What’s your favorite sleep position? Do you know your sleeping positions personality? UK polls revealed that there are six common positions, along with a few variations, and that only 5 percent of the respondents slept in different positions from night-to-night.
Although some sleep experts deny any psychological connections, Rachel Salas, MD, Assistant Medical Director for the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep, feels that repetition of the same sleep position can indicate certain personality traits.
Listed according to preference, sleep patterns, possible personality traits, and health benefits and detriments, if any, follow:
What Does Your Sleeping Position Say About Your Personality
(What Does Your Sleep Position Say About You)
a. Fetal (41 percent)
Twice as many women as men sleep in the FETAL position. As the name suggests, these people sleep on their sides in a curled position. They usually have one hand near their chin or one arm curled on the pillow top with the other arm under.
Seemingly tough on the outside, fetal sleepers can be quite sensitive, tend to overthink things, and worry unnecessarily. This position may lead to early facial wrinkles and is bad for arthritis. In addition, it restricts diaphragmatic breathing. Although sleeping on the right side is better for organ position, it can worsen acid reflux.
A pillow placed between the legs can lessen back stress and relieve osteoporosis of the spine, spinal stenosis (narrowing in spine), and hip pain. A full-length pillow can help support back and neck.
b. Log (15 percent)
Side sleepers with straight backs and extremities straight down prefer the LOG position. They are social and easy-going but may tend to be rigid, inflexible, and stubborn. If the arms drift above the head, however, they are great listeners and eager to help. Their extreme trust could lead to gullibility.
c. Yearner (13 percent)
Another side sleep pattern, with arms outstretched, is the YEARNER position. Those who sleep this way can be very open and inviting. They may be ready to conquer whatever life presents but can be suspicious of people and often cynical. They are slow decision makers. However, once a decision is made, they are stubborn to change it.
Since most pillows aren’t designed to support the head and neck evenly throughout, the yearners may have trouble finding one that suits them.
d. Soldier (8 percent)
Those in the SOLDIER sleep position are flat on their backs with straight knees and arms pinned down or slightly out. Quiet and reserved, they are not fussy but set high standards for self and others.
Back sleeping aligns the spine and puts minimal pressure on the extremity nerves. Back and neck pain are lessened or even avoided with this position. However, worsening acid reflux, snoring, and sleep apnea may result. Reflux sufferers should use an extra head pillow.
e. Freefall (7 percent)
Stomach sleepers place the head to one side with their arms wrapped around a pillow. Those favoring the FREEFALL sleep position appear outwardly brash and gregarious but may be inwardly thin-skinned and nervy. They detest extreme situations or criticism. If their arms are stretched out, they could feel powerless over life. They may awaken to feelings of anxiety about upcoming tasks.
This sleep position is not recommended since it is difficult to maintain a neutral spine position and can put pressure on muscles and joints. Strain in the neck and at the spinal base may lead to muscle spasms and chronic pain. Those who must use this position should place a pillow under the pelvis to reduce back strain and help central spinal conditions. Sleeping without a pillow might also be beneficial.
f. Starfish (5 percent)
The least common sleep pattern is the STARFISH. Lying on their backs with arms and legs spread out, these sleepers form a five-pointed position. They are good friends who are there when needed to listen and help. Their outstretched arms appear to be reaching for a hug. Preferring to be in the background, they do not want to be the center of attraction.
As with the soldier position, the starfish sleeper may snore. Back problems can be eased by placing a big fluffy pillow under the knees to reduce sciatic nerve pressure and maintain the normal curvature of the spine. Additionally, a small rolled towel under the small of the back can provide extra support.
Other Sleeping Positions:
Variations of the above sleep positions include…
1. One leg out from under the covers
This is all about body temperature. A warm body is much more alert than a cool one. Cooling down the body helps induce sleepiness. The foot bottom, hairless and containing vascular structures that regulate heat loss, helps one cool down when it’s placed outside the bed covers.
2. Pillow huggers
Those who snuggle with pillows may relish friendships, family, and relationships. Putting others first and being people-pleasers may be their trademark.
3. Lots of covers
Some like the sense of security and the feeling of being swaddled. Others simply prefer more warmth.
4. Naked sleepers
Nude sleepers love the sense of freedom provided by sleeping without clothing. For those with skin problems, eliminating the irritating warmth and dampness of clothing may help. Keeping the body temperature down and sleeping well helps to properly produce and regulate cortisol, a steroid “stress hormone” that regulates the body’s changes in response to stress.