introvert trying to sleep

Falling asleep is hard when your mind is working an introvert’s detail!

One of the things many clients and others have spoken to me about and especially lately is how hard it can be to get to sleep. That can be not drifting to sleep at bed time and (even worse) waking up in the night.

I can empathise, as I have been through these struggles too and still do, sometimes, but I’ve spent a year working on them as I’ve started to see how critical sleep is to work performance and feeling good. Two interesting things:

  1. Why now?
  2. Why more introverts than extroverts?

Why now?

What’s different over the last 12 months? Well, I guess you know that one . Working patterns are totally different, working from home and stresses (varying from mild economy worries to major covid fears and a lot in between).

Of course these all link together, but one of the interesting working from home issues is there’s no commute after work. That can mean the brain doesn’t switch off.

Tip 1 – I solved this one by creating a commute. It involves saying “work is done, it’s time for a run”. A short run or walk (I’m naturally lazier than I’d like to believe) helps create a state change in the head, then no work until bedtime. Just restful activities to quiet the mind.

Create a commute

Jon Baker

Why introverts?

OK, OK, you may be an extrovert and I know extroverts suffer insomnia too. I am just wondering if they have different things whizzing round in their heard. Where I’ve spoken to introverts (because that’s what I do) there’s a common theme and it might make sense. Many introverts spend time being reflective when their minds quieten down. That means at the time when we need to quiet the mind, it starts whirling in circles!

Tip 2- Again, rest, but perhaps with something to gently occupy the mind. In the last hour before bed, prepare for sleep. I quietly listen to audio books (but only ones I’ve already listened to and know are peaceful, relaxing and yet interesting stories). I find that too interesting a book and I wake up, too boring and it’s annoying. The idea many have told me is to find something that just about hooks enough of the mind to stop you thinking about things.

Rest in a way that occupies just enough of the mind

Jon Baker

Waking up in the night

Jelly Fish
Part of my relaxing by being underwater routine
Part of my relaxation routine,
imagine I’m scuba diving

There are times when I wake up in the night. I give myself 2 choices, cheat or work at sleep. Work at sleep is the better thing (mainly as I’m always suspicious of any easy “hacks”) , I imagine myself relaxing muscle by muscle, counting breaths and relaxing. Then I mentally spend time scuba diving (which is my passion and you have to relax for). It’s just enough thought to stop my mind working. But there are times when I can’t be bothered! That’s when…..

OR- cheat. I have a Bluetooth headband which plays my book quietly to me for 20 minutes and never hear it stop!

Jon Baker

Helping leaders understand introversion and build productivity.