What's the last thing you do before you go to sleep at night? Do you check your Twitter feed one last time? Are you knee-deep in a crime show marathon? Eating a bedtime snack, perhaps? Personally, I'm all about cracking open a good book once I slide into my silky bedsheets. If you can relate, you might be curious to learn what reading before bed says about your personality, because the thing is, these little everyday habits that you and I have often reveal more about us than we realize.
If you have a whole stack of paperbacks on your nightstand, just waiting for you to dig in before you doze off, Katie Ziskind, a licensed marriage and family therapist based in Connecticut, says this could mean you're intellectual, analytical, and have positive self-care techniques. She also jokes that, while you might be concerned that your preference for reading before bed over, say, having a glass of wine, makes you "a little nerdy" or a "homebody," in reality, it actually means you've developed a healthy skill to help yourself relax and fall asleep.
Reading is a thoughtful activity, Ziskind tells Elite Daily over email, and if it's something you enjoy doing before bed, she says this means you're the kind of person who enjoys being mentally stimulated.
As for some slightly more specific character traits that your bedtime reading habits might reveal, Dr. Kim Chronister, a licensed clinical psychologist, author, and media commentator based in California, says it can be helpful to reference the Myers-Briggs personality assessment, which is an online questionnaire you can fill out that helps you identify the many characteristics and traits that make up your unique personality.
"According the Myers-Briggs assessment," Dr. Chronister tells Elite Daily over email, "the most typical personality type that reads before bedtime is an INFJ personality type." "INFJ," the psychologist 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, adds 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, tells Elite Daily 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. So uh, BRB, I have some shopping at Barnes & Noble to attend to.