Updated July 23, 2020

What Your Sleeping Position Says About You

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Body language speaks volumes—even when you're asleep. According to the Better Sleep Council, your sleep position offers clues on how you conduct your life while awake.

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Have you heard of sleep positions like the starfish, log, soldier, or yearner? At the very least, you've definitely heard of the fetal position.

It is one of the most popular sleep positions among men and women. But every sleep position says something about you. Find out more about yours below.

Here are the best sleeping positions:

  1. Side sleeping for snoring and sleep apnea
  2. Pillow between or under the knees for back pain
  3. Left side sleeping for heartburn
  4. Back sleeping for preventing wrinkles
  5. Fetal position for pregnant women

What Does Your Side Sleeping Position Say About You?

Side sleepers have the lowest incidence of insomnia or sleep deprivation. It's also the most recommended position for back and hip pain sufferers as well as pregnant women.

Sleeping on your side helps align your spine. But how you sleep on your side can offer insights into your personality.

Does your sleep position affect your body shape?
Your sleep position could have long-term effects on your body shape. If you sleep hunched over, with a misaligned spine, or with your neck overextended, it puts pressure on your spine, neck, and muscles.

This can cause you to walk differently over time as a way of compensating for the pain caused by your sleep position. On the other hand, if you sleep with a properly aligned spine and in a position that allows for proper circulation, you may find that you stand taller and walk straighter.

Fetal Position
About 54% of women and 39% of men sleep in the fetal position, according to the Better Sleep Council. This could be due to the sense of safety it offers, the same one we felt in our mother's womb.

Fetal position sleepers tend to be quieter or even a little shy. Some may seem "tough" on the outside but have a soft interior.

If you put your arms at your side while sleeping on your side, then you literally "sleep like a log." Just like logs roll, you probably do that too. Or at least that's what your sleep position suggests.

In general, log sleepers are carefree, friendly, and able to talk to just about anyone. According to the Better Sleep Council, log sleepers also view themselves as significantly healthy.

The Yearner
Side sleepers who sleep with arms outstretched are "yearners." This suggests that you are constantly yearning for answers. Your arms are outstretched as if the answers you desire are within reach.

People who sleep in this position tend to be slow decision-makers because they always need concrete answers before moving forward.

Is it bad to sleep with your arms under your pillow?
Sleeping with your arms under your pillow can cause your shoulder to feel pinched. This can lead to shoulder pain while you are sleeping and awake. If you sleep on your stomach or side, the best place to put your arms is down at your side.

What Does Your Stomach Sleeping Position Say About You?

Stomach sleeping isn't necessarily the best position for your body. If you don't have a mattress that supports your spine, you may knock it out of alignment sleeping that way.

You also put your neck at risk of spasms and pain, especially if you don't move positions all night.

But stomach sleeping says a lot about you, including that you are adventurous and open-minded.

The Freefall Position
Less than 10% of people sleep in the freefall position, which means sleeping on your stomach with your arms wrapped around your pillow. People in this position tend to be bold and brave.

But don't let that braveness fool you; many freefall sleepers have very little tolerance for criticism and they often fall to pieces under stress.

What is the healthiest sleep position?
The healthiest sleep position is one that keeps your spine aligned or in a neutral position. For most people, this means sleeping on your back. This allows your head, neck, and back to stay aligned. With the same amount of pressure on each area, you have a lower risk of suffering from neck, back, or hip pain.

What Does Your Back Sleeping Position Say About You?

Back sleepers tend to suffer from back pain and bouts of sleep apnea. However, there are a few variations of back sleeping that don't have as many risks. They also say quite a bit about you.

If you sleep on your back with your arms and legs sprawled all over the bed, you are a starfish. People who sleep in this position are often givers and great at relationships. Starfish sleepers tend to be good listeners, but they also have the highest likelihood of sleepwalking.

Soldier sleepers fall asleep on their back with their arms at their sides. Many soldier sleepers remain in this position all night with very little tossing and turning.

Soldier sleepers tend to have great self-confidence and hold themselves to the highest standards. This sleep position does have the largest risk of snoring, which can lead to other health problems, including heart issues and sleep apnea.

What Does Your Sleep Position as a Couple Say About You?

Bringing two people together with two different sleep positions in one bed can be a challenge, especially at first. Subconsciously, most couples assume the sleeping position that best portrays their relationship.

Only about 13% of couples cuddle close, while the remainder touch only slightly or not at all.

Probably the most commonly known couples sleeping position is spooning. But it's not the most commonly used, with less than 20% of couples assuming this position.

The spooning position tends to give a feeling of protection and comfort within the couple. There is typically a "dominant" partner or protector who does the "spooning" and a submissive "little spoon."

Loose Spoon
The loose spoon is what most spooning couples eventually work up to in their relationship. It signifies that you trust one another and are confident in your relationship.

This security in your feelings means you don't need to sleep so close, since you aren't worried about losing one another.

Chasing Spoon
The name says it all. One person, the spooner, chases the other partner down. You'll typically find the person being chased clearly on one side of the bed. The spooner follows, keeping the partner in a protective cuddle. This typically suggests that the person being chased would prefer a little space.

Liberty Lovers
Once you are secure in your relationship, you may find yourselves sleeping back to back without touching. Despite how it looks, this sleep position actually shows that trust in one another and the relationship.

You feel secure in your independence as well as in your relationship and sharing a bed with one another.

Back Kissers
Back kissers are confident enough in their relationship that they can sleep back to back, giving each other space. The fact that your spine and/or butts still touch shows a level of intimacy. It suggests a desire to be close while honoring one another's need for space.

Leg Hug
You can sleep in a leg hug two ways. If one person does the "hugging," it's almost as if that person is reaching out for attention or reassurance. If you both hug legs, you are equally invested in the relationship and want to touch one another.

What Experts Say

If you want to get better rest, knowing your sleep position is only one part of the equation. As part of our series on sleep, CreditDonkey assembled a panel of dietitians to discuss how diets affect sleep quality.

Here's what they said:

Bottom Line

What does your sleep position say about you? Does your typical position ring true in your personality? It will certainly have you thinking next time you find yourself in the fetal position or spooning your significant other.

Write to Kim P at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

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