8 titles to help you sleep better

8 titles to help you sleep better

In Reading Lists by Molly Hurford

8 titles to help you sleep better

True crime stories aren’t new. Shows like Dateline and Unsolved Mysteries have captivated audiences for decades, but in recent years, podcasts and audiobooks have given this category new life. Today, there are dozens of excellent audio-format books and series covering real-life events, which often shine new light on old cases thanks to tireless investigative reporting. They’re compelling, but also a great way to kill some time on a road trip, while working out, or whenever you need a little in-ear entertainment.

These are 11 of the best true crime podcasts and audiobooks available on Scribd right now.

This book by sleep expert and neuroscientist Matthew Walker will convince you that sleep isn't just a pleasant activity, it's also critical to our productivity. Sleeping is the best way to biohack your body, giving you time to recover and re-energize — and be less grumpy, of course. The book instantly became a New York Times bestseller, and even super-achievers like Bill Gates are converts after reading it. Walker doesn't just explain how sleep makes us happier and healthier or how it helps us potentially prevent certain cancers and diseases like Alzheimer's, he also walks through some practical tips for better sleep. 

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If you don’t have time to read an entire book about sleep, try this 10-minute summary of Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time. Huffington — the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post — wrote her bestselling book after realizing how unhappy and unwell she was when she was chronically fatigued. A lack of sleep, she argues, has huge consequences on our mental and physical health and happiness. She points out that getting more sleep might feel like we're giving up time to get more done and get ahead, but really, it’s what allows us to show up as our best selves. This quick read will remind you about the need to sleep — and provide a few of Huffington's top tips for making time for more sleep.

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Many of us who struggle to fall asleep once we're in bed are lying awake because of anxieties and worries that creep in when we try to relax at night. Unfortunately, that can lead to bouts of insomnia and disrupted sleep. The solution isn't to turn to sleeping aids, it's to get to the root of the problem by working on our issues with anxiety and worry, and those nagging voices in our heads. Reid Wilson, PhD, shares some unconventional methods for coping with that internal monologue. Rather than trying to ignore those negative thoughts, Wilson urges us to face that anxiety and worry before bed to move past it. Once you do, sleep will come much easier. 

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If you tend to lay in bed with a racing mind, mulling over everything that happened that day, try this audiobook to help soothe you to sleep. Bedtime stories aren't just for kids; they can also help adults go from frantic and anxious to soothed and snoozy. The mechanisms that help children fall asleep when being read a story apply to us as well. Of course, for those nights when sleep doesn't seem to be coming soon enough, consider reading (or listening to) a classic like War and Peace. If you're tired and you dig into a heavy classic like that, it's almost guaranteed you'll be asleep in minutes. 

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Some people simply can't fall asleep no matter how hard they try. Insomnia is a real problem for many, and the chronic stress that millions suffer from lately makes it even more common. In You Are Getting Sleepy, authors and experts in behavioral sleep medicine Paul Glovinsky and Arthur Spielman share daily routines and rituals, cognitive behavior treatments, and other science-based interventions for finally getting to sleep. 

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Need to start small? Start here. If you're a productivity junkie who needs reassurance that sleeping more won't put you behind in your quest for world domination, start your quest for better sleep with Tiny Habits. A habit expert from Stanford University, Fogg explains how to sleep better with habit change — something that all productivity lovers understand. His tiny habits and advice on how to implement them are practical, and you may find this book to be more straightforward and manageable compared to other, longer sleep-based books on this list. 

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While this book isn't entirely about sleep, it will help those who want to be more productive get to bed at a reasonable hour. To "get more done before 8 a.m. than most will do all day," as Abedikichi promises in Morning Magic, you need to get to bed early enough to wake up refreshed and ready to take on the world. In fact, two of his "four pillars of a magical morning" are about your bedtime routine and your sleep. In other words: If you want to become a morning person, start with your bedtime habits and see what magic happens. 

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One of the best books written on stress, Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, has been updated to add new important chapters about sleep and why we need it. Author Sapolsky argues that we now lie in bed awake worried about problems we've created with our own unhealthy lifestyles: We worry about things like heart disease and gut issues, despite the many ways we can work to prevent those problems. The stress we feel worrying about getting those diseases ultimately leads to worsening health. It's a vicious cycle, but it's one we can break. You'll learn how to control your stress response during the day and at night, making it much easier to fall asleep and stay asleep — and get healthier in the process.

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About the Author: Molly Hurford

Molly is a writer and bookworm in love with all things wellness related. When not playing outside, she’s writing or podcasting about being outside and healthy habits for The Consummate Athlete. She also writes books, including the Shred Girls series. In her spare time, she runs, rides bikes, and hikes with her mini-dachshund and husband.
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