I wrote a few weeks ago about being an extroverted introvert.
I received so many different responses, and a lot of ME TOOs, that I started thinking about some of the challenges we face and how to deliberately tackle them.
One of my biggest challenges is sleep.
This is my theory: I’m around people all day. I work with people. I’m in meetings with people. I have conference calls with people. Sometimes, sigh, I even have to have lunches with people or go to cocktail receptions with people. I am completely and utterly drained at work day’s end. Then I go home. From the second I pull into the driveway, I’m around people. Little people who have missed me, and a big person who I love and with whom I need to converse. So then for several more hours I am with more people. There is no dark hole to crawl into. It’s just people. Everywhere. Like ants.
How does this impact my sleep?
Well, eventually everyone goes to bed. The little people finally stop popping out of their room around 9-ish (I know, I’m working on it, we put them down at 8). My husband will head to bed around 10 and half the time I will go too.
The allure of a quiet dark space with NO people is incredibly tantalizing.
I can stay up and watch a show I taped, weeks ago.
I can stay up and work on a puzzle.
I can stay up and write. I love to write late at night (if there’s any juice left).
I can stay up and read a book that ends up mesmerizing me into chapters that deliver me to a bedtime past midnight.
All that quiet. No interruptions. Recharging my craving and need for solitude.
Then I am POOPED the next morning when my alarm trills before 6 am.
My need for sleep may be entirely unrelated to my introversion. I’m just a girl who needs a lot of sleep. I realize the ship may have sailed on 8 hours, but I really do need 7 hours.
So how do you balance your need to be awake with no people with your need for sleep?
I don’t know that you completely do. But I have a few ideas.
Turn off the radio on your commute and put down the Voxer and just regroup. Enjoy the 45 minute cocoon of silence (What? You’re not all so lucky to have almost an hour commute? Well, sit in your car on your street an extra five minutes.).
Block a couple of lunches out on your calendar every week. Get a pair of noise cancelling headphones and sit at your desk with your soup and some good tunes and just spend 30 minutes having zero conversations. If you’re in an open concept office like me, a killer for introverts, do not make eye contact with anyone during your weekly introvert recharge.
Then give yourself one weeknight a week to blow it. Stay up and watch that show and write in your journal and read that delicious book longer than is reasonable. You’ve earned the quiet.
And quite frankly, you need the quiet.