Restless nights don’t discriminate. All personality types are subject to late-night tossings and turnings and the inevitable exhaustion it brings. There are also tactics that help everyone: such as not eating late, keeping the room dark and electronic-free, staying away from screens for a least an hour, and restricting the allure of caffeine to mornings.
That said, knowing yourself and your Myers-Briggs personality type can definitely help you explore what particular kinds of stressors might be keeping you up and away from good ol’ shut eye.
The mother-daughter duo Isabel Briggs Myers and Katherine Briggs identified 16 personality types based on four pairs of traits: introversion or extroversion, intuition or sensing, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving—creating personality acronyms such as ENFJ or ISTP.
Statistically, some personality segments may slightly struggle more in getting a decent night’s rest than others. For instance, roughly 72% of ‘ST’ personalities consistently get good rest, while only 60% of ‘NT’ do. However, all personalities benefit from a bedtime routine, but just not necessarily the same one!
We organized all sixteen personalities into four categories of similar minds, so if the suggested routine doesn’t sound right for you—the other three in your category might also be worth trying.
Now, with no further ado:
‘NT’ personalities should settle down with structure.
INTJ : Turn off the screens and give your mind permission to run through your day—either by taking a shower, or taking a walk to a relaxing series of songs you’ve curated just for these kinds of sleepy thoughts. Once you’ve given yourself this space to think, breathe deeply and try not think of anything for five whole minutes.
INTP: For you, reading (on blue-light free device) will help you wind down, and dedicate a specific book just for bed time reading. One INTP discovered that reading something particularly dense—like Sartre or T.S. Eliot—does the trick.
ENTJ: Keep an old-fashioned journal by your bed (nope, that app on your phone doesn’t count)—and set aside time to write down all those new plans—just so you have assurance that if a good idea pops up, you can store it there, not in your brain.
ENTP: Simply forcing yourself to get bed can be hardest part. Commit to a specific time—give or take twenty or thirty minutes. One ENTP was able to go to sleep by signing up for Habitica which “gamified” her sleep habits, and made her accountable to other people on her “team.”
‘NF’ personalities find peace and relaxation through being inspired.
INFJ: As you’re laying in bed, halt the “shoulds,” and just let yourself be as you are and pray or meditate. Find a relaxing essential oil scent, and either rub it on your temples or massage it on your neck, while inhaling the scent.
INFP: Drink some calming tea—such as chamomile or peppermint—and set aside fifteen minutes to let your imagination soar—either through reading, listening to music, or simply reimagining the events of the day, before curling up with a short story or poem.
ENFJ: Turn on some calming music, and let go of the day’s worries through stretching; as you stretch, acknowledge the people who brought you joy that day, and let go of the ones that brought you stress. Push aside all the hypothetical scenarios dealing with people—and focus on the moment and your stretching before you get under the sheets.
ENFP: If you haven’t already, put your cell phone far, far away (preferably in a different room), and calm all your senses by taking a quick, warm shower or bath with a calming essential oil. As you go to sleep, visualize one specific thing that relaxes you, and transport yourself there.
‘SJ’ personalities need to create space and a routine.
ISTJ: Precise and methodical, committing to a specific bedtime, probably comes naturally to you. You’ll feel most relaxed, however, if you check tomorrow’s weather and lay out your outfit in advance.
ISFJ: Definitely keep your bedroom screen-free, and if you haven’t already, decorate it with photos of people that you love—so when you go to bed you’re reminded of the joy they bring you. As you go to sleep, try and think about all the little things you’re grateful for.
ESTJ: A creature of habit, it might be easy to wind down with your favorite show, but try and keep the screens away. If you haven’t already done so, pick up a book instead—but restrict yourself to only one chapter.
ESFJ: Consider journaling as way to relax into a productive routine. Start by summarizing how you felt that day, and outline small, achievable goals for tomorrow. Don’t overwhelm yourself with thinking about the feelings of others; acknowledge them, but remember that ultimately you’re only responsible for you.
‘SP’ personalities should let their body get heavy.
ISTP: As a problem solver, it can be hard to go to sleep if there’s something that needs to be fixed; instead of obsessing over what needs to be done, though, remind yourself that sleep will help you solve your problems better, and then focus on the here and now by stretching and deep breathing.
ISFP: Let the tension and the emotions go, and try falling asleep by listening to sounds of nature—either by downloading this awesome app or by purchasing a sound machine. As you fall asleep, imagine transporting yourself to another place, and letting go of all the day’s frustrations.
ESTP: As you fall asleep, it can be easy to rehash all the things on your to-do list, and become overwhelmed; instead just think about just one big thing that needs to be accomplished tomorrow—and visualize yourself tackling the problem smoothly, as you breathe in deeply and feel your body becoming heavy.
ESFP: You are particularly sensitive to outside stimuli, so right before you lay down, set aside five or ten minutes and find ways to turn off any distractions. Light a scented candle, and try to listen to the silence, or zone out to the white noise surrounding you. Breath in deeply, to do some basic stretches before you blow out the candle and go to bed. Add in essential oils, if it’s not too distracting!