05 May 2009

I'll miss you, reading in bed

In short, I love doing it but recognize that it's bad for me. Just like eating steak, say!

A lot of sleep hygiene experts recommend reading in bed as conducive to getting a good rest, against watching TV which is supposedly a more active or involving medium. With all deference to those experts, for me I think it's the opposite; I can't read in bed because I get sucked into books and end up staying up much later turning pages. I can make this work for me while waiting for a subway train home, but can't turn it off when I get there.

I have started using phrases like "sleep hygiene" to correct the latest in a long line of sleep interruptions. As a longtime sleepwalker, any night in which I do not wake up standing in a place I don't recognize is by definition a good night of sleep, but I would like to fall asleep faster -- and that doesn't happen when I know there is a book hey, right over there just begging to be read. As for the concept of moving all non-sleep-related items out of my bedroom, well, that's a tip for people with houses.

This makes me sad because I have done some of my best reading in bed. And it's not like I have a lot of other seating options in my apartment to replace it. Maybe I could only read in bed on weekends? I'm not quite ready to give up such childish things.


Elizabeth said...

You could just read soporific books in bed. I used to take a long time to fall asleep, but then I took AP US history and tried to read Norton's PROBLEMS IN AMERICAN WOMEN'S HISTORY in bed, and next thing I knew my alarm clock was going off. I took it with me to college to treat insomnia.

Wade Garrett said...

This Bridge Called My Back: Radical Writings By Lesbian Women of Color is a) a book that was actually assigned to by entire 400-student 'Formation of Modern American Culture 1920-the present' class and b) the contributed greatly to my getting a healthy amount of sleep in the spring of my freshman year.

ap said...

I prefer reading lying down and have done it since I was little. During the daytime it's not problem to stay awake but at night I'll start getting sleepy after a half hour.