I think it is very useful having a side table by my bed (or two). Having adequate lighting by your bed is also important. At home I have a side table with a shelf and drawer. I keep books on the shelf (aka my Harry Potter collection) and the drawer is full of miscellaneous things. It's also handy having a place to sit a glass of water and my iPad (or book).
My bedroom at home.
Inside the drawer
Inside my side table I keep my TV remote, glasses and miscellaneous books and magazines. It's also useful to have a hair-tie and chap-stick near your bed.
Second Side Table
What do you keep in your bedside table?