We can envisage the typical adults in bed – iPad out, scrolling through their phones, TV on or headphones in. We’re almost spoilt for choice when it comes to what to do before you go to bed.
How many of us still open a book and drift away through reading?
There are plenty of benefits to reading a good book before you sleep. We’ve compiled a list of 20 books in particular to tickle your fancy and get you drifting off towards a better night’s sleep.
Here's a closer look at the benefits of bedtime reading alongside the top 20 books you should be reading in bed.
Benefits of Reading in Bed
General feelings of stress and anxiety can make getting a good night’s sleep more difficult than it needs to be. The blue light emitting from your computer, phone and TV screen doesn’t help either.
So if you’re wondering how to relax your mind before bed, disconnecting from technology and diving into a good book may be the answer.
Bedtime reading distracts your mind and reduces stress. It slows down your breathing and helps maintain a sense of calm throughout your body, thus resulting in a far better sleep.
As an added bonus, reading exercises your brain; so it’ll improve your creativity, brain power and even protect against Alzheimer’s. So while you’ll be getting a good night’s sleep, you’ll also be reaping numerous health benefits.
Something to Read Before You Sleep
So now you’re aware of the benefits of reading books in general, you’re going to need some actual bedtime reading material.
Once you're snuggled up in your luxuriously soft sheets, pick up one of these amazing novels:
1. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Starting off the list with a heart-warming story about empathy and compassion, “Wonder” follows the story of August Pullman, a school kid who’s afflicted with a facial deformity.
As you’d expect, school life becomes difficult, and the perspective shifts across various members of the community, forming a larger picture about acceptance and understanding.
2. The Wangs vs The World by Jade Chang
Hilarious and charming, this story follows a once wealthy Chinese family who become bankrupt, and take a road trip to see the eldest daughter (the only one who has any money left).
Of course, not everything goes to plan. The plot is strong but laced with humour and charm, making it a great read before bed.
3. Luckiest Girl Alive by Steven Levenkron
A gripping novel sure to captivate anyone’s interest, “Luckiest Girl Alive” follows Ani FaNelli, a woman who reinvented herself after enduring public humiliation back in school. On the verge of living the perfect life, she has a secret haunting her at every turn, threatening to unravel everything she’s worked for.
Long enough to keep you invested but short enough that it’s not intimidating to start. Dive into your bed and into Ana’s inner struggle (while leaving your own, if any, behind).
4. A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming by Dylan Tuccillo
The title says it all. It’s literally about dreaming.
All jokes aside, this is the perfect book to read before you sleep. Lucid dreaming occurs when you effectively “wake up” in your dream – you realise you’re in the dream and, using this guide, can access a limitless number of possibilities.
Read it in bed and retain the information before you fall asleep. You may just wake up inside your next dream!
5. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
This one is perfect for a duvet day. “If I Stay” will tug at your heart strings and potentially leave you with a tear or two. It’s the story of a girl who loses everything in the blink of an eye, and is presented with a dilemma.
A powerfully moving story guaranteed to keep you fully absorbed, making it perfect for some night time reading at the end of the day.
6. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
A mystery set in San Francisco, Clay Jannon works in a 24-hour bookstore that only has a few customers who don’t seem to buy anything, but check out large items from the corners of the store.
We all know how cosy a funny, witty and well written mystery can be, and this book is all three (hence the addition to our list).
7. Life on Mars by Jennifer Brown
A slight departure from the other entries, this book is a famous set of poems exploring themes revolving around space and science fiction. If you want to know how to wind down after a long day, then this is the perfect book for you.
8. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Labelled one of the greatest books of the 20th Centruy, “The Little Prince” is a timeless and extraordinary journey of a little boy who travels the Universe, embarking on several adventures along the way.
What better way to drift off peacefully into sleep than following him on his adventures through the vast expanse of space and your own imagination.
9. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
For all the dog lovers out there, this story follows a unique dog who has educated himself on the ways of human life, recalling it all on the eve of his death.
While sad in its premise, the story is funny and uplifting, leaving you with happy vibes only as you drift off into your dreams.
