5 long-term benefits of reading for the brain (2023)

people wereReading and writing since at least 3500 BC, although the way we read has changed a lot in the last 5,500 years.

In the past, reading was reserved only for high-born people and scholars. Normal, ordinary people in the world would normally spend their entire lives never learning to read. Only in the last hundred years has literacy become the norm.

In 1820, the global literacy rate was just 12%. By 1900, it had improved only slightly, to just over 20%. 2022,that number reached a whopping 87 percent, about seven billion people. Unlike ancient times, today it is virtually impossible to go through life without reading.

Reading is more than just a necessary tool for navigating today's world. All sorts of additional brain benefits can come from reading. If you think of your brain as a muscle (although it istechnically an organ), serious reading or the mental equivalent of lifting weights.

Read on for a workout that will make you even savvy.

The 5 benefits of reading for the brain

The human brain is a highly complex organ that needs to be stimulated almost constantly.

For example - there are many things we don't know about dreams but seem to beat leastpartiallyinspired by a bored brain.The brain stays active while you sleep, so inventing engaging and creative dreams is one way to have fun.

However, you are responsible for mentally stimulating your brain while you are awake.Of. The occasional daydream can keep your mind active, but you'll want toDo a few more engaging activities to keep you sharp..

One of the easiest (and most effective) ways to do this is by reading. It doesn't have to be classic literature either. just thatLeiReading alone can help strengthen your brain in some powerful ways.

Strengthens connections in your brain

The brain consists of three basic units:the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain. Within each of these three entities are a variety of regions. Each region has unique characteristics.

Die RegionThe left temporal cortex is most closely associated with language comprehension.By using this region to process and understand written words, the inner neurons are tasked with transmitting the information.

The same regions and neurons are also involved in the processing of spoken language. However, the visual act of reading a book takes a little more effort and is therefore more demanding than auditory language processing. This is basically why most dogshave no problem learning about 165 words, but it is virtually impossible for them to learn to read.

The additional challenge that reading brings canforce your neurons to form stronger connections with each other. That's the equivalent of lifting 50 pounds of materials at work every day. The muscles involved have no choice but to adapt and get stronger. Reading is the same for your brain, except interneural connectivity gets stronger.

Increases your general intelligence

It's no secret that reading a lot of books better educates you about the subject they were written about. If you read enough good books on a certain subject, you can become a scholar and an expert. This goes for just about any style of writing, from literary fiction to self-help books.

But that's not exactly what we're talking about here. You see,Knowledge and intelligence are two different things..

Knowledge is a collection of skills and information that you have acquired. Intelligence is the ability to apply that knowledge. You can be the most educated person in the world, but you probably wouldn't be as good if you didn't have the intelligence to use it properly. Reading is a way to acquire both.

First, it's important to understand that there are different types of intelligence. For IQ (intelligence quotient) testsThere are three types of intelligence that are measured:

  • Candied:Previously Collected Facts, Data and Information
  • Fluent:Abstract thinking, problem solving and pattern recognition
  • Emotional:Recognize, regulate and understand emotions in self and others

Reading can help you improve your intelligence in different categories in the following ways:

crystallized intelligence

We've already talked about how reading increases your knowledge, so let's focus on vocabulary for a second. There isapproximately 171,146 English words.

You're unlikely to find them all as you read, but you're much more likely to find new ones. If you see a new word that you don't know, you'll probably look it up in a dictionary or use context clues to figure it out. Each time you do this, you add another word to your vocabulary.

fluid intelligence

With Fluid Intelligence, you can identify patterns and solve problems. In a way, reading comprehension is like a mathematical equation. You must join the letters of each word and add them to a sentence to understand its meaning.

reading requiresmuch more strain on your brain than you think. There are many symbols and patterns associated with reading. The more you encounter them, the more familiar your brain becomes with them. Therefore, in the future, it will become more efficient in identifying similar patterns and increase its ability to identify them.

emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence allows you to experience new emotions and understand them with confidence. Reading offers a unique opportunity to put yourself in the shoes of a fictional character or a real person in history.

You will experience other people's state of mind, which can help you better understand others' emotions. This ability is critical to developing healthy and rewarding social relationships, which are often complex.

Combine these advantagescan improve cognitive and non-cognitive functions of heavy readers. You will be exposed to more knowledge, problems and emotions. The extra exposure will make you smarter than before and likely increase your IQ by several points.

Helps lower your stress levels

Anyone can tell you that life can get stressful. There's a lot going on in everyday life and it doesn't take much for the brain to become overwhelmed. happily readingan excellent way to calm your brain through distraction.

