INFJ Sleep Problems: How to Sleep Better

“I love sleep. My life has a tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”

Ernest Hemingway

I love to sleep for the exact same reason. I also need to sleep. I literally cannot function without an adequate amount every night. Many INFJs struggle with going to sleep because we can’t shut our brains off. We love the quiet time when we’re all snuggled up in bed and there is nothing to distract our minds. We love to let them wander in this time. I look forward to it every single day. 

The problem arises when it’s 3 am and I still haven’t slept, knowing that I have to get up at 6:30 am. That’s when the panic sets in. I start thinking about being a zombie the next day and everything that I’ll want to eat just to try to stay awake. Then I want to make myself go to sleep. Have you ever tried to force yourself to sleep? Not only does it not work at all, but it’s super frustrating. I wouldn’t suggest it. 

There are several things that I do every day that help me sleep. These are not a cure-all, as I still have problems from time to time, but they do help immensely. 

Make your bedroom dark

Your sleeping environment should be as dark and cozy as possible. Start with blackout curtains. (These are the ones that I use that work great. They even block out the street lights that are right outside of my window) Make sure they are good quality curtains so that no light gets in. This is especially important if you live in the northern part of the United State (or any place really) where the sun comes up at 4 am in the summertime. 

The next step is to look for any other lights in your room. I have found quite a few on things like my TV, cable box, WiFi router, computer, microphone, etc. Anything that has one of those tiny little lights that seem like nothing during the day, but cause a problem when it’s supposed to be dark. Find a way to cover them up. I use tape. 

Make sure your bed is comfy

My bed is my favorite place to be, so it has to be comfortable. It’s awful when you have a bad mattress or not enough blankets. I recently had to break down and buy a new bed and it makes all the difference in the world!

I also have a comforter that’s warm and cozy and several blankets that my grandma made for me. 

Make it smell good

Another trick is to make it smell good. You don’t have to wash your blankets all the time, but if you use scent boosters when you do wash them, the smell stays longer. I like this one. 

Another way to make the room smell better is to get an aromatherapy room spray. I found this one that’s lavender, that’s good for relaxation. 

Use your bed for sleep only

I used to use my bed for everything, but then when it came to sleeping it didn’t feel very sleepy. When you are only using your bed for sleeping then your body will know that it’s time to rest when you crawl into bed. It’s almost like a mind trick really. 

Write it down

One of the biggest problems that I have, when I lay down to sleep, is I start to think about things that I need to do or want to do. Then I worry that I’ll forget them. The next morning I’ll remember that there was something that I didn’t want to forget, but can’t remember what it was. *facepalm* 

To fix this problem I started to keep a journal or a notepad by my bed to write things down. This way I can get it out of my head and I know that I won’t forget it. It helps a lot. 

Reduce your screen time

Reducing your screen time when you are in bed and right before going to bed will help you a lot as well. The very least you can do is switch your phone to night shift, where the screen is black instead of white at night. This helps reduce the strain on your eyes. 

Get some exercise

I know it’s a bit hard to get outside and exercise right now, but getting your blood moving will help you sleep so much. Any time you are getting exercise you are increasing the endorphins in your brain, which makes you feel good. You are also physically exerting yourself which will naturally make you tired, hopefully enough to sleep well. 

Yoga and meditation

Another great form of exercise for sleep is yoga. It combines gentle physical exertion with calming meditation, which is very relaxing, not just for the class, but for the whole rest of the day. There are special kinds of yoga classes designed to help you sleep, like this one from Glo

Herbs

There are so many herbs that you can get to help with sleep. I want to make sure you know that you can’t take them one day and instantly fall asleep. That’s not how they work. But if you take them consistently every night, then you will notice a difference. I noticed a difference after about a week.

I want to make sure you know that I am not a doctor and you should certainly reach out to your doctor if you are concerned about any interactions with medications you take. Everything mentioned below can be purchased legally, over the counter and most at either Walmart, Whole Foods or on Amazon. 

Melatonin

Melatonin is the most common herb mentioned for sleep. It works like a charm if you use it consistently. If you have tried it and it didn’t work for you I would encourage you to try it again. And as I mentioned above, take it consistently every night for 2 weeks before you decide it doesn’t work. I just buy whatever brand is at the store I’m at when I need it. Like this one. 

Magnesium

Magnesium is also important for sleep. Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and a diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine, talked about it in an article from Psychology Today.

