What Your Sleep Reveals About Your Personality

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Introverts and extraverts
react differently to sleep deprivation.
Introverts are naturally
better at dealing with sleep deprivation after a busy day of social
interactions, research finds.
Despite being kept awake for
22 hours, introverts remained more alert than extroverts when tested the next
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It may be because introverts
generally have higher cortical arousal.
In contrast, extraverts are
vulnerable to sleep loss after interacting with many people during the day.
After being kept awake all
night, they were more sleepy the next day than introverts.
Dr Tracy L. Rupp, who led the
study, said:
“Extroverts exposed to
socially enriched environments showed greater vulnerability to subsequent sleep
deprivation than did extroverts exposed to an identical but socially
impoverished environment 
The ability of introverts to
resist sleep loss was relatively unaffected by the social environment. 
Overall, the present results
might also be interpreted more generally to suggest that waking experiences,
along with their interaction with individual characteristics, influence
vulnerability to subsequent sleep loss.”
The study included 48 people
who did a series of tasks for 12 hours either on their own or in a group.
Everyone was then kept awake
for 22 hours and given periodic tests of alertness.
Although introverts and
extroverts usually slept about the same on a normal night, it was the
introverts who did better on the tests after being sleep deprived.
The introvert’s ability to
resist sleep loss could be down to genetic factors.
Social interactions are often
complex and require people to regulate their attention and alertness.
As a result, more sleep may be
required to recover.
Dr Rupp said:
“These data have practical
relevance for occupational shift work and military operational assignments, and
theoretical implications for understanding individual-difference factors
influencing vulnerability or resiliency to sleep loss.”
The study was published in the
journal Sleep (Rupp et al., 2010).

Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.