The act of reading fiction will require a lot of brain power. You must be actively paying attention and understanding the words to follow the text. It's not like a movie where you're overloaded with information.

The images and sounds in movies allow you to get the gist without having to concentrate too hard. Reading takes a lot more effort, making it easier to get lost in the words.

You can get so lost reading that it might even happenReduce your stress levels by up to 68%.That number comes from a recent study that found that reading was more effective than listening to music, walking, playing video games, or drinking a cup of tea in managing stress.

The act of distraction is often enough to lower stress levels. But actively engaging your imagination through reading allows you to enter an altered state of mind where the issues that cause you stress are muted for a while.

In addition to brain function and developing connections between different areas of the brain, reading (especially reading the best books on the shelf) can do wonders for your mental health.

Improves memory and concentration

Earlier, we talked about the different types of intelligence. Fluid and crystallized intelligence are two pillars of intelligence. Fluid intelligence requires intense concentration and crystallized intelligence requires strong memory. reading (and make some changes to your diet) is an excellent way to improve both of these skills.

The main reason reading has such a positive effect is to build and stimulate your neurons. Science is a little tricky thoughEssentially, your mind becomes more efficient at creating "mind maps" that store information. These "maps" help you process the words you read faster and remember them later.

Furthermore, some studies suggest that reading more canDelay the onset of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline, among other health benefits.

Neuroscientists are still working on how reading can rewire the brain. But the general consensus seems to be that there's no harm in reading regularly.

Helps you fall asleep faster

sleep isone of the most beneficial activities for your brain. Unfortunately, the world is full of blue lights emanating from electronic screens and modern light bulbs. These blue lights are beneficial during the day as they help to increase your alertness and improve your reaction times.

The problem is these effectsdevastating at night as you prepare for sleep. Light of any kind suppresses melatonin, but blue light is particularly effective at this.

Melatonin is the hormone your brain produces when it's dark. Its main purpose isregulate your sleep schedule by shutting down your brain and preparing for sleep. By watching TV, browsing the phone, or surfing the web in the early evening, you can make it harder for your body to prepare for sleep.

This is where reading a great book comes in. There's no blue light to be found with a good old fashioned book. Of course you need a light to see the text at night. However, the blue light from incandescent bulbs is much less harmful to your sleep than a screen.

So if you're an avid e-reader, it might be time to switch to the traditional version - a good read in your hands from your local library or bookstore. It can make a big differencehelps you fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and have better sleep quality.

Give your brain a boost

It should be clear that reading is an excellent way to increase your brain power. Reading is often taken for granted, but it is one of the healthiest activities for your brain. Just a few pages a day are enough to experience the variety of benefits listed above.

Looking for more ways to support your brain?Check out the MOSH blog herefor neuroscientific tips and tricks to fuel your brain.


Does reading a book in bed make a difference to sleep or not reading a book in bed? The People's Trial - A Pragmatic, Randomized Online Trial | PMC

Melatonin: What You Need to Know | NCCIH

Blue light has a dark side | Harvard Health

Mind Maps in Memory Recovery and Understanding | NCBI-Bücherregal

Predictors and impacts of artistic engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic | Limits

Reading to Relieve Stress | Take responsibility for your health and well-being

Does learning to read improve intelligence? A multivariate longitudinal analysis in identical twins aged 7 to 16 years | PMC

How many words does it take to speak a language? | BBC News

The role of intelligence quotient and emotional intelligence in cognitive threshold control processes

Collective Intelligence and Knowledge Exploitation: An Introduction | PMC

Reading Ability and Structural Brain Development | PMC

Dog researcher puts canine intelligence on par with human 2-year-old APA

Brain Map: Temporal Lobes | queensland health

Brain Fundamentals: Know Your Brain | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Why Your Brain Needs to Dream | greater good

This is how the global literacy rate has grown in 200 years | World Economic Forum

A Brief History of Literacy | UTA online

Keep reading to keep Alzheimer's under control | Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research Foundation

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jeremiah Abshire

Last Updated: 02/26/2023

Views: 5877

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (54 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jeremiah Abshire

Birthday: 1993-09-14

Address: Apt. 425 92748 Jannie Centers, Port Nikitaville, VT 82110

Phone: +8096210939894

Job: Lead Healthcare Manager

Hobby: Watching movies, Watching movies, Knapping, LARPing, Coffee roasting, Lacemaking, Gaming

Introduction: My name is Jeremiah Abshire, I am a outstanding, kind, clever, hilarious, curious, hilarious, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.