. Intuitive Fasting: The Flexible Four-Week Intermittent Fasting Plan to Recharge Your Metabolism and Renew Your Health by Dr. Will Cole
Dr. Will Cole is a bestselling author and one of the top 50 functional-medicine and integrative doctors in the nation. Intuitive Fasting: The Flexible Four-Week Intermittent Fasting Plan to Recharge Your Metabolism and Renew Your Health includes a foreword endorsing intuitive fasting written by Gwyneth Paltrow.
The book presents a four-week fasting plan to reset your body and boost your metabolism. In the book, Dr. Will Cole provides science-backed research about the benefits of fasting. The benefits of fasting include healing inflammation and blood sugar imbalances. This book helps you take control of your hunger cues and experience true wellness.
4. The Plant Power Doctor by Gemma Newman
Dr. Gemma Newman has worked in medicine for 17 years and focuses on holistic health and plant-based nutrition. She is a qualified Jikiden Reiki practitioner and is passionate about sustainable farming practices.
I love this book because Dr. Gemma Newman uses leading science to explain why plant-based eating can heal our bodies and our minds. In the book, she describes how plant-based eating has changed her life and the lives of her family and her patients. This book is a must-read!
5. The Book of Lymph: Self-Care Practices to Enhance Immunity, Health, and Beauty by Lisa Levitt Gainsley
Lisa Levitt Gainsley is a Certified Lymphedema Therapist and Manual Lymphatic Drainage practitioner. She founded The Lymphatic Message to educate communities about the lymphatic system.
This book is so informative about the lymphatic system! Lisa Levitt Gainsley shares easy tips and tricks to get a healthier lymphatic system quickly. She provides massage techniques to alleviate bloating, headaches, digestive problems, anxiety, acne, and more. The best part? The massage techniques only take five minutes! Everyone can benefit from the information she provides in the book!
I prefer to read for at least 30 minutes before I fall asleep because that is the optimal time it takes for my mind to become calm. But everyone is different, so play around with what works for you. If you are having trouble sleeping and would like some more tools to help you, I invite you to work with me one-on-one during a virtual video session!