Extraverts more vulnerable to effects of sleep deprivation after social interaction

November, 2010

A small study suggests that social activities are more tiring for extraverts than introverts, and that this personality trait may influence the effect of sleep loss on attention.

A study involving 48 healthy adults aged 18-39 has found that extraverts who were deprived of sleep for 22 hours after spending 12 hours in group activities performed worse on a vigilance task that did those extraverts who engaged in the same activities on their own in a private room. Introverts were relatively unaffected by the degree of prior social interaction.

The researchers suggest that social interactions are cognitively complex experiences that may lead to rapid fatigue in brain regions that regulate attention and alertness, and (more radically) that introverts may have higher levels of cortical arousal, giving them greater resistance to sleep deprivation.


Rupp TL; Killgore WDS; Balkin TJ. Socializing by day may affect performance by night: vulnerability to sleep deprivation is differentially mediated by social exposure in extraverts vs introverts. SLEEP 2010;33(11):1475-1485.


Shows how the brain could well be learning skills overnight

Very interesting. It has been said to be the opposite at the time of interaction, so that extroverts are charged during social contact, and introverts are drained.

It could well be that if their brain has it as a priority, then more time is spent learning from / mulling over such experiences during sleep.

This could even be a way of find where your innate talents lie. Find what makes you need more sleep! E.g. If you need more sleep after playing music. Of course it is also likely you will enjoy playing music too!

It also helps shows that most of our talents could be learned / not innate, and perhaps a good amount of this occurs during sleep. The innate part - is not a knowledge of the skill - but how interesting / enjoyable you find it. So people are drawn towards their calling, and then learn more from it at night.