Getting an early night with a good book is one of life’s greatest pleasures. There’s nothing nicer than curling up under a big fluffy duvet or your favourite chair, with a cup of tea, disappearing off into some far away land. Books can take us on adventures or they can make us feel at home; they can give us new ideas or they can calm us down after a busy day; they can remind us of our childhood or they can inspire us for all the exciting things to come. What better way to end your day?
But reading a book before bed isn’t just good for escapism; it’s also good for your health. Reading before falling asleep has been proven to help lower stress levels, help your body wind down so you get a better night’s sleep, and even help to reduce the risk of Alzheimers. So what better reason to embrace your inner bookworm, and start reading!
We’ve put together a list of our favourite books to get you relaxed and stress-free before you snooze. If you’ve got any recommendations, we’d love to hear them! Make sure to get in touch on Twitter or Facebook.
- The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, Jenny Colgan
If you’re looking for fun, humour and a good dose of romance, you’ll struggle to go wrong with any Jenny Colgan book. Her blend of lovely, light writing with relatable characters is the perfect recipe for bedtime escapism, and The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris has to be our favourite. Follow the story of Anna Trent, English ex-pat who’s escaped to Paris to work with master chocolatier, Thierry. Just make sure you’ve got a box of Milk Tray to hand with this one – those luxurious chocolate descriptions are too much for anyone to resist!
- Lion: The Long Way Home, Saroo Brierly
Lion caused quite a buzz at the Oscars this year, and anyone who’s watched the film will know a box of tissues is necessary for this particular story! Whether you’ve seen Lion in cinemas or not, the author’s account of his real-life journey from Calcutta to Tasmania (and back again) will thrill, delight and inspire you on every page. A beautiful story of homecoming that will have you picking up the phone to ring the family.
- The Trouble With Goats & Sheep, Joanna Cannon
A detective story with a difference, The Trouble With Goats & Sheep tells the story of ten year old Grace and her best friend Tilly as they investigate the mysterious disappearance of Mrs Creasy. Set in the blazing summer of 1976 in middle England, these amateur detectives discover the secrets of suburbia as the story unfolds. A fascinating (and at times chilling) story told through the eyes of a whimsical narrator, you’ll forget all about the stress of your day in no time as this whisks you into another world.
- A Mindfulness Guide For The Frazzled, Ruby Wax
Ruby Wax has spoken candidly about her struggles with stress and anxiety over the years, but this easy to read guide to mindfulness will speak to anyone dealing with stress in their life – no matter how much. Ruby writes with practicality, honesty and humour – so if work, family or social obligations (or all three!) are leaving you feeling a little worn out at the end of the day, a few pages of this before bedtime will help you feel less alone, as well as equip you for whatever tomorrow brings.
- Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that even the most beloved classics are sometimes left unread! It’s easy to reach for the new releases and best sellers whenever we head to a bookshop, but the classics are classics for a reason. If you’ve never discovered the timeless love story of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett for yourself, put it at the top of your To Read list. Even the most die-hard romance sceptics won’t fail to be swept away by this tale, making it perfect for a little escapism at the end of your day.
- The Course of Love, Alain de Botton
Alain de Botton has been a modern philosopher for many years, and has published numerous non-fiction books, but this is his first novel. As with many of his earlier works this focusses on love and marriage, and the hard work that follows once you’ve said “I do”. A moving and insightful tale, this book is a heart-warming and realistic look into a life shared amongst two people. Whatever your romantic situation, this is a lovely book to reflect on if matters of the heart are keeping you up at night.
Cheryl Strayed is best known for her work Wild, in which she trekked 1,100 miles across the American West Coast, which was adapted into an Oscar nominated film in 2015. But before Wild there was Tiny Beautiful Things – a collection of advice columns that Cheryl had written under the pseudonym ‘Sugar’. The columns detail every situation imaginable, from grief to birth and everything in between, and Sugar’s frank responses will provide a little nugget of insight for every reader, no matter your situation. Informed by an extraordinary amount of personal experience, Sugar writes with wit and warmth – reminding you of all the tiny, beautiful things which make up your life. The perfect thing to send you off to sleep with a full heart, a smile on your face, and the knowledge that you’re ready for whatever tomorrow brings.
Of course, always remember that the best book in the world is a bit useless if you’ve nowhere comfortable to sleep! A restful space and comfortable mattress will make a world of difference to your health and wellbeing, which is why we’re focussing on all things sleep this month at Oak Furniture Land. Make sure you follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for advice on getting the most of out of your sleep.