Eight reasons to turn the page and enjoy the benefits of reading

Reading. The initial reaction students have when hearing this word is either “I am so bored.” or “I want to cry.” However, there are many pleasures that reading a book provides. In fact, The Charger found eight scientific findings to prove that reading is actually good for you.

1. Reading helps you keep calm

Scientific research conducted at the University of Sussex showed that it took participants just six minutes to relax once diving into a book. This method trumps the classic listening to music, drinking coffee and even taking a walk. Once somebody gets lost in an author’s imagination, the world around them begins to vanish.

2. Reading may prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

According to the National Academy of Sciences, people who engage in hobbies that stimulate the brain are less likely to have Alzheimer’s later in life. Therefore, next time you are complaining about that reading assignment, just remember you are giving your memory a pat on the back.

3. Reading may help you sleep better

Sleep experts say the best way to fall asleep is to let go of stress and allow oneself to relax. As long as it isn’t an action–packed page turner, reading is a great way to do so. Bright lights signal to the brain that it is time to wake up, so replacing the electronic devices with a classic paperback is your best bet.

4. Empathy will become your new friend

According to a study published in the journal of the Public Library of Science, being emotionally transported into a work of fiction can increase your empathy. Studies showed that over the course of a week, readers who fully connected to a powerful character or storyline increased their empathetic skills. So, let yourself indulge in that work of fiction, it will only benefit you.

5. Reading can make your brain sharper

A study conducted by Stanford University proved that reading can make your brain sharper as you age. When a group of people were asked to analyze a book, more blood flowed to other parts of the brain that were not in use. Essentially, reading is exercise for your brain, keeping it healthy and strong.

6. Improvement in focus and concentration

When someone is managing many different tasks at the same time, productivity actually lowers. However, when someone makes the effort to focus on one task, such as reading, focus will sharpen when one starts his or her day. I challenge you to try reading for 10–15 minutes before school. You may be surprised at how much more focused you become.

7. You could be a walking dictionary

Although this is common sense, it is an important fact to note. The more one reads, the more exposure one has to new words. By reading, you can impress all of your friends by throwing big words into conversations.

8. Reading may save your relationship

Although this has not yet been proven, scientists have speculated that reading can make personal relationships  stronger. While reading, one may rediscover a connection he or she had and may want to have it again. Not only is this cheaper than couples therapy, but also very convenient.

Next time you are sitting alone on a weekend wondering, “what is there is to do?” consider picking up a book. Besides all of these scientific benefits, reading, believe it or not, is fun. Once you find a genre that best suits you, you will be sent to an alternate universe full of plot twists and memorable quotes.