These days, the way that I sleep simply says, “I am happy to be single and spending five to seven hours sprawled out in the center of my bed alone.”
At other points, my tightly squeezed eyes and curled-up body would have screamed, “I know the baby will wake up/someone will start snoring/the alarm will begin blaring as soon as I finally, finally, finally get to sleep.”
Years and years ago, the corpse-looking college student still in her clothes would have mumbled something like, “Finals. Boys. Beer.”
Our lives, the amount of sleep we get, and how well we actually rest during those nighttime hours may change drastically over time. However, one sleep researcher says that our body position in bed could say something about who we are, not just what else is happening in our lives.
Professor Chris Idzikowski, director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, says that a study of 1,000 Brits revealed that the six most common sleeping positions are indicative of personality types.
If this sounds ridiculous (and honestly, I’d love to see information on this study and the analysis fleshed out further than any of the reports I could find), consider that Idzikowski says it comes down to body language.
“We are all aware of our body language when we are awake but this is the first time we have been able to see what our subconscious posture says about us,” Idzikowski said. “What’s interesting is that the profile behind the posture is often very different from what we would expect.”
The research also links certain sleeping positions with health risks. Some aid digestion while others spur on snoring and restlessness.
Here are the six common sleeping positions and correlated personality traits and health implications, according to this study.
- Fetus position – A whopping 41% of participants sleep in this curled-up manner. Women are twice as likely to rest like this and it is listed as the most common position. These sleepers are said to have a tough exterior but are still sensitive and may appear to be shy but warm up quickly.
- Log position – If you sleep on your side with both arms down, you are a social, easy-going person who is trusting, sometimes to the point of being gullible. The study showed 15% of people sleep like a log.
- Yearner position – A close third is the side-lying position with both arms out in front of the body, with 13% of partipants sleeping like this. Yearners are noted to be open-minded and still cynical, suspicious, and stubborn about sticking to decisions once they are made.
- Soldier position – These sleepers lie on their backs with arms down and kept close to the body. This 8% study is said to be reserved, quiet, without fuss, and hold themselves and others to a high standard. Soldier sleepers have a higher likelihood for snoring due to the flat-back position, which may not cause them to wake up often but may result in a less restful night’s sleep.
- Freefall position – Those people who lie on their bellies with arms under or wrapped around a pillow with head turned to the side, make up 7% of the population studied. Freefallers are brash, outgoing, and are very uncomfortable with criticism.
- Starfish position – Sleepers who lie on their backs with arms up near their head or the pillow account for 5% of participants. These people are good listeners, helpful, and are uncomfortable being the center of attention. People who sleep in starfish position are more likely to snore and to suffer from a poor night’s sleep more often.
If you think you are one of those people who move through all of these positions, that’s not likely to really be the case. Idzikowski said the research reveals most people stay in the same position all night and only 5% lay differently night by night. Also interesting is that the study showed only one in ten people cover their bodies entirely with a blanket, with most people exposing an arm, leg, or both feet.