Sleep Positions, Personality Traits and Health

Posted by on Aug 23rd, 2011 and filed under Wellness. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

A recent study by sleep expert Dr.Chris Idzikowski, previously the director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service and the current Director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre, suggested a correlation between six common sleeping positions and the personality traits of the sleepers themselves. The preferred sleeping positions adopted by people were seen as a sort of subconscious body language that reflects one’s inner traits. Let’s take a look at the correlations he found. The positions are listed in order of the frequency they occurred in Dr. Idzikowski’s study.

Fetal Position: This is the most common sleeping position, adopted by 41% of people out of which most are women. Curled up on their side, holding the pillow, the major personality traits displayed by these sleepers are shyness and a lot of sensitivity, at the same time presenting a rough and tough exterior to the world. Health Effect -It is recommended that when lying on your side in the fetal position with your knees bent, you have a pillow tucked between your legs to take as much stress as possible off your back. Use a full-length body pillow if you prefer. This position may be particularly helpful if you have osteoarthritis in the spine, spinal stenosis–a narrowing in the spine–or hip pains


Log Position: In this the person lies down on their side with both arms down by the side. This position indicates an easygoing personality to the point of being gullible. They are social people who like being part of the in-crowd, and most likely to trust strangers .Around 15 % of people adopt this sleeping position. Health Effect-Sleeping with one’s side on one’s hand causes the head and neck to be awkwardly positioned. Hence, Log sleepers generally have a difficult time finding a pillow that provides them adequate head and neck support while simultaneously remaining soft and comfortable for the side of their face to rest upon.


Yearner Position: It’s similar to the log position, as the yearners sleep on their side too however with their arms outstretched. It’s said to indicate an open natured person, though suspicious and cynical. They are slow and very careful to make up their minds, but once they have taken a decision, they are unlikely ever to change it. Around 13 % of people adopt this sleeping position. Health Effect-Yearners may have trouble finding a good pillow because most pillows are not designed to support the head and neck evenly throughout the pillow.


Soldier Position: The name says it all, flat on one’s back with arms at the sides. The soldier indicates a quiet and reserved personality who set high standards for themselves and people around them. They are the least fussy of people and around 8 % of people adopt this sleeping position. . Health Effect-Soldiers should have firm support for the back of the head and neck. Soldier sleepers can have difficulty deciding between soft and firm pillows because both have their advantages for this sleeping position: the softer pillows provide a more comfortable support for the neck, while a firmer pillow tends to feel more comfortable on the back of the head. Professor Idzikowski concluded that soldier were more likely to lead to snoring and a bad night’s sleep.


Freefall Position: Free fallers comprise of people who sleep flat on their stomach and the head turned to one side. The arms usually rest on the head or ears or around the pillow. This position indicates a person with a brash and gregarious exterior who is internally very nervous and sensitive and   don’t like criticism, or extreme situations. Around 7 % of people adopt this sleeping position. Health Effect-It is recommended that you do not sleep on your abdomen. Sleeping facedown can exaggerate the arch at the base of your spine and cause strain. If you can’t sleep comfortably any other way, you should reduce the strain on your back by placing a pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen. Use a pillow under your head if it doesn’t place too much strain on your back. If not, try sleeping without a pillow under your head. It is challenging to find just the right pillow firmness for Freefallers. However, this position may be helpful if you have degenerative disease or a herniated disk in the central portion of your spine.


Starfish Position : A rare position to sleep in these sleepers make good listeners and therefore good friends .They offer help to others when needed and usually do not like to be the centre of attention. In this position the person lies on the back with arms and legs outstretched. Around 5 % of people adopt this sleeping position. Health Effect-The Starfish position can be bad for your back. If you must sleep on your back, prop a big, fluffy pillow under your knees to maintain the normal curvature and reduce the pressure on the sciatic nerve in your lower back. A small, rolled towel under the small of your back may be helpful to provide additional support. You may support your neck with a pillow. Like the Solider position, Professor Idzikowski concluded that starfish was more likely to lead to snoring and a bad night’s sleep.


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