Evil Deeds

A forensic psychologist on anger, madness and destructive behavior.

Holiday Self-Help : Do Introverts Need More Sleep than Extraverts?

Sure, this festive time of year is an extravert's dream: constant socializing, parties, travel, etc. But even extraverts can get too much of a good thing. Whatever type you happen to tend toward (no one is 100% introverted or extraverted), the secret to surviving the holiday season intact--and maybe even coming out more whole than before--is balance. Read More

so interesting!

Such many interesting ideas to mull (which, of course, we introverts love to do).

I'd be curious to know how many other introverts are the same, but I am a very vivid dreamer. And I do, as you suggest, think about those dreams and try to ascribe meaning to the most intense ones--especially if they flash back on me during the day. I interpret those flashbacks to mean there is some connection between the waking activity and the dream. I also have nightmares, so sometimes prepare for bed with a little bit of dread.

I tend to be more night owl than morning lark--partly, I think, because nighttime is so peaceful after the demands of the day. I wonder if other introverts also find they stay up late just to enjoy a quiet house. I also find that it can be difficult to turn off my busy mind in order to sleep--at times I have to push myself to exhaustion before I can shut down and shut my eyes. I find napping virtually impossible. But I definitely don't subscribe to the "I'll sleep when I'm dead" philosophy. I like sleeping.

For what all that is worth.

One other specific point I would like to address: While I agree that it's healthy for us all to tap into both our introverted and extroverted sides, I don't think introverts dread behaving as extroverts or are in a "self-imposed shell." That sounds awfully negative. Many of us are happy to interact, and I don't consider myself to be in a shell; I just sometimes choose to be reserved. Introverts just enjoy a different type of interaction than extroverts do, we are overwhelmed by too much hooplah (and this season is nothing if not hooplah), and we require more time than extroverts to recharge in between social situations.

World of Introverts

I certainly agree with your second point of discussion, I have heard that all my life about being stuck up in a 'shell'. Its very negative. Introversion is connected to types of humans who choose to view the world in a much different perspective then the so-called extroverts or intro-extros. Also for the past two years, I have been noticing my urge to stay up doing the night always hoping to discover something; I know its unhealthy but its rewarding in ways.

When you have a chance check out this article "Sleep is the Price the Brain pays for Learning" its quite interesting. http://www.med.wisc.edu/news-events/shy-hypothesis-sleep-is-the-price-th...

Sleep rocks!

I confess that I never gave much thought to this idea of introverts possibly needing more sleep than others, though I am an INTP and I positively cherish my sleep. After decades of punching time clocks at crazy hours, and being forced to sleep-on-demand, etc., the greatest privilege of retirement is the opportunity to sleep whenever I choose to.

Sometimes I accept brief part-time jobs to supplement my income (pet sitting, for example); but anything that involves setting an alarm clock for a prolonged period, I will refuse. I hate feeling sleep-deprived, and while I don't over-evaluate my dreams, I believe they play a definite role in clearing my head, and a good night's sleep refreshes my whole being. I'm a night owl who is usually up till midnight, but I don't have to awaken any earlier than my internal clock wants to, so it works out OK.

Frankly, I think the value/importance of sleep has been overlooked at great peril to the health and well-being of our society. Sleep deprived drivers can be just as dangerous as drunks (especially if they're texting; LOL); not to mention the personal, individual consequences. What do you suppose it will take for people to "wake up" to this truth?

I'll retreat back under my rock now...

Reply to kubaba

Not sure if your question "What do you suppose it will take for people to 'wake up' to this truth?" was meant to be purely rhetorical or not. My reply would be: The same thing it typically takes for people to wake up to the importance, power and reality of the unconscious and our inner needs. Namely, some sort of crisis--psychological, spiritual and/or physical--is often what spurs us to start taking the truth of our inner, spiritual needs seriously and valuing things like sleep, quiet, solitude, comtemplation and introversion at least as much as outer material and worldly pursuits such as wealth, power, success and consumerism.

introvert speaking

i'm not sure i need more sleep... but i like to sleep, so i do whenever i can. also, too much social stimulation puts me off so i feel sleepy. further, many obligatory social situations one has to be in involve really dull people who put me to sleep. i have a few cool close friends, good reading material and good music to keep me awake. or i'd be asleep most of the time.

I'm an introvert and I don't

I'm an introvert and I don't think I need more sleep than most of the people around me. I think I probably get less sleep during the week than most people. I likely should get 6-7 hours, but can function on 5 hours.

Then again I'm probably not a typical introvert since I enjoy performing and like parties. Some people are shocked when I get quiet. I just need plenty of alone time in between those times. Sometimes I skimp sleep to get that alone time.

Stopped reading at Dream interpretting

The article seemed fine up until the point where she basically discredited every person who does research on sleep. There is simply no grounds to assume that dreams are "trying to tell us something". In a vague pseudopsychological level sure, if you dream of where you left the keys that you lost and you happen to find it the next day, then congrats, you've managed to reap one of the perks of memory formation while you're asleep. However such kinds of phenomena is a part of the 0.01% of 'dream events' (for lack of a better term) that you remember, let alone has any meaning behind it. We remember far too little of the dreams we have to think that they have a true purpose to them.

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Stephen Diamond, Ph.D., is a clinical and forensic psychologist in LA and the author of Anger, Madness, and the Daimonic: The Psychological Genesis of Violence, Evil, and Creativity.

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