Your sleep habits may be more revealing than you think, according to a surprising new study. A body language expert has analyzed common sleep positions and reports that they can reveal how stressed you are. Sleep position also offers insights into such traits as bossiness, stubbornness, being self-critical, and whether people feel they’re in control of their life.
of 1,000 sleepers, commissioned by
Premier Inns, suggest that there are basically four types of sleepers—the
fetal, the log sleeper, the yearner and the freefallers. Here’s a look what
your slumber habits may reveal about your personality.
If you curl up in a ball when you sleep (below, left), you are not alone. Over half of people in the study literally curl up into the fetal position when they hit the sheets.
Why? Phipps says that fetal sleepers are looking for comfort and are often constant worriers. While they are very conscientious during their waking hours, these are people who tend to overthink their tasks and daily lives.
Do you sleep straight in a vertical line (below, right), with arms at your sides? The study says nearly 30 percent of people sleep like a “log,” and may be a bit rigid when it comes to their personalities.
Those who sleep in this rigid position also often find themselves waking up stiffer and in more discomfort than when they went to bed. Their muscles may not be getting the proper rest while they sleep. Or it might mean that you have to find more of your waking hours learning how to relax.
If you reach for the stars (below, left), with outstretched arms, while you sleep you are among the 25 percent of sleepers who are yearners. The yearners are people who get up in the morning with an excitement to get out there and chase their dreams.
But Phipps says these are also people who go after their dreams without a real focus. They can be chronic time wasters. Phipps also says that some of the yearners aren’t just chasing their dreams, some feel that they are being chased.
If you sleep face down on your stomach (below, right), with arms and legs all over the bed in a freefall position, it might mean that you are seeking control of time and space in a way that you don’t feel you have in your waking hours. While only 17 percent of the people studied were considered freefallers, Phipps says these are the sleepers who may be getting the least restful night’s sleep.
Sleep researcher Professor Chris Idzikowskia, at the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, agrees that there are links between the way we sleep and our personalities. He also sees the links between our sleep positions and our overall health. For example, Idzikowskia says those who sleep in the starfish sleeping position, on their backs with arms and legs outspread, may be more open, and make better friends than the logs.
He also singles out the soldier sleeper, who is also a back sleeper. The soldier tends to be quiet and reserved, and sets high standards for himself and others. Both the soldier and the starfish often struggle with getting a good night’s sleep because they tend to snore and have other breathing problems throughout the night.
The study also suggests that those who sleep on the left side of the mattress have a brighter outlook on life, “They tend to be more upbeat and able to handle the stresses of work and life better than those who sleep on the right,” Claire Haigh, a spokesperson for Premier Inns says. According to the study, 31 percent of the respondents who slept on the left side of the mattress love their jobs, compared to just 18 percent of those who sleep on the right side.
Both researchers say there is no one size fits all when it comes to sleep positions. According to Phipps the participants in his study of changed sleeping positions several times during the night.
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