Of course, the kind of bedtime read that will help you achieve this is subjective. “What one person finds sleep-promoting might be too exciting or too much of a page-turner for another person,” explain Heather Turgeon and Julie Wright, founders of The Happy Sleeper and authors of Generation Sleepless. The key, here, is not to choose something too boring, the duo tells mbg, “or other thoughts will creep in that keep you awake.”
Certified sleep consultant and founder of Live Love Sleep Kaley Medina also flags high-interest reads—the page-turners you’ve been dying to get your hands on and simply cannot put down out of sheer curiosity about what comes next. You’ll most likely want to read these all the way through, so they may not be the best for bedtime. “You will most likely find yourself delaying bedtime or staying up late thinking about what happens next,” Medina tells mbg.
So what sort of bedtime reads strike the perfect balance between not too interesting but not too boring? Well, it depends who you ask. The general consensus is to pick something lighthearted, with happy themes, that can also be calming for your busy mind.
Teitelbaum reveals he tends to reach for a romantic comedy, while Turgeon and Wright recommend travelogues, light fantasy, stories about friendship, and some biographies. Mostly anything non-scary fiction is a win for sleep expert Michael J. Breus, Ph.D. (aka The Sleep Doctor), especially if it’s a physical book over a digital copy to avoid blue light exposure (which has effects on the body that can also be quite scary!).