“I’ve seen many patients benefit from increasing their magnesium intake, through diet and supplements. It’s not uncommon for people, especially women, to have less-than-optimal magnesium levels. Because magnesium plays such a widespread, critical role in the body—it’s one of the 24 essential vitamins and minerals—low magnesium levels can throw many of the body’s functions off course, and raise risks for chronic health problems.

Healthy magnesium levels protect metabolic health, stabilize mood, keep stress in check, promote better sleep, and contribute to heart and bone health.”

I notice a huge difference in my sleep quality when I take magnesium. This is the kind I take. 

Valarian Root

I took melatonin and magnesium for a while and then my stress levels when up and they didn’t work as well as they had in the past. So I went looking for more. That’s when I found Valarian Root. This is a God-send!! It works so well. It says on the bottle that it promotes tranquility and relaxation and I can testify that it really does. 

This one you’ll have to find at Whole Foods or on Amazon. I order it from Amazon because I can’t with Whole Foods right now. Here’s the link.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is more for anxiety relief than sleep per se, but I struggle with both so I added it to my nightly vitamins. I know a lot of us INFJs have issues with anxiety and this certainly has helped me. You can get it here. 

CDB Oil

I went back and forth about whether or not to add this one to the list. I know that CBD oil is a bit controversial, but just hear me out. 

First of all, it’s not illegal in the United States, technically. It’s not technically legal either though. It’s this weird gray area right now. The laws vary from state to state, so you’ll have to check with your state (or country if you are outside of the US) to see what the current law is. Make sure you’re checking from a recent and reputable place as a lot of these laws have changed in the last couple of years. 

Secondly, it’s not drugs. All of the THC is taken out of it, which is the part that makes you “high.” That’s also the part that gives you the munchies. 

The part that’s left has lots of benefits including reduced stress and increased relaxation. It’s helped me a lot, as much as any prescription for anxiety ever has. Though it’s a bit expensive, I would really encourage you to give it a try. 

I would really encourage you to find a distributor that is legitimate and sells a good quality product. Make sure they are willing to share their certificates of analysis.

Conclusion

Any of the things that I mentioned will help you sleep a little bit better, but if you combine all of them I’m sure you’ll see a huge improvement. 

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One thought

  1. Hi Sarah,

    I love all your suggestions. I think most INFJs would agree that sleep is probably one of the most critical elements if we are to maintain good mental health and emotional equilibrium.

    When I am tired, I become overwhelmed easily, emotional and ANGRY and also can become physically ill very easily!

    I learned this when my children were babies and I was very sleep deprived and trying to work full time. Up to that point in my life I had never really experienced intense emotions/anger.

    So I didn’t know what to do with it when it first happened. Then, thankfully I realized the cause and started a self-care routine that has gradually become a natural part of my day.

    One thing I would add to your list, even though it is implied in many of your suggestions but not stated outright is time alone.

    I think for us INFJs this is essential not optional. Again, once I had kids this issue boiled to the surface.

    I felt like a crappy mom because other moms seem to be stuck to their kids like glue and enjoy it/not mind it at all.

    But having to be physically and emotionally ‘ON’ day and night without a break was not sustainable for me and I burned out very badly.

    The truth is that I had to come to a place of acceptance of my introvert self and realize that some people (extroverts) are energized being around others and some (introverts like me) are drained.

    It doesn’t matter how much you love them, you will always need a break to recharge if you are the latter.

    So wether it’s reading alone, having a quiet tea/coffee with your thoughts, doing yoga/meditation, going for a walk, locking yourself in your room for 10 min and closing your eyes in the quiet with a candle and some quiet instrumental music.

    Whatever it is, that time alone during the day is essential to us. And when we don’t get it, it all comes crashing down at night.

    I read recently that INFJs require up to 75% of their time alone to be mentally healthy. I would completely agree with this. Especially during times of growth/transition/change where we are figuring out/prioritizing.

    This can be extremely challenging when you have a partner and kids, but having a heart to heart with your kids and partner can help.

    In my family we also find ways to be alone, together. Some of my favourites are going on a country car ride, colouring together, my spouse and I workout ‘together’, reading books or using our tech together (iPads, computers etc.), doing yoga together, gardening.

    Also, I have found that spending time one on one is less draining so I also try to do that rather than all kids with me at once!

    Thank you Sarah for this great post. Sorry for the long comment!

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