News Science 7 Ways Reading Improves Health, According to Science By Melissa Breyer Editorial Director Hunter College F.I.T., State University of New York Cornell University Melissa Breyer is Treehugger’s editorial director. She is a sustainability expert and author whose work has been published by the New York Times and National Geographic, among others. our editorial process Melissa Breyer Updated October 11, 2018 Public Domain Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices From better sleep and increased happiness to a longer life in general, the benefits of reading go far beyond just a good story. You know what's good for you? Reading. Well, reading books, that is. I have recently joked (kind of) that I would add a decade to my life if I stopped reading the news for a while. But since I'm in the business of news, going without might prove challenging. However, now I have the antidote: Books! Maybe if I counter every news story about potential constitutional crisis with a few chapters of Edith Wharton, I will come out even! Joking aside (kind of), the surprising ways in which we can boost our health are really pretty remarkable. For all the miracle supplements and kooky diets and exercise fads that we adopt to foster health and wellness, we've already got a terrific ally right there in the bookshelf. Consider the following benefits of reading. 1. It is linked to a longer life2. It reduce stress3. It promotes relaxation and sleep4. It fends against Alzheimer’s, dementia and mental decline5. It helps with depression6. It boosts happiness7. It builds social connections And is this just a way for me to justify a good plop on the sofa with a book? No. Well yes, but still, it is true. And it is all backed by scientific research, the details of which you can glean in this infographic from Global English Editing. © Global English Editing So there you have it. Embrace the books, get lost in a story, feel better ... your couch is waiting for you!