The Benefits of Reading for Seniors
Seniors who read often get the benefits of more than just a good story. Studies have found many health benefits of reading, from helping sleep to improving memory.
A study of 294 seniors published in Neurology discovered that those who engaged in mentally challenging activities such as reading throughout their lives had slower rates of memory impairment than those who did not. Participating in frequent cognitive activities later in life slowed the pace of decline by 32%.
Reading strengthens your memory, which is essential for short-term recall of ordinary events. Reading on a regular basis can help to develop the brain's neural network, making your mind more susceptible to learning and memory retention.
Better-Decision Making Skills
Reading can help seniors develop the analytical and reasoning skills they need to solve problems, a skill known as fluid intelligence, which decreases throughout adulthood.
A study of Americans aged 25 to 74 discovered that, regardless of age, people who consistently challenged their brains through activities such as reading performed higher on fluid intelligence tests than their counterparts.
Delays Alzheimer's and Dementia
According to a 2000 study, adults in their 70s who engaged in mentally demanding hobbies, like reading, between the ages of 20 and 60 were less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease. A different study in 2012 discovered that more frequent mental activities can help maintain brain structures that are important for cognition later in life.
Research conducted at the University of Sussex found that in only six minutes after diving into a book, participants' heart rates and muscle tension relaxed.
Reading in bed has been thought of for a long time to be an easy way to fall asleep. Creating and sticking to a bedtime ritual tells your body when it's time to sleep. Unlike TVs and other screens, books don't emit blue light that keeps you awake longer.