Last updated on April 1st, 2018
Can your sleep position give insights into your deepest personality traits?
Body language is a constant reminder about our subconscious thoughts, intentions and feelings.
But have you ever considered that your non-verbal signals might extend into the night, and that your sleeping position may hold clues to your inner feelings or even your personality type?
Professor Chris Idzikowski, Director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service researched the topic and found that the shape we choose to sleep in can reveal things about our personality. He analysed six of the most common sleeping positions:
One sleep position is referred to as the soldier sleep position, and it looks just like it sounds. These individuals like to sleep on their backs with their arms down by their sides. Sleeping in this fashion usually means people are reserved and quiet. They may also expect strict moral codes to be adhered to on a regular basis, holding themselves and others to very high standards.
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The starfish sleeper may also be known as a mattress hog. They often like to sprawl their limbs out across the bed in a carefree manner. Those who love this sleeping style, tend to make wonderful friends and good listeners. Though they don’t love being the center of attention, they are always willing to lend a helping hand.
As many as 41 percent of sleepers prefer the fetal position. This involves drawing your knees up toward your chest like a baby in its mother’s belly. Almost twice as many women as men, choose to curl up in this fashion. Fetal sleepers may be the type of people that are tough on the outside but soft on the inside. They may be a little shy at first, but open up and relax quickly.
Known as log sleepers, these individuals sleep on their sides with their arms straight. Those who sleep in the log position are likely carefree individuals and are probably friendly social butterflies. Although they tend to be popular with the crowds, their trusting nature may make them a little gullible.
The yearner sleeps on their side with their arms outstretched. This is another popular sleep position. Yearners are said to have a fairly complex character. They may be open-minded with a touch a cynicism. It may take them a while to make a decision, but they will stand firm once it is made.
Back sleepers, or those who fall asleep while lying on their backs, are typically lovers of life. Those in this category probably don’t mind being the center of attention and love good company. They may have very strong personalities, work hard and prefer to tell the truth.
Sleep positions and dreams
The many things sleep may reveal are due to the neurological effect sleep has on individuals. Many people position themselves the same way every night because getting to sleep is a habitual behavior. These habits, however, may also be influencing the types of dreams people experience while they sleep.
The journal, Sleep Hypnosis, published a 2004 study that suggested that people that sleep mostly on their left side may have more nightmares than right side sleepers. Study participants sleeping on their right sides often reported having dreams related to relief or safety. Not surprisingly, right side sleepers reported a better night’s sleep, waking up feeling well-rested more often.
Back sleepers may be more likely to suffer from dreams of vulnerability and feeling exposed. These dreams may range from the classic “naked in public” to dreams about showing up late for an exam. Thankfully, back sleepers are less likely to remember their visions of angst.
Another study, conducted at the Hong Shu Yan University by Dr. Calvin Kai-Ching Yu, Ph.D., showed that stomach sleepers may experience a wide range of love-related dreams. Some types of stomach-sleeper dreams include the subjects of kissing a stranger or getting married.
Some studies suggested that sleeping at an incline may induce more vivid dreams. This may be because you are closer to wakefulness in this more upright position causing vivid dreams to feel even more real. Inclined sleepers may find themselves a bit confused throughout the day as they may feel like the dream really happened.
Dream research and its relation to body position is still relatively new, though there has been much speculation for years. More research needs to be done before any decisive conclusions can be reached.
Although experimenting with sleep positions and nightly visions behind closed eyelids can be entertaining, it is not always easy to change one’s body position in an effort to avoid or seek out a certain kind of dream.
The main objective should be to get a good night’s sleep. Finding a position that feels comfortable for each individual body type leads to the highest quality of rest. Sleep therapists and doctors may be able to assist in helping people discover the right sleep position.
The way individuals position themselves bodies as they nod off to sleep may say a lot about their personalities and even influence their dreams. Although the research is interesting, there is still a lot to be learned. Individuals may find it fun to see if changing the way they sleep has any effect on personality or dream patterns. However, sleep positions are habits that have been practiced over a lifetime. As such, they may be next to impossible to change.