Does your sleep position reveal your true personality?
Robert Phipps, a U.K.-based body language scientist, analyzed the results of a survey taken by a British hotel chain on the preferred sleeping positions of over a thousand of its patrons, according to Huffington Post.
Another research project undertaken by Dr. Chris Idzikowski of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre also included over 1,000 subjects who were asked about their sleep positions and personality traits.
Phipps said his analysis was unscientific and meant more for fun – something like a sleep horoscope – and Idzikowski’s research was based more on self-evaluations rather than on scientific observations, but the findings of both studies were publicized by the Telegraph, the Daily Mail and Fox, and are now found on many health-related websites and blogs.
According to a report on the studies by sleepjunkies.org, six basic sleeping positions were linked to common personality traits.
- In the starfish position, the person sleeps on his back with arms raised overhead. He is said to be a good listener and dislikes being in the limelight. Five percent of the respondents said they were “starfish”.
- People who sleep like soldiers, another back sleeping position, lie straight with their arm close to their sides. About eight percent of the respondents preferred this position and they are characterized as being quiet, reserved, and having high expectations.
- The fetal position was the most popular, with 41 percent of the respondents claiming they slept in this curled up side-sleeping fashion. Fetal-position sleepers may have crusty exteriors, but are warm, conscientious, and organized.
- The yearner is another side-sleeping position in which the arms are held straight out from the body. Yearners, who comprised about 13 percent of the respondents, are generally open-minded and eager, but can be cynical and lacking in perseverance.
- Another side-sleeping method is the log position, with arms down at the sides. People who sleep like a log are sociable and have easy-going, trusting personalities, but can be somewhat stubborn and inflexible. About 15 percent of those surveyed said they were log sleepers.
- Sleeping on the stomach in the free-falling position, with arms overhead hanging onto the pillow, was the choice of seven percent of the respondents. They can be described as brash extroverts with thin skins who don’t take criticism well.
While the links between sleep positions and personality traits may not always be precise, there is plenty of scientific evidence that shows sleep positions can affect your health and well-being.
According to WebMD, back-sleepers, such as the soldier and the starfish, tend to snore more, which leads to a poorer quality sleep. Back sleeping may also exacerbate the brief pauses in breathing associated with sleep apnea. People who snore excessively are advised to try sleeping on their side or stomach.
On the other hand, some sleep positions may be good for your health. The stomach-sleeping freefall position is good for digestion. People suffering from restless leg syndrome may sleep better in the fetal position so they can control leg movements.
The Mayo Clinic’s website has several recommendations about sleeping positions for people suffering from back pain. For those who normally sleep on their backs, placing a pillow under the knees will help maintain the normal curve of the spine. Stomach sleepers should put a pillow under their pelvis to alleviate pressure, while side sleepers suffering from back pain will rest better with a pillow tucked between their thighs and knees.
No matter what sleep position you find most comfortable, you need the support of a good quality mattress. Old mattresses that sag or are lumpy and worn out don’t allow you to get the rest you need to function the following day. An expert can assist you in selecting the best mattress for your needs and budget. For more information about choosing the mattress and other topics about sleep, visit A Better Night’s Sleep.