What Your Sleeping Position Reveals About You & Your Personality

by Caroline Burke

When you finally crawl into bed after a long day, how do you like to fall asleep? Whether you prefer to sleep on your back, your side, or even on your stomach, your sleep position might give you some insight into your subconscious thoughts. Learning what your sleeping position says about you is an interesting and unique way to get a newfound perspective on yourself and your personality.

The idea of studying body language in general as a means to learn more about ourselves isn't necessarily new. For centuries, the study of the mind-body connection has led to revealing discoveries about who we are, and how we choose to project ourselves. So it follows that our sleep position is just another form of body language for us to interpret and use as a tool to understand ourselves even better.

"How we sleep reveals important facets about our personality," Dr. Robert Glatter, MD, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Northwell Health and attending emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital, explained in an interview with PopSugar. However, he stressed, "it's not a cut and dry science." He explained that there's often some overlap in the association between sleeping positions and personality traits. "I find that more oftentimes than not, [people's] sleeping positions are a good match to their personalities and general demeanor," he added.

The way you sleep might say everything about who you are as a person.

The most common position, according to Dr. Glatter, is the fetal position; I'm personally a big fan of this one. The fetal position is when you sleep on your side with your knees curled and tucked in.

If you, like me, love sleeping in the fetal position, this might imply introversion (hell yeah, introverts unite!), or a desire to protect yourself, Dr. Glatter suggested. "People who sleep in the fetal position are often quite sensitive and generally withdrawn or shy," he said. "They are often quite anxious and may get bogged down in details."

People who sleep on their backs with their arms by their sides, on the other hand, are said to have more relaxed personalities.

Sleeping on your back with your limbs relaxed shows that your muscles are totally at ease. Some say those who sleep on their backs are more reserved overall, and that people expect a lot out of them in life.

Now, if you sleep on your stomach, you're probably either a "free-faller" or a "starfisher." A free-falling sleep position means that you lie on your stomach with your arms around your pillow (FYI: that's not the best sleep position for your body, particularly for your neck). A starfish sleep position means you lie on your stomach with your limbs totally spread out on either side of your body. If you're a starfisher, Dr. Glatter suggested that you might be a selfless and more giving person. Personally, I suggest that you might be a really annoying person to share a bed with, but that's just me.

All in all, the most important thing about your sleeping position is whether or not it sets you up for a good night's rest.

Sleeping on your side or your back are great options. Sleeping on your back allows your spine and neck to relax, and sleeping on your side increases circulation. If you have sleep apnea, though, or any problem with snoring, you shouldn't sleep on your back, as it may make it harder to breathe.

Sleeping on your stomach is widely believed to be the worst position for sleeping, because it can lead to lower back pain and potentially strain your neck. What's more, it can lead to pillow wrinkles on your face, and that's never fun to deal with in the morning.

Above all, don't stress too much about the implications of body language during your snooze. They're not a one-size-fits-all declaration, but rather suggestions on common connections between the mind and body. Get on with your sleepy self however you see fit.