May 17 2017 7:20am

Can You Read Right Before Bed?

Couple falling asleep in bed while reading

Reading can be a double edged sword when it comes to a nightly routine. FOr some, it can send them right to the Sandman and they'll be sleeping in no time, while for others, it will keep them up late into the night—either because they keep reading (booksomnia should totally be a thing!) or because they were too excited about what they read and they can't fall asleep. 

What's the case for you? Is reading a necesscary nightly ritual or does it keep you up at night and so you stay away from books before bedtime? 

Tell us about it in the comments!

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1. Scarlettleigh
I going to give the dreaded answer -- It depends. . . .

If the book is not really attention getting than yes, I read a little bit, and then turn off the light. But if the book really intrigues and has a hold on me, then I end up reading way t00 late. I think the latest I've read has been four a.m --of course I didn't have to go to work. Although I have read until 2 a.m. on work days --killer!
2. brontëgirl
Journaling takes precedence over reading but I've got the dreaded answer too--depends on book, mood, level of sleepiness. The latest I've read is three a.m and that was to finish The Beautiful and Damned in grad school just because I wanted to find out what happened--I had a couple of days to finish it before class :)
3. Althea Claire Duffy
Seconding Scarlett - I rarely read a book in one sitting, even a really good one, so I very often read before bed, but sometimes it gets a bit out of hand.

My wildest experience with book-related insomnia wasn't a romance - it was the end of Brandon Sanderson's original Mistborn trilogy. I was close to the end at 9 on a Sunday night, so I picked it up. WHOA. It took me until midnight to read the spectacular, mind-bending, and heartbreaking finale (the book is very long) with a lot of exclamations of "wow" and "WTF" and such. Then, I was so wound up and emotionally and mentally walloped that I couldn't sleep till 5 am. It took me a week to fully recover.
Carmen Pinzon
4. bungluna
I categorically have to read before I go to sleep. I once found myself without a book in a a hotel room and started reading the biography of the founder of the hotel chain, provided courtesy of the hotel!

I suffer from insomnia, so even though I may fall asleep early, I often find myself up and reading by 3 am.

Regardless of circumstances, I must have my reading material by my bedside at all times.
5. Kareni
I hear you, bungluna; I've found myself reading the Gideon bible when there was nothing else at hand to read in a hotel room.

Add me to those for whom "Both" is the answer -- I read before bed (dare I say it?) religously. I often read for an hour or two in bed before showering and sleeping, but sometimes I've been known to read to one or two ... or three in the morning. It's safest for me to re-read; the danger is taking a new book to bed and then getting caught up in "one more chapter" fever.
6. lauralee1912
I've always read in bed to help get to sleep. My getting a Kindle has made my husband happier about that habit because I turn off the bedside lamp and turn the Kindle brightness down. Rarely will I stay up later than usual to finish a book or a chapter, but I am careful to make sure a suspenseful story is not my bedtime reading.
7. lizzie18
I am retired from work so I can now indulge myself a bit more.
I love LOVE to read in bed but I used to get up at 05:15 for work so it was a real challenge to read in bed, or rather to stop reading at a reasonable time. I once made the mistake one evening of starting a new book while I was out of town for a week of meetings. It was so funny (and sexy!) I just could not put it down; big mistake. After that, I always brought old favorites when away on business, not new books.

Now, since I have no restrictions, I can read before going to sleep. Sometimes it's an hour, others can be till 04:00 am; I usually go on until I feel really drowsy but I have been known to force myself awake to finish a gripping story.

But I must say that my big, BIG luxury is reading in bed in the morning. That is something I never could do in the past so now I really cherish that time. I never put on my alarm clock but I like to wake up early enough to allow me to indulge myself an hour or two before getting up.

And, by the way, the book above that kept me up most of the night a few years ago was Hot & Heavy by Sandra Hill, hilarious.
Elizabeth Halliday
8. Ibbitts
For years I read before going to bed almost every day. It was my time to quieten down and relax from the events of the day. My body must have listened.
After retirement, I had a lot more time to read, but every time I sat down to indulge in one of my favorite pastimes, I would become drowsy. I would fall asleep on the patio, in an armchair in the den ... location didn't seem to matter ... my body had learned to associate reading with sleeping.
I don't read in bed anymore.
It took a while for my body to get the message, but now I can read for hours without getting drowsy.
Now, when I get tired, I go to bed. But if I'm not sleepy enough to drift off right away, I just close my eyes and write fan fiction in my head until I go to sleep!
9. srw59
I try to stop reading new books before going to bed because I have found myself staying up until it is finished, which is fine now that I'm retired but that messes with my sleep rhythm. I keep favorite books in my bedroom, reread them and I find that soothing so I am able to put them down.
10. Reader Deb
I always read in bed before going to sleep. I find it helps me switch from work mode to relax mode. Like a number of the others, I have found myself just wanting to read one more page/chapter and staying up way too late when I need to get up early the next day.
11. MorganaLeMaal
No matter how late it actually is when I finally climb into bed, I absolutely have to read a book before falling sleep. I don't particularly need it to fall asleep or anything. I just really love love love reading in bed before going to sleep.
I love feeling my heart quicken when I'm really into a book and lost in the emotions the words are evoking in me. I love the rush to finish one page and then the next and the next until I can subdue my heartbeat some more. Even if it means waking up early with heavy eyes from my nightly addiction to reading. I can't help it.
12. Gerri
I always read after I go to bed, it's my time to relax, let stress fade away. Books help me to relax, so I will get sleepy, then turn off the tablet and fall asleep. I try not to read anything too involved before bed time, 5 am weekdays comes too early.
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