10. Persuasion by Jane Austen
“Persuasion” follows a woman convinced that her boyfriend was unworthy of her, and who spends the next 8 years of her life swallowed by the regret of losing him. The story revolves around the question of whether they’ll reunite or stay apart.
Both sombre and delicate, this is great material for bedtime reading.
11. Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson expresses his love for the small island of Great Britain through a delightfully light hearted and satirical comedy.
Funny, witty, and everything in between, this book is sure to leave you in high spirits before you drift off, which can only ever be a good thing.
12. The Young Widower’s Handbook by Tom McAllister
This is the story of a young man who loves his wife, but when tragedy strikes and she dies suddenly, he’s afflicted with intense grief.
The story remains to be a love story throughout, and while tragic and sad the story is still inspiring, showcasing the lengths someone will go for someone they love. We would recommend for those looking for a little food for thought before bed.
13. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Who hasn’t heard of Harry Potter?
Technically not one book, but seven, there’s no point in singling out one. You can’t read one without reading the rest!
There’s no better place to get lost in the world of witchcraft and wizardly and relive your childhood (for those who have grown up with the books and movies) than cosied up in your nice warm bed.
14. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
A great story about breaking out of one’s sheltered life and questioning what it all really meant. We follow Macy, who is spending the summer without her boyfriend while he’s away at Brain Camp. She’s recently lost her father, studying for her SATs, and working a boring job at the library.
Her life changes in a few new and unexpected ways, and she begins to question everything after meeting a boy who turns her world upside down.
A beautiful story of a young person emerging from their shell, this story will have you lost in Macy’s newly unravelling world, and even relive your own past experiences.
15. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Inseparable twins, each with their own unique personalities, Jude wears red lipstick and goes cliff diving, while Noah draws constantly and falls in love with the boy next door.
They barely speak years later, and the story is told in two parts. Noah explains the earlier years while Jude explains the latter, but they only each have half the story.
A simultaneous tear jerker and hilarity-filled narrative, this is a beautiful story to lose yourself in before you sleep.
16. Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The story follows a boy’s journey through post-war Barcelona in search of an enigmatic author, whose book seems to pose a threat to whoever owns it. A historical mystery with a deep romance woven into the narrative, this is a story to invest your imagination into, and one that’s sure to seep its way into your dreams.
17. Electric Michelangelo by Sarah Hall
A novel on love and loss, we follow Cy Parks from his childhood up to his apprenticeship as a tattoo-artist. Cy departs for America to the Coney Island Boardwalk, brimming with potential and a thirst for experience.
Starting a business under the name “Electric Michelangelo”, Cy becomes enamoured with an Eastern European immigrant who commissions him to cover her entire body with tattooed eyes.
Another great adventure dealing with love, coming of age, and pursuing a newfound identity, this is a great read before you sleep.
18. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Another heart-warmer for the list, Ove is a grumpy but loveable man who follows strict routines and principles. Behind the grumpiness, however, is a deeper sadness, which unravels when an upbeat family move in next door.
Comical and heart-warming, this story will provide you just the right entertainment value to drift off into a good night’s sleep.
19. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
This is an incredible addition to the list.
Following a non-linear format, jumping ahead and then zooming right back to the original starting point, the unorthodox narrative will have you wondering how all the stories and characters connect.
Vast in its imaginative scope, this is one story sure to keep the brain moving at the end of the day.
20. Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd
An amazing journey into the human psyche, “Waiting for Sunrise” is an incredible portrayal of wartime Europe. Full of suspense and plot twists, this literary work will have you looking forward to moving deeper and deeper into Lysander’s (the protagonist) journey each and every night.
So…Are You Ready for Bed?
With an extensive list of bedtime reading material and the knowledge of why reading is good for you at your fingertips, we’d be surprised if you weren’t.
So disconnect your devices, bring out your book of choice, and wrap yourself in some luxuriously soft cotton sheets, to help you drift away peacefully into the land of dreams.
Can't wait to curl up with a good book? Check out our range of organic cotton bedding for that perfect night’s sleep.