What reading at bedtime reveals about your personality

October 9, 2018

If you hit the books right after you hit the sheets—but before you go to sleep—what does that say about your personality?

According the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator—a free, online personality assessment program designed to help you better understand what makes you tick, how you relate to others, and how you can benefit from this knowledge in everyday life—if you read at bedtime, you just might be an introvert.

Specifically, Dr. Kim Chronister, a licensed clinical psychologist, author, and media commentator based in California, told Elite Daily by email this month, “The most typical personality type that reads before bedtime is an INFJ personality type.

INFJ,” Chronister explains, stands for “intuitive, feeling, and judging.” Basically, she says, INFJs — and people who like to read before going to bed — tend to be more introverted, and therefore more energized by alone time, and they often make decisions in an organized way, based on their own personal feelings and values, rather than as spontaneous or unplanned choices.

Nick Hobson, a behavioral scientist, lecturer at the University of Toronto, and co-founder of PsychologyCompass.com, told Elite Daily that being a voracious reader, in general, might indicate that you’re an open-minded person. “In particular, there is one main character trait from personality science called ‘openness to experience,'” he tells Elite Daily in an email. “People high in this trait tend to enjoy different forms of art and literature, especially fiction. Just as the [term ‘openness to experience’] suggests, these people crave and are open to new situations. And they derive a certain ‘joie de vivre’ from experiencing the novel and the different, including stories and literature.”

As for reading at bedtime, specifically? “To me it indicates a personality that is more conscientious and emotionally stable,” Hobson says. “These people ritualize their reading as a way to bring about some predictability in their life. Orderliness is a natural anxiety-reliever. And feeling calm is a great thing before the head hits the pillow.”

If you’re drawn to reading a lot of fiction, in particular, before you go to sleep, Heidi McBain, a licensed marriage and family therapist and professional counselor, told the news outlet, this could mean you’re looking for a healthy escape from your everyday routine, which can also serve as a great form of self-care.

As long as your fictional escapes aren’t so enthralling that they’re causing you to furiously turn the pages for hours and miss out on a good night’s sleep, McBain says it’s a great nighttime ritual to adopt.

Research contact: @totalhellness

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