Why Introverts Retreat to Their Bedrooms

an introvert in her bedroom

When introverts retreat to their bedrooms, they’re seeking peace, solitude, and no interruptions from the outside world.

As an introvert, I’m very particular about my bedroom setup.

My bedside tables and walls feature ornaments and artwork gifted by friends and family. My vanity doubles as the center of my self-care routine and my desk. It’s thoughtfully stocked with a curated selection of makeup and skincare products, along with a drawer for journals, stationery, and pens.

Everything has its place — and everything is in its place.

The only bedding I use is a fitted sheet, a well-loved comforter, and three pillows arranged to suit my unusual sleeping position. I spend most of my time in bed sleeping, but I also retreat there for a few hours each day when I need quiet and solitude. I’ll curl up under my comforter to read or play games on my phone until I’m ready to face the world outside my bedroom again.

Talking to other introverted friends and family members, I’ve realized I’m not the only “quiet one” who finds refuge in their bedroom. It’s a common practice for introverts at all stages of life, whether we’re children, adults, or seniors. (Are you an introvert? Here are 21 signs that confirm you’re an introvert.)

So what is it about our bedrooms that makes them so appealing to us introverts? And why do introverts sometimes retreat to their bedrooms to be alone? To extroverts, who are energized by lots of social interactions, this common introvert behavior can be confusing.

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The Introvert Bedroom Is a Refuge

The introvert’s brain works a bit differently from the extrovert’s. Extroverts have a more active dopamine reward system, which means they thrive on being on-the-go and socializing with lots of people. Introverts, however, might feel overstimulated when their brains receive too much dopamine. You can learn more about the science behind why introverts need alone time here.

Due to these brain differences, introverts often find the noise and bustle of life overstimulating. We need time alone to recharge. Solitude is our fuel, helping us stay sane amongst the hubbub of daily life. Needing alone time and being drained by excessive socializing are big parts of what being an introvert means.

Having a private space, like a bedroom, is essential for introverts to recharge properly. It’s not just a nice thing to have; it’s necessary. Imagine a cozy little room where you can close the door and shut out the world. For many introverts, a bedroom is exactly that. It’s not only about enjoying alone time; it’s about having a specific place where we can breathe, think, and be ourselves without anyone watching or expecting anything.

When we introverts retreat to our bedrooms, we seek peace, solitude, and no interruptions from the outside world. We might read, write, work, or simply reflect. Whatever we’re doing, we’re content in a quiet, familiar place, letting our guard down. This alone time in our safe space gives us the energy to go back out and interact with people again.

When Introverts Retreat to Their Bedrooms

If you’re an extrovert with an introvert in your life, please understand that when we retreat to spend time alone in our bedroom, it’s not about you — it’s about us. We’re not necessarily hurt or upset with you when we seek solitude. It’s in those quiet moments alone that we recharge and find the strength to be the vibrant and loving friend, family member, or partner that you cherish.

For introverts, that alone time is our way to unwind, de-stress, and process our thoughts and feelings. It’s like taking a peaceful nap in the middle of a hectic day. While extroverts might recharge through lively conversations and social interactions, introverts recover their energy with quiet and solitude. Our bedroom becomes a safe haven where we can stop trying to be social and just be our true selves, without worrying about being judged or meeting someone’s expectations.

If we “quiet ones” don’t get this downtime, we’ll feel overwhelmed, irritable, or mentally fatigued — a condition we refer to as the introvert hangover. This isn’t beneficial for anyone, including the people we care about. By honoring and respecting our need for solitude, you support our well-being and enable us to be the best we can be in our relationship with you.

How to Create an Introvert Bedroom Refuge

Since your bedroom is your refuge, you’ll want to create a space that best suits your needs. Here are four tips to help you do just that:

1. Communicate clearly.

If you’re an introvert who shares a home with others, it’s important to make your boundaries clear. For example, should your roommate knock before entering your bedroom? Or does a closed door mean you don’t want your spouse or kids to disturb you? If you struggle to set and enforce healthy boundaries, here are some tips for peace-loving introverts to do so.

Also, if your loved ones feel hurt or abandoned when you want to be alone, have a conversation with them. Explain that your alone time in your bedroom is crucial for you. You might share why this “me time” matters and describe what you typically do during these periods.

Most importantly, reassure them that your time together is truly important, and occasionally spending time alone in your bedroom ensures you can fully enjoy it. You might say something like, “My alone time helps me recharge and be a better friend/partner/parent when we’re together,” or “I need time to myself sometimes, but it’s not because of how I feel about you. I still love and cherish our time together.”

2. Choose calming decor.

In your bedroom sanctuary, opt for colors and items that make you feel calm and happy. You don’t have to embrace minimalism, but avoid clutter since it can contribute to increased stress, anxiety, and depression. Strive for balance by decorating with items you truly love and either storing or donating the rest. (Here are some more tips from an interior designer to help you create a calming introvert sanctuary in your home.)

3. Avoid working in bed.

Your bed should be reserved for relaxing activities — like reading, watching television, and most importantly, sleeping. Working in bed can lead to difficulties falling asleep because your mind may start to associate your bedroom with work rather than relaxation. If you need to work in your room, use a desk or a cozy chair instead.

4. Gather snacks and other supplies.

If you live with extroverted roommates or family and want to avoid small talk every time you head to the kitchen, keep a stash of non-perishable snacks in your room, such as granola bars, nuts, chips, and jerky. Make it a routine to fill a large reusable water bottle as soon as you get home and bring it to your room — this helps you stay hydrated without needing to frequently visit the kitchen. Also, stock your bedroom with personal electronics, books, and any items needed for your hobbies. Do your best to create your own little sanctuary, one you don’t have to leave until you’re good and ready.

Introvert, is your bedroom your sacred space where you recharge? Why? Let me know if the comments.

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