Saturday on the Couch asks: “Do you read in bed?” 3

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So many people say they always read in bed right before they go to sleep.

I NEVER read in bed! This may surprise you and it surprises me that after a lifetime of “just to the end of the chapter” I go to bed without my version of the “blankie” – my latest book.

GOM suffers from sleep apnoea diagnosed by a sleep specialist. In addition to counselling for him, I was brought into the discussion and asked about my own sleep patterns. We were advised that bedrooms should only be used for sleeping or intimacy –  they are not libraries.

I understood what she was saying – I was read to as a child and when I learned to read I always went to bed with a book. Even after “lights out” I continued to read under the covers.

Think about it, how many times do you say “I only intended to read one chapter, but before I knew it the sun was up”. Common occurrence for many of us I’m sure. With the advent of e-readers, we don’t even need to keep our partner awake by keeping the lights on.

I have to say, the doctor’s advice has worked for me; I read in the lounge room before going to bed, but then leave my book behind on the side table. On the occasions when I can’t sleep, fortunately not a frequent occurrence, I get out of bed, go to my reading nook and read until I feel it is time to go back to bed, sometimes when the sun comes up I admit.

I must say, it took ages for me to break my “reading in bed” habit, but I’m glad I did … eventually. From a light sleeper, bordering on insomnia, most nights I sleep deeply and well, without the addition of drugs. I sleep soundly even when GOM is snoring robustly.

Books are not the only things which are banned from our bedroom; there is no TV, no computer,  no electronic gadgetry of any kind, not even our smart phones. If we need them our phones are easily in reach just outside the door.

I’m sure many people think I’m totally wrong and the only way to get to sleep is to read a book, either hard or electronic. This is my experience; your experience may be totally different.

Share with us: do you read in bed?

Karen O'Brien-Hall

I've had many careers in my life and loved each one! My new career blossomed when I retired and become an OAP. I am passionate about childhood literacy, books in general and my garden. I love Ballet, Opera, Concerts, Theatre, (both professional and community) and Movies. I tend to have opinions on most things and enjoy a good debate about the topic, not the person. In my thirties, I married my GOM (Gorgeous or Grumpy Old Man) the love of my life.

  1. Nope! Stimulates brain way too much, then I can’t get to sleep!

    Prefer watching a ‘not having to think’ taped tv show like ‘Midsomer Murders’ etc., which relaxes me in readiness for sleep!

  2. I always read in bed before going to sleep, I have a time limit on my reading, usually am ready to close the book and fall as,eep immediately. I had a sleep study undertaken and my specialist was quite happy with my ‘sleep hygiene’ no problem woth reading in bed

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    I just have to have a book to read in bed. Reading is my escape from the day and turns my mind off, no lying there thinking of what I must do tomorrow or have I forgotten something I should have done today. I find that I only get a dozen or so pages in and i’m dozing off.. Thank goodness for my Kindle e-reader which turns itself off. Lol

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