How Most People Sleep & What It Says About Their Health & Personality

April 7, 2017

An average person sleeps for about one third of their lives. That means: by the age of 75 this person will have slept for about 25 years. This is astonishing given the limited time we’re granted in this world. Yet, it also begs the question if there isn’t more to sleep than just physical replenishment.


Such must have been the motivation of Professor Chris Idzikowski who analyzed the sleeping positions of 1,000 participants in a sleeping lab. And he was in for a surprise:

For he didn’t only identify the most common sleeping positions, but also found a significant connection between those positions and someone’s personality.


So in this article you’ll find how you sleep and whether you’re a good listener at the very same time. And to top it off, we’ll examine the implications of the various sleeping positions on certain health issues such as snoring or back pain.

The Most Common Sleeping Positions…

The study is based on the fact that most individuals choose to lay down on their mattress in the same position every night. I say “most”, because 5% of the participants varied their sleeping position from day to day. Still, the other 95% the other people slept in those positions (from most to least common):

  1. The Fetus. Those people sleep curled up on their side. Some have one hand on their chin or face, while some hold onto their legs.
  2. The Log. This is still a side position, but with the back and legs straight. The arms are also placed straight on the side of the body.
  3. The Yearner. It’s similar to the previous sleeping position, but this time the person’s arms are positioned in front of the body.
  4. The Soldier. The person sleeps on his or her back with both arms by their side.
  5. The Freefall. This is the only stomach position. The person usually buries their face into the pillow or turns it slightly to the side and the arms are wrapped around it.
  6. The Starfish. The least common position in which the person lies on his or her back with the legs stretched out and the hands below one’s head.

…What They Say About Your Personality

Have you identified your sleeping position? Well, then you’re about to find out what this means in terms of personality.


Sure enough, the fact that the study found this correlation doesn’t mean it has to be true for you. We’re dealing with statistical probabilities here. But if you approach the findings with an open mind, they are certainly interesting – and you might catch yourself seeing some truth in them after all.


So the study found that:


People who sleep in the Fetus position tend to be tough on the outside but really soft and sensitive inside. They do relax and warm up to others but it may take them some time compared to the the Log sleepers, who are usually more sociable and easygoing right from the start. However, these people do have the tendency to trust others, even strangers, too quickly and can be quite gullible.


Those who sleep in the Yearner position are considered to be open to new things, but at the same time quite cynical and suspicious. They also tend to repeatedly weigh the pros and cons of any decision they have to make. The good news is that once they make a choice, they rarely change their minds or have regrets about it.


The Soldier sleepers are typically quiet and reserved. They don’t like making a big deal out of things and are also said to be good listeners. In the same spirit, they also hold themselves and others to high standards.


The Starfish position not only looks very open, but this visual characteristic also applies to the sleeper’s character. People who sleep in this position tend to be open, relaxed, and peaceful. They are also great listeners but do not like to be the center of attention.


Perhaps the most different of all the common positions is the Freefall. Apart from being the only stomach position, the Freefall sleepers’ personality correlated with more negative than positive character traits. Freefall sleepers were found to be outspoken, dominant, and brash. They usually make other adjust to their views while not taking criticism well and mostly personally.

…& How They Impact Your Health

As your body parts are positioned in a certain way during sleep, there will be pressure on some internal organs for several hours each night. And since snoring, for instance, is connected to our lungs and breathing apparatus while back pain stems from pressure on the other side of our body, different sleeping positions will have different effects on various health issues. So here’s what health aspects the sleeping positions are good and bad for:


  • Fetus: If you choose to lay down on your left side, you can ease acid reflux. This position may also be beneficial to those with hip pain, if they place a pillow between their knees.  
  • Log: The spine is kept straight in this position so this is recommended for those with back pain.
  • Yearner: Sleeping on your side can help with sleep apnea.
  • Soldier: This position may worsen the condition of those having difficulties breathing or are  snoring. You should also avoid this position if you have problems with sciatic nerve pain.
  • Freefall: Lying on your front is said to be good for digestion because of the pressure it places on your stomach.
  • Starfish: Similar to the Soldier, this position may aggravate snoring. It is also bad for your back because it does not maintain its normