What Does Sleeping With Your Arms Above Your Head Mean? Experts Say It Could Mean A Few Things

If you're anything like me, then you don't give a second thought to your sleep position until you're having one of those nights that make you toss and turn for what feels like forever. I, like many millennials, love to be told exactly what my daily choices say about me and my personality, so naturally, I couldn't help but wonder about the hidden meaning behind sleeping like you're luxuriously lounging by the beach. What does sleeping with your arms above your head mean? According to experts, it could mean a whole lot.

But before I start theorizing what this sleep position might say about you and the kind of person you are, Chris Brantner, a certified sleep science coach at SleepZoo.com, tells Elite Daily over email that sleeping in a certain position each night could just be a habit, and nothing more. Another explanation, he says, could be that you sleep with a partner, and raise your arms above your head to create extra space for cuddles.

However, sleeping this way could actually mean you aren't breathing as easily as you should be. "Some people sleep with their arms above their heads, as it's a natural way of opening up the lungs," Brantner says. "If you don't typically fall asleep in this position, but find yourself waking up like this, it could be a sign that you're having trouble breathing in the middle of the night."

No judgment, but you could be a snorer if you sleep with your arms above your head.


Brantner tells Elite Daily that sleeping on your back can definitely lead to snoring. The good news is, if you sleep alone, nobody will care about this, except maybe your pets or your plants. And if you sleep with a partner, they probably would have brought up your snoring already if it was loud enough to be a problem.

But if you wake up every morning in a perfect starfish pose, it could lead to back pain. "Sleeping on your back in starfish position may induce lower back pain and sleep apnea," Terry Cralle, RN, a Better Sleep Council certified clinical sleep educator, tells Elite Daily over email. Luckily, though, you don't have to totally change the way you sleep if this position starts causing you discomfort. Just make some minor tweaks to make sure your body is well-supported: "If you experience back pain, consider placing a pillow or rolled-up towel under your knees to align the natural curve of your spine," Cralle suggests.

As for what this sleep position says about your personality, snoozing like a starfish might just make you more unique.


If you sleep this way, you're in the vast minority, according to a study by the Better Sleep Council. The 2017 research found that "starfish sleepers," aka those who lie on their back with their arms up near their head or pillow, make up only 7 percent of the population. Most people sleep in the fetal position, the study found.

But what does it all mean? Brantner admits he isn't sure how much stock he puts into deciphering someone's personality based on their sleep position alone, but he says there is a common belief about what a starfish sleeping pattern can say about you: Basically, the sleep science coach tells Elite Daily, many people believe starfish sleepers aren't comfortable being the center of attention, and may also be better listeners than other people. Whether that accurately captures your personality or not, embrace your uniqueness, you sexy starfish, you.