How To Read In Bed

lauren hall 1
written by sleep expert Lauren Hall

How To Comfortably Read In Bed:

Reading in bed is probably the last thing you’ll want to do after a long day, but there are so many benefits of reading before bed for both your quality of sleep and stress relief. Reading in your bed comfortably can help you reap all the benefits while being comfortable at the same time.

Did you know that reading for as little as six minutes before bed can reduce stress levels by 68%?

Plus, by stress levels are relieved, it makes it easier for your to fall asleep, and you fall into those deeper stages of sleep much quicker, which will offer you the most restorative night’s sleep. Reading before bed can relax your mind and body, so you wake up the next day feeling energized and rejuvenated.

However, reading in bed is not always the comfiest place to read as it offers poor reading posture. This can result in neck pain and discomfort in your shoulders and back, especially if you spend hours during the day delving into a book. While at night we don’t read as much, we still want to be in a comfortable position so our muscles can relax fully and help induce sleep.

But don’t let that put you off.

I have devised a list of my top tips on how to read comfortably in bed, no matter it is a mid-afternoon binge or relaxing read before bed, so you can spend some time with yourself and get lost in a book of your choice. You can achieve that much-needed break after a long hard day.

Just setting half an hour a day before bed to read and shut off from electronic devices can help you get a good night’s sleep and make you feel ready for the day. Of course, no one wants to have the nagging neck and back pain as a result of delving into a good book before bed.

So stay tuned. Together we can make reading in bed more comfortable.

how to read in bed

How To Read In Bed Comfortably 

Improving your posture and knowing how to read without hurting your neck or back is super important; it is all about being in a comfortable position and with the correct posture. You can delve into the world of a new book and reap the benefits of falling asleep easier.

So let’s delve into my top tips on reading comfortably in bed so you can relieve stress and enjoy your favorite book comfortably. After all, there is nothing worse than the sharp pain in your neck, shoulders, back, or upper body, as it can put you off wanting to participate in this relaxing activity before bed.

Invest In A Reading Pillow:

If you’re a bit of a bookworm like myself, then investing in a reading pillow is a necessity! Choosing the right pillow for reading in bed is key to help relieve back and neck pain so you can read comfortably.

Getting yourself a reading pillow will help you avoid the sharp pain in your neck, shoulders, or back. For those not sure what a reading pillow is, it is a backrest pillow chair with arms that stop you propping up at awkward angles that could cause kinks in your neck and back.

A reading pillow will help provide support by cradling your upper body and keeping your neck and back firm to relieve any aches and pains in your shoulders while reading. No more stacking up pillows for back support for reading in bed!

But for those that don’t want to quite make the plunge, you can stack your pillows in a certain way to provide similar support. Place some pillows behind your lower and mid-back to provide a foundation of support, then place a light behind your neck to provide a neck support. This should make reading slightly more comfortable for longer periods. 

You can also place a lightweight pillow under your chest, close to your thighs, and add a pile of pillows between your elbows and under the chest; this will help give you more control of the book and add additional comfort. 

Use a Book Seat

Holding a book for long periods can be quite tiring and cause your hands to feel fatigued. After long periods, we all just want to flip through the pages without having them hold the book, and a booked seat is designed to do just that! Your book always stays open, and all you need to do is flip throat the pages.

Book seats are super handy as you can have snacks or a warm drink while reading, doing reading that much more comfortable, relaxing, and fun. It even helps keep your book in good condition as it minimalizes handling, no more bending the book’s pages around the spine to hold it in one hand.

It also helps you keep a good posture while reading for hours on end and comfort when sitting upright or laying on your side.

Use An LED Book Light:

Investing in good led book lights or any book light for reading in bed can help make reading in bed comfortably that much easier; no more putting yourself in awkward positions to get the best book reading light. It gives you a focused light flow making it easier for you to read in the position that is most comfortable.

It also means you can read at night without disturbing your partner next to you; it saves you popping the bedside light on, which can light up the whole room, making it difficult for your partner to fall asleep while you read. Booklights are pretty incredible, after all. 

You can either get a light that clips onto your book, wraps around your neck, or even your headboard so you can enjoy reading without worrying about your partner being disturbed, or you can read in the most comfortable position.

Reading is far more enjoyable when reading with the perfect light; poor lighting or reading in a room where the light is too bright can cause headaches. If you’re reading before bed, you might want to avoid a book light with blue light as it can suppress the production of melatonin, so you won’t get good quality sleep.

An LED book light with a warm tone is perfect for reading as it is neither too bright nor dim, so you can read and still optimize relaxation and the natural flow of your circadian rhythm, the sleep-wake cycle. Reading lights are also ideal for couples as they emit direct light that doesn’t light up the whole room.

So they’re also ideal for reading in bed without disturbing your partner.

Use Prism Glasses:

Prism glasses are a great investment for those who enjoy reading on their back. They’re cool glasses that make reading in this position more comfortable as it adjusts your view by 90 degrees so you can read while laying in a horizontal position without having to tilt your head.

This can help relieve neck and shoulder pain as you are not twisting your neck, back, or shoulders to read. It also prevents eye strain!

Prism glasses can even be worn over prescription glasses, so you don’t need to worry about not being able to see the pages; you can enjoy the book as you usually would but while laying in your bed comfortably. Prism glasses come in a wide range of shapes and styles too!

You’ll look like one of the supervillains from one of the TV shows you watched as a kid!

Focus On Your Posture:

Focusing on your posture is super important to prevent waking up with neck and back pain in the morning, the most common cause of neck and back pain while we read or after reading is reading a book with poor posture. 

So by positioning the pillows correctly or even buying a reading pillow for reading in bed at night can massively help. You should put two big pillows on your back, along with your head, and lie on it and hold the book near your face, or you could invest in a wedge pillow or reading pillow for better support.

For a little extra support, you can also support your legs by popping a pillow underneath your knees.

best book light for reading in bed

Comfortable Reading Positions

For many of us, we are always struggling to find the best position to read a book in bed, but what is the best position for reading in bed? There are a few positions that ensure proper blood circulation, which helps your brain absorb what you are reading while also preventing neck and back pain.

If you develop poor posture, you may find reading less fun and may even have a restless sleep as a result as pressure has built up in your shoulders and back. Plus, if you don’t have the right mattress for pressure relief, this can cause you to toss and turn and become restless.

So here are some of my top recommended positions so you can know how to read in bed comfortably:

Sitting Upright In Bed:

Sitting upright is one of the best ways on how to read in bed comfortably. It is easy to read and delve deep into the fantasy world of your latest book adventure without letting your bed affect your comfort. Sitting upright is the best way to read in bed as it helps prevent backaches.

So the best way to read in bed while sitting upright is to place your back up straight against the headboard, use a reading pillow or a wedge pillow with pillows around you (for wedge pillow or sitting up against your headboard) to support your back and arms while you read.

It is also recommended that you hold the book around 30 centimeters away from your face, use a book seat or bedside book caddy to hold your book while you read to prevent your hands from getting fatigued, and you switching position with poor posture to hold the book more comfortably.

You should also try to tilt your head down a bit to help relieve pressure in your neck, but not too much, as this can result in a headache, eyestrain, and neck pains when you sit upright. You can also either keep your legs straight or crouched, depending on what is comfiest.

Reading In The Supine Position:

The next popular position in order to read in bed comfortably in the supine position. It helps you relax and prevents neck and back strain. The only issue with this position is that you need to place the book appropriately to avoid eye strain.

But for reading in this position, you can use an adjustable tablet stand that can be mounted onto the headboard and use this to hold your book, or if you’re using an e-reader, then even better. You can also adjust the book or e-readers to make reading more comfortable while keeping the right posture.

Or, for reading in this position, you can even use prism glasses so you can read on your back without popping strain on your eyes so you can delve into a comfortable reading position, or just a little extra comfort for those lazy bookworms out there– I am one of them.

Reading On Your Side:

Reading on your side is another comfortable reading position as it allows you the flexibility to keep your legs stretched out or folded at the knees. Reading in this position is brilliant as it ensures proper blood circulation and helps to clear your airway. Using a book seat or table stand in this position is ideal for this position to make it even more comfortable.

However, this position is not recommended for long periods of reading, and if you do read in this position, then the book should be placed at least 20 centimeters away from your face to prevent eyestrain. You should also place your head on a firm pillow and keep your shoulders elevated.

why should you read before bed

Final Thoughts:

So there you have it, some of my top tips on how to read in bed comfortably. For all my book worms out there, having the right reading posture is super important, especially when reading for a long while. Reading pillows come in handy for avid readers looking to delve into a good book!

But for those looking to reap the benefits of reading before bed, then being comfortable is a must. Reading for a few minutes a night can help relax the mind and relieve stress levels so you can fall asleep much easier and reach those enriching deep sleep stages.

There is nothing more relaxing than reading in a comfortable bed with comfortable bedding after a busy day; I personally love delving into a psychological thriller! Which one will you try?

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