People sleep in all different positions due to involuntary movement throughout the night. These positions not only affect the comfort you feel while sleeping, but may also affect how you feel in the morning and indicate certain personality tendencies.
In a study of 1,000 individuals, six sleep positions were the most prevalent. Furthermore, in the study, individuals were interviewed to determine what personality types tend to sleep in which position. Each position has its benefits and faults.
Fetus: The fetal position is the most popular position with 41 percent of those participating in the study identifying with the position. 1 It is characterized by sleeping in a sort of ball on the side of the body with the legs pulled up toward the chest. This position may help alleviate snoring and is ideal for pregnant women. The fetal position may cause joint pain in the morning if remaining in a ball throughout the night. Those who sleep in the fetal position are said to have a tough exterior, but are very shy. These sensitive individuals may take some time to warm up, but will eventually relax.
Log: In the log position, an individual lays straight on their side with arms straight down by their sides. This position shares many of the benefits of the fetal position. Individuals who sleep in the log position are typically social and easy-going. They are perhaps too trusting and easily deceived.
Yearner: Laying on ones side with both arms stretched out in front of them is the yearner position. These individuals are perceived as open and social, but are truly suspicious. They also tend to take a long time to take decisions. Side-sleeper positions are almost as beneficial as sleeping on the back. Side sleeping helps with snoring and sleep apnea related problems as well as not putting too much pressure on the skin that could cause premature wrinkling.
Soldier: The soldier position is characterized by laying flat on the back with both arms straight down by the sides. This position reflects that individuals are typically easy-going and reserved. The soldier position is one of the most favorable positions by experts because it helps with acid reflux and prevents wrinkles because nothing is pressed against the face. Additionally, laying on the back provides the easiest position to help keep your neck and spine aligned.
Free-faller: The free-faller position is the least favorable positions. It is characterized by laying flat on the stomach with arms stretched either above the head or wrapped around the pillow. Those who sleep in this position are typically extroverted and outgoing and tend to take criticism poorly. This position is best to help alleviate snoring and aid in digestion but also creates wrinkles due to the face being pressed against a pillow the entire night. Sleeping on the stomach may also cause back and neck pain because this position makes it difficult to keep the neck and spine aligned.
Starfish: This position is characterized by laying flat on the back with arm above the head. This position is also very favorable, but worsens snoring and other breathing problems that could disrupt the individual and result in fragmented sleep.
If experiencing trouble sleeping, determining sleep position may be beneficial to understanding why certain problems occur. By understanding the way you sleep comfortably, it is made easier to counter those problems with specialty pillows and positional therapy.
1. Men’s Health—Sleep Position Master; http://www.menshealth.com/spotlight/sleep/sleep-position-master.php
2. CNN Health—Which sleep position is healthiest? http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/04/19/healthiest.sleep.position/index.html