Six common sleeping positions and what they say about your personality and health

Tired woman resting on the bed
The way you sleep can help you understand more about your personality and health -Credit:Getty

Research has uncovered what your preferred sleeping position says about you and your health. By looking at six of the most common positions, experts say you can discover a lot about yourself.

From the foetus to the starfish, there are various ways to get shut-eye in bed. While some people may enjoy sleeping on their back, others may prefer lying on their side or even on their front.

Either way, your snoozing habits and what position you often find yourself in can be quite telling. The majority of positions have names, with researchers providing an analysis of each of the most popular and how may relate to personality.

How you sleep can also provide insight into your overall health. Individuals often adopt specific sleeping positions, whether consciously or unconsciously, in order to alleviate any discomfort or symptoms they may be experiencing.

Below is a look at the fetal, log, yearner, soldier, freefaller and starfish sleeping positions and what they say about you and your health.

Six of the most popular sleeping positions
These are six of the most popular sleeping positions -Credit:Getty

1. Foetal

This particular sleeping posture is named after the position that babies commonly assume while in the womb. Individuals who prefer this position tend to sleep with their body slightly curled up, resembling a ball, while lying on their side.

During the 1970s, Samuel Dunkell, a sleep researcher, proposed a theory suggesting a correlation between the foetal position and specific personality traits. Following extensive research, Dunkell determined that individuals who sleep in the foetal position are more likely to exhibit traits of anxiety and emotional sensitivity.

Sleeping on your side is a great way to keep your airway open and minimize snoring. It can also help reduce symptoms of sleep apnoea. If you have back and neck pain, arthritis, or acid reflux, sleeping on your side is often suggested to alleviate these issues.

2. Log

This position is based on individuals who lie on their side with their arms and legs extended. According to sleep expert Chris Idzikowski, this sleeping position suggests a sociable nature and ease in interacting with others. Nevertheless, he cautions that this openness and trust may lead to gullibility.

When you lie flat on your mattress, it can keep your spine in a natural, neutral position, which can lessen back pain. If you have acid reflux, you might notice that this position helps reduce your symptoms, especially if you sleep on your back with a pillow propping up your head.

Snoring or having sleep apnoea can worsen if you sleep on your back. When you drift off to sleep, the tissues in your throat and tongue relax. Gravity then pulls them down, potentially blocking airflow and leading to more snoring or apnoea episodes.

3. Yearner

When someone sleeps in the yearner position, it seems like they're reaching out or longing for something. Typically, they stretch out both their legs and arms in front of them while lying on their side.

Sleeping in this manner may result in shoulder discomfort, caution researchers. Certain studies indicate that individuals who favour this posture are somewhat open-minded, although not as much as those who prefer the log position.

Yearners may also exhibit a tendency towards cynicism and suspicion.

4. Soldier

Like the name suggests, sleeping in this position means lying with your body as straight as a soldier. Your legs are kept stretched out as well as your arms, which remain straight either side of you are you remain on your back. Research suggests soldier sleepers are quiet and reserved, but also hold high standards.

5. Starfish

Sleeping in this way means having all your limbs stretched out, like a starfish. While lying on your back, starfish sleepers have their legs parted and arms out either side of you.

Researchers say starfish sleepers value friendship. Many starfish sleepers also reportedly are good listeners and are quick to help others. Dunkell said people who sleep on their backs are more self-confident. He also suggested back sleepers are likely to be more open and sensation-seeking than other sleepers.

6. Freefaller

This position involves sleeping on your stomach with your arms hugging your pillow. It can make you resemble a chilled-out skydiver gliding through the air.

Sleeping in freefall means you’re bold and sociable. Although, you might not have the thick skin necessary to deal with criticism or situations you aren’t comfortable with.

Stomach sleeping is the least common sleep position, according to a study published in Nature and Science of Sleep. Sleeping on your stomach with your head on a pillow can cause strain on your body, leading to neck and back pain when you wake up.

Sleeping on your stomach can cause your spine to overarch, as the midsection of the human body is quite heavy. This can result in nerve and pain problems, which may manifest as a tingling sensation or numbness in your fingers and toes.