There’s a cost to being a social butterfly. You know the type — always out after work socializing and being the center of attention. It turns out that sleep deprivation his extroverts much harder than non-extroverts. That’s the finding of a new study from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. The story comes to us via AOL Health:
The research was conducted using 48 volunteer subjects who were forced to stay awake for 36 hours under the scrutiny of researchers at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. The subjects were divided into groups based on personality tests determining if they were extroverts or introverts and then subjected to either socially enriched or socially impoverished environments. “Extroverts exposed to social environments were more vulnerable to subsequent sleep deprivation than were introverts,” the study authors concluded.
Researchers aren’t sure why extroverts who are socially active have more trouble with wakefulness, but they did have a few theories, including the idea that social engagement may fatigue the same areas of the brain responsible for alertness. Since introverts tend not to be as socially engaged as extroverts, they may not experience the same level of brain activity when engaged in social activities. It’s possible introverts might also naturally shy away from the stimulation of a social environment.