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Sometimes, a few words before bed is your only time to read.
If you’re interested in reading, but can’t find any way to make time for it, then you may need to add a few extra minutes to your nightly routine to make it happen. There are plenty of benefits to reading at night, while also having a few downsides. Reading is totally worth it though, and if night is your only time for reading then make it happen.
Time to Sleep
Perhaps the biggest downside to reading at night is that it’s when you’re getting ready to sleep. After a long day of chasing kids around and doing other chores around the house, you’re likely exhausted when it comes to bed time. This means that you’re much more likely to skip the reading as you’ll want to go to sleep. Additionally, you’re very likely to fall to sleep if you’re laying in your bed while reading.
The opposite is also true if you’ve found a book that you really like - you could keep yourself up way too long trying to find out what happens next. While finding a book that really drives you to read more is awesome, it can also negatively affect your parenting performance the next day.
You really need to find a balance between how long you’re going to read at night, and where you’re going to do that reading. Ideally, you don’t read while in bed, and if you do you’re sitting up. Laying down to read really makes it hard to concentrate, especially when you’re tired. Set a timer for exactly when you’re going to be done reading and stick to it - sleep is also very important for parents (and non-parents).
Reading at night is great because you can focus on actually reading. You’re not going to have kids constantly asking for you to play something or do something. You don’t have to worry about a child getting into trouble in the other room. You can put your focus on your reading.
While we’ve recommended that you can find time to read throughout the day, it will generally be less focused than reading right before bed. You can give your full attention to the book and what’s going on in the book rather than trying to keep an eye and ear on other things going on around you.
Reading at the same time every night will make it easier for you to get into a consistent routine with reading. It’s scheduled for you to actually read at that time, and you know it’s going to happen. You don’t have to carry your book around and try to sneak a page in here or there.
By knowing when you’re going to read, you can be more focused on your kids during the day - you’re not trying to find a moment whenever you can. You know that you’ll have time at night to read, so now it’s time to go full in with your kids and do what they want to do, or else work on other chores around the house.
Setting a schedule of reading every night for yourself is a great way to make reading a part of your life while still focusing on your kids. It can help you to clear your mind and get ready for a night of sleep and a new day ahead.