What Your Sleeping Position Can Reveal About Your Personality and Health
When you cozy into your bed each night, get comfortable, and prepare for a good night’s rest, you may shuffle about a bit until you get into that perfect, peaceful position. Aside from choosing a position that is comfortable and soothing, you may not put much more thought into what your favorite sleeping position might be telling you about your waking or sleeping lives.
Sleeping Positions and Personality Traits
The positions you find comforting and soothing to your sleep may indicate or reflect certain aspects of your waking personality. In fact, according to a sleep position study cited by WebMD, researchers found a distinct link between sleeping positions and personality types after conducting research on six main sleeping positions.
This study, led by PhD, sleep expert, and author, Chris Idzokowski, found that 41 percent of the people participating in the sleep study preferred the fetal position; laying on one side with legs and arms drawn up and in. Twice as many woman versus men favored this sleeping position, which is linked with a personality marked by soft and sensitive feelings protected by a strong exterior.
A few other interesting examples from his research linking sleeping positions and personalities include:
The Log Sleeper
Sleeping like a “log”, means you lie flat on your back with your arms down at your sides. Log sleepers tended to be free, easy-going, sociable, and somewhat trusting and gullible.
The Starfish Sleeper
If you sleep on your back, with your arms above or tucked behind your head, then you’re a starfish sleeper. Starfish sleepers tended to be good friends, listeners, and helpers.
Physical and Mental Health Quality and Sleep Positions
Regular, restful sleep contributes extensively to good overall health and mental well-being, so making sure you’re sleeping in a comfortable position that is conducive to your own body and health needs is very important to getting the sleep you need.
According to the Better Sleep Council, there are three main sleeping positions; side, back, and stomach. Each type of position has its personal comfort advantages, but you could also be causing or aggravating health issues if you’re sleeping in the wrong position.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, snoring, or back pain, then sleeping on your back can lead to a night of unrestful, uncomfortable sleep. Back sleeping can worsen existing health or sleep issues, but if you can’t get comfortable on your side, try placing a pillow or blanket underneath your knees to relieve the pressure on your spine.
Side sleeping is the most highly recommended sleeping position due to comfort and a lesser likelihood of disturbed or interrupted sleep. Sleeping on your side also provides these other great benefits:
- Eases insomnia and other chronic sleep issues
- Provides relief of any back or hip aches and pains
- Helps pregnant women sleep more comfortably
While choosing your sleeping side is a personal preference, there has been research done that indicates sleeping on a particular side can impact your dreams. According to studies referenced by IFL Science, people who sleep on their left side tend to experience more vivid dreams, ranging from weird and surreal to nightmares.
Sleeping on your stomach can place strain on your back and neck. Stomach sleepers also report more tossing, turning, and restlessness during the night as well. If you enjoy sleeping on your stomach, and don’t experience any troubles sleeping, do make sure you’re using a softer pillow so that you’re neck doesn’t stay resting at odd angles during your slumber.
While nothing entirely definitive has been deduced, there have been some fascinating research discoveries made linking sleeping position to personality traits, physical and mental health quality, and dream activity and recall. If your sleep is frequently interrupted or you feel unrested a majority of the time, then it could be more than your sleep position causing you to lose rest. Participating in a sleep study can help you determine if you have underlying sleep issues, and help you find the best position, plan, and treatment to get the most restful, rejuvenating sleep possible.