Sleeping Position and Personality
Over the last few months, a “sleep study” was picked up by several news venues (including Fox, the Telegraph, and the Daily Mail). The reports say that body language specialist Robert Phipps built a profile based on research that connects peoples’ dominant sleeping positions to their dominant personality traits. It’s a fun little exercise to look at your favorite sleeping positions and explore what they might say about your character, so I’m not surprised it’s become popular across the web.
Trouble is, the “sleep study” in question was actually a casual survey conducted by Phipps and a budget hotel chain, not to be taken seriously as substantiated research, Phipps told the Huffington Post. Still, there is a possibility that, at least among some groups, sleeping position reflects emotional state. Check out my recent blog post for the details.
Just For Fun…
In any case, here are the most commonly cited sleeping positions and what they might mean, according to the survey by Phipps and more serious scholarly work conducted by Dr. Chris Idzikowski of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre.
- Foetal sleeper: If you curl up in the foetal (or fetal) position to sleep, you may be tough on the outside and soft on the inside. This is the most common sleeping position, adopted by 41 percent of the individuals who took Idzikowski’s survey.
- Log: If you lie on your side with both arms stretched down by your side, you may be an easygoing, sociable type according to Idzikowski, or rigid and bossy according to Phipps.
- Yearner: If you sleep on your side with both arms stretched out in front, you are either chasing your dreams or being chased (according to Phipps)… or open yet potentially suspicious, according Idzikowski.
- Soldier: If you tend to sleep on your back with your arms stretched down by your sides, you may be quiet and reserved, setting high standards for yourself.
- Freefaller: Those who lie on their stomachs with their arms clutching their pillows are usually gregarious on the surface but thin-skinned beneath, according to Idzikowski. For Phipps, freefallers tend to feel out of control, “holding on” as best they can even in their sleep.
- Starfish: If you lie on your back with your arms up around your pillow, you’re a true friend, always listening or offering help, according to Idzikowski. You may not like to be in the spotlight, but you’re always around when people need you.
No matter how much (or how little) stock you put in the link between sleeping position and personality, it is true that your sleeping position can affect your health. Stomach sleepers may have better digestion than those who sleep in other positions, while back sleepers may exacerbate problems with snoring or sleep apnea. Pay attention to your sleep habits, and over time you’ll be able to determine which sleeping positions seem to afford you the soundest night’s sleep.