What Books Are On Your Nightstand?
Random question time! Except not really. Like many of our daily routines, what you read takes a toll on how you feel, what you think about and— in the case of bedtime reading—how you sleep, maybe even what you dream. Because getting sound and sufficient sleep is one of our top recommendations for looking and feeling your best, it seems a subject well worth thinking about.
Ever since we wrote the book, my reading material has skewed largely non-fiction. Give me a book about health (Andrew Weil! Ayurveda!), about brain studies (The Power of Habit), about what motivates people (Drive), about exercise (The First Twenty Minutes), or how people run their companies (Steve Jobs) and I’m happy to read, oh, 10 pages or so, each night before easily dozing off. For me, these types of semi-educational, non-fiction books are engaging, but not so much that they keep me up at night.
That isn’t to say I never read fiction. In the last few years, books like A Visit from the Goon Squad and Freedom, have had a huge impact on how I think and see the world, they’re just not my nightly fodder.
But lately, even Steve Jobs and all the talented writers at the New York Times who have written books, are taking a backseat to a very different kind of reading: the spiritual kind.
There are currently three books on my bedside table: Hara, which came highly recommended by a meditation teacher I recently met, Autobiography of a Yogi, and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali—a book given to me by my dear friend and spiritual partner in crime… you guessed it: Siobhan.
Why the sudden switch? Since my recent ashram escape, I’ve been making extra efforts to stay connected to my higher self, and I find that—much like yoga and meditation—reading texts that vibrate at that higher frequency (whatever your belief structures are), really help me let go of the days events and not think too much about tomorrow. Added bonus? These calming books can be, well, a bit of a snooze too—lulling me right to sleep!
Do you have spiritual books by your bedside: maybe the Bible, the Koran, Eckhart Tolle, or the Bhagavad Gita? And if not, got any other good recommendations?!
I realize that spiritual can be loaded word, but it’s completely up for interpretation here. Whatever it means for you, whether that’s tied to a culture, religion, system of some kind, or not at all.
P.S. Magazine reading, a favorite past-time of mine is restricted to weekends and flights. That’s because once I open a mag I have a hard time closing it, which makes bedtime a bad idea.