We all know how important sleep is, there is not a day that goes by without another news piece advocating how vital a good night's kip is. Poor sleep is associated with physical and mental health problems, including an increased risk of obesity, strokes, heart attacks, depression and anxiety.
However, many of us remain sleep deprived, and while many resort to different techniques to try and fall into a slumber - such as relaxing baths, herbal teas, listening to soothing sounds, podcasts or even counting sheep - there's no denying the effectiveness of reading a trusty old book.
Although reading before bed may sound simple, it's hard to find the right book that will send you off into a peaceful slumber. Choose a book too interesting and you won't be able to put it down, too slow and you'll feel bored and fall into an endless social media scrolling session but too stimulating and you'll be up all night.
Finding the right balance in a book is tricky, however sleep psychologist, Dr David Lewis has come up with the ultimate list of books that will help you to sleep. Dr Lewis has found that books with short sentences and short chapters are best before bed, as it means you don't have to stay engaged for too long before you turn off your light. He also found that books with a simple structure and not too many intricate details in the plot line help the brain to shut off for sleep. It's important to leave cliff hangers off your bedside table, as this will prevent your brain from switching off as it feels that something has been unfinished, called the 'Zeigarnik Effect'.
Dr Lewis's recommended 'ZZZ-list' books include:
- Persuasion by Jane Austen
- Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
- The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild
- Still Me by Jojo Moyes
- The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh
However, it's not all about what to read before bed that will help you sleep. It's key to ensure your pillows are suited for your reading style to give you the maximum support. We've chosen our top picks to suit your reading style so that you remain undisturbed as you escape into a world of adventure.
The 'Jet Setter' Readers
For those globe trotters, our Luxury Supersize Travel Pillows are perfect for you. Generously filled with 80% duck down for softness and squash-ability and 20% duck feather for support, these pillows can be used both on the move and at your destination to supplement the pillows on offer if they are not quite up to scratch! They are perfect companions for those long haul flights or lengthy car journeys when trying to read on the go, or even just cosying up with. You will never get a sore travel neck again with this touch of luxury!
The 'Sit up in bed with a hardback' Reader
If you can't read in bed unless you're totally upright then two of our Savoy Duck Feather and Down Pillows would suit your reading style by providing you with the most amount of support and comfort. If you want more firmness it may be worth investing in some square 65 x 65cm pillows to use to prop you up and support your back and neck, helping you remain totally absorbed by your book.
The 'Snuggle' Reader
If you like to snuggle up under your duvet with a good read on your kindle in the evenings, our Rosewood Goose Feather and Down will offer the perfect cosy factor to support you as you delve into a gripping read. These pillows are larger-than-average, extra filled down pillows that reward all who rest on them with a light as air floating feeling whilst still providing excellent head and neck support.
The 'Side' Reader
If you can only read on your side, then it's important to have a higher pillow to keep your spine and neck aligned. We'd recommend our Marquis Duck Feather and Down pillows, generously filled with high quality feather and down. These pillows have more support whilst being soft on the face, perfect to keep you comfortable when having a quick read before nodding off.
Happy reading and happy sleeping!