For both children and adults, reading is very important because it helps us expand both our knowledge and imagination. Moreover, books are excellent companions against boredom. Here are 7 science-based good reasons to teach your kids to read, a lot, more and again.

1. Reading is a great way to chill out
According to a 2009 research, reading is the most effective way to reduce stress, even better than listening to music or taking a bath or a walk.

2. Reading extends your lifespan
Frequent doses of reading can add years to your life. A Yale University study revealed that people who read books for 30 minutes per day lived about two years longer than thoses reading only newspapers and magazines.

3. Reading increases your intelligence
From a very young age, reading books opens up a vast world of knowledge. The acquisition and development of vocabulary through reading leads to better scores on reading tests and better scores on general tests of intelligence performed on children. In addition, good reading skills can result in higher levels of intelligence later in life.

4. Reading boosts your brainpower
Not only does regular reading make you smarter, but it also improves the power of your brain. It increases your memory function through useful exercise. With age comes a decline in brain and memory, a process that can be slowed by frequent reading.

5. Reading helps you sleep better
Following a regular de-stressing routine before going to bed calms the mind, giving to the body a signal that it's time to switch off. Reading can be one of the best habits to include in your daily routine.

6. Reading makes you more empathetic
Reading good books can help strengthen your relations with other people. Literacy fiction, in particular, allows readers to better understand others' thoughts and emotions.

7. Reading can prevent Alzheimer's disease
People who engage through mental activities like reading or playing chess, or doing puzzles, for example, can be 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer than people spending time on less stimulating activities. Research suggests that brain exercises are efficient protection for the brain.

Picture: Interesting Story, by Laura Muntz Lyall (Wikipedia, w/Effects)