What are the benefits of reading 30 minutes a day? Are there any? And are those benefits even worth it?
Well as a student for almost 84% of my life (grade school + college + med school) I can tell you that I’ve done a lot of reading. And I assure you that I’ve experienced each and every one of these benefits we’ll discuss today.
So if you’re wondering if reading 30 minutes a day is for you – this is the post for you!
Let’s get into it!
Note: If you want to learn how to read more books this year, check out my ultimate guide where I share 33 genuine was to read more!
How Many Hours Of Reading Per Day Do I Need?
Let’s first start with this – is reading 30 minutes a day actually advised? Or should we be reading more or less?
How many hours of reading do you really need per day?
Well first let’s start with how much the typical American reads.
The numbers are cringe-worthy honestly.
In 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released data on how much the typical American reads. They found the average was around 16.8 minutes in 2017!
That’s just a little over 1% of your day!
We can do better right?
Well even worse is the fact that youth between the ages of 15-34 read anywhere from 6.6-8.4 minutes a day!
Compare this to the 166.2 minutes (nearly 3 hours) a day spent watching TV.
At this rate, a typical reader would take nearly 30 days to read just one book.
But how many hours of reading per day do you really need?
The answer would between 15-30 minutes per day.
A study in 2016 showed that young readers saw the largest improvement in reading gains (including reading scores, engagement, etc.) if they spent more than 15 minutes per day.
This effect was even larger in the group reading more than half an hour a day.
Benefits of Reading 30 Minutes A Day:
So we’ve solidified that reading 15 minutes a day is good and reading 30 minutes a day is even better.
Let’s now get into the benefits of reading 30 minutes a day.
1. Improved Sleep:
Anyone who has grabbed a good book instead of their phone before bed knows this benefit.
Reading 30 minutes a day improves your overall sleep patterns.
In fact, just a little reading before sleep (about 6 minutes) have found to improve insomnia and reduce stress by 68%!
In addition, The Sleep Council found that nearly half of the people who read before sleeping claim to sleep very well each night.
So if you’re struggling with insomnia then try putting your phone and tablet away and grab a physical book to read each night. (The blue light from your screens can actually worsen your sleep cycles).
2. Better Empathy:
This topic has been debated for a long period of time. But with continual research, it seems to be that one of the benefits of reading 30 minutes a day includes improved empathy and emotions towards others.
This mainly applies to those who read fiction vs. non-fiction. But I’d argue that reading a half a day will expose you to perspectives that can help you in your real-world interactions.
So if you think you can improve with your communication and warmth towards others – try picking up a good book for 15-30 minutes a day.
This one is likely the one we consider with reading – it makes you smarter.
And there’s a lot of truth to this. Pardon me as my medical background comes out in this one.
Our brains are a connection of electrical signals. The more connections we have (and make) the better we can process information.
Reading is a form of training our brains to make more of these connections.
Think of everything you read as eggs and your brain being the basket. Now, these eggs aren’t any good if we can’t retrieve them.
But with reading, the ability to not only store but actually apply what we learn is improved.
4. Minimize Brain Decline:
Now that we’ve talked about intelligence, let’s talk about the flip side regarding the benefits of reading 30 minutes a day.
Your brain can also fend out decline over the years.
In fact, studies have shown that those who participate in activities such as reading can actually decrease their chances of disease such as Alzheimer’s by 2.5 times!
Remember our brain is a network of connection. As we age that term “use it or lose it” really does apply.
To minimize our rate of decline, we need to keep our brains stimulated for the long run. Activities like reading for 15-30 minutes a day are perfect for this.
Reading has been shown to not only improve your mood but also decrease the chances and symptoms of depression.
In fact, many have commented on the therapeutic nature of reading. Some find it as a vacation from their crazy lives while others find it a way to process their busy thoughts.
Compare this to other forms of entertainment such as TV where our brains are actually suppressed and passive. During reading our brains are functioning and processing the words and arguments to your everyday life.
6. Richer Social Connections:
We’ve all had the experience of talking about a TV show, movie, or sports for hours with our peers. It’s safe to say that participating in these activities improves our social interactions. It connects us with others.
The same goes for reading.
If you read at the average reading rate (250 words per minute) then you can likely finish a 200-page book in about 4 hours.
That would come out to about 3 books in a month and over 45 books in a year!
Imagine the conversations you could have with your peers (or new peers) with just 30 minutes of reading a day?
7. Better Career Opportunities:
The world is moving towards education that is no longer dependent on the traditional schooling model. We have the power of the internet, YouTube, and plenty of free resources.
One of the many benefits of reading 30 minutes a day is the ability to advance or find new career opportunities.
Take this website for example. I learned how to do the coding, blogging, formatting, etc. by just reading about it endlessly for days, months, and years.
In the same way, you could read about how to become a better salesman, marketer, teacher, athlete, etc.
Books can give you expedited education to improve your future, income, and lifestyle.
8. Better Vocabulary:
Ever so often we learn a new word by hearing it enough times on TV. But this effect is at least 10 fold when we read.
While reading we’re exposed to the author’s vocabulary. Thus they may use words that we never knew existed.
But with the power of context, we can quickly figure out what they mean and how we can apply those words into our lives.
Consider the fact that the average reader can see about 7,500 words with just 30 minutes of reading. That’s over 50,000 in just a week!
If you make reading a consistent habit then you’ll be sure to increase your vocabulary!
9. Improved Focus:
Now it’s likely that you’ve liked been distracted and let your mind wander while reading this article. You may be doing it right now.
But with periodic reading, our focus improves.
Similar to any other attribute such as patience, focus improves with practice.
Activities such as yoga, meditation, and reading are perfect to improve your concentration and focus.
And once you learned how to be engrossed in what you’re reading, you remain focused on the plot, arguments, and style of what you’re reading.
These benefits carry over into our daily lives as well.
10. Better Writing:
Similar to improved vocabulary, reading just 30 minutes a day can improve your writing.
The same way we can improve our athletic ability by watching professional athletes at their craft, we can pick up on excellent writing style, grammar, and vocabulary from who we’re reading from.
This can help you if you’re a writer obviously, but it’s certainly not limited to just this group. In fact, you can improve your email writing, social media posts, and any form of writing you take part in.
Read from the best and over time you’ll learn to write a little like them.
11. Free Education:
This is my favorite reason (aside from the decrease brain decline) – reading 30 minutes a day is free and it’s effective.
You can learn about so many aspects of the world which can cost you hundreds and thousands of dollars (and more time) to learn.
I’ve educated myself on personal finance, medicine, real estate, weight loss, and self-improvement with just a few half-hour sessions each day.
Have something you want to learn? You likely don’t have to go to school for it. See if you can go to your local library, bookstore, or find an online resource to get you started.
With just 30-minutes of reading a day, 5 days a week – you’ll likely be better at that topic than a majority of the population.
Seems like a pretty good return on your investment to me.
12. Saving Money:
Jumping off the last point, one of the benefits of reading 30 minutes a day comes from what you’re not doing during that time – spending money.
Our desired forms of entertainment can be expensive at times. Reading a book often costs next to nothing.
So if your budget could be using a bit more tightening, consider investing in a book and limiting your other forms of entertainment for a bit.
These are just a few of the many benefits of reading 30 minutes a day. Remember that can be over 45 books in a year!
Imagine how your life would change with nearly 50 books under your belt (and in your brain) in a year.
Hope you enjoyed this post! You may also enjoy the following posts about reading faster!
Comment below with your favorite benefit of reading!
Thanks for reading!
Now go and read more…