Tiffany’s Totally Unscientific Theory About Introverts and Sleep

In which one of the Moms pretends to be something she’s not.

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tiffany_head_256Remember our post about sleep? We shared some research that concluded introverts do fine on less sleep while extroverts hit the wall without enough shuteye. This is largely due to the way our brains are wired and how we respond to certain stimuli. At the end I theorized introverts need more sleep than extroverts, contrary to the study results.

Because, you know, I am a scientist.

My theory has been somewhat refined thanks largely to this brilliant visual. Here goes:  the more time I spend outside my hamster ball the more sleep I need.

Being outside that ball exhausting. Having people reach inside that ball is exhausting. For introverts, as we all know, this is akin to hooking up our internal battery to some giant, power-sucking device (this comes to mind) and letting it drain our battery right down to empty. 

I’ve observed if I don’t get adequate recharge time physical exhaustion is sure to follow.  Ignoring the tired leads to illness and before I know it I’m bowled over by a sore throat, a sinus infection, or some other respiratory nastiness. And we all know if Mommy is sick everyone suffers.

As a result of this earth-shattering knowledge I have taken a few steps to address the fatigue issue:

1.  Limiting gluten. “So trendy!” you might think. Honestly, however, reducing it has made my energy levels noticeably higher. My legendary ability to consume massive amounts of sweets is going to make holiday baking a challenge this year but in 2014 I plan to eliminate gluten entirely.

2.  Scheduling bedtime. Usually I’m in bed by 9:30 p.m. and read until 10.  Does this happen every night? No. (Damn you, New Yorker magazine!) But the more I stick to the schedule the more rested I feel. And 30 minutes of reading is a good way to transition between being outside the hamster ball and going back in.

3.  Redefining weekend time. This was a tough one but running around like the proverbial poulet sans tête on Saturdays and Sundays does not equal recharging. I am happy to do my chores and spend time with the kids, but at a certain point I need to sit down and be still. It is helpful to make lists, of course, and to set a “Busy Work” time limit.

4.  Taking naps. One per weekend if possible. My body tells me how long to sleep:  sometimes it’s only 30 minutes while other times it’s a two and a half hour monster snooze with Lunchbox.

5.  Drinking water. Tiredness is an easily overlooked symptom of dehydration, and while drinking a lot of water is easy at work it is difficult at home. Thus a new rule:  every time I go into the kitchen (which is A LOT) I drink a glass.

Fellow introverts, have you noticed this about yourselves?  If so how do you cope?

Off to get more H²0.

— Tiffany

 

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