Do you read regularly? If not, can you remember the last book, or sizeable article you read? Most of our daily reading behaviours consist of consuming easily digestible social media posts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. By not engaging in reading properly, you may be missing out on a number of important benefits that reading can offer you. Here are some of the scientific benefits of reading regularly.
Reading for improved learning outcomes
A recent study conducted by the National Literacy Trust, found that young people who enjoy reading regularly show greater reading proficiency, vocabulary development, text comprehension and grammar accuracy, proficiency in mathematics, and learning in general.
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have found that books expose children to up to 50% more words than prime time TV. As well as volume of words, children are more likely to be exposed to rarer words if they read instead of watch. Importantly, the researchers go on to explain how exposure to higher levels of vocabulary help children gain more knowledge and perform better in exams.
Reading to boost your brain power
It has been suggested that “reading is to the brain what exercise is to the body”. Not only does reading have the ability to help you become more intelligent, but it can also grow your brain’s functionality. It has been found that reading regularly has the power to improve memory retention, brain function and stem the decline of mental ageing by 32% in later life.
Reading to de-stress
At the University of Sussex, researchers have found that reading for six minutes per day can reduce stress by up-to 68%. Reading can be as cathartic as exercise or listening to music. Find out more about the benefits of taking a short walk in one of our recent blogs. Encouraging your child to take a short amount of time out of their day to read, can be a great way to help them de-stress, away from school, sport or their social commitments.
Reading to help you sleep
One way to incorporate reading regularly into a busy schedule, is reading before you go to bed (see our blog on ways to help you fall asleep for other more creative ways to prepare for a better night’s rest). Reading a book before bed can help relax the mind and becomes a great substitute for a tablet or smartphone, which can actually make you stay awake for longer. If you are looking for further ways to develop your brain, why not take a look at our page about growth mindset where you will find more blogs and resources to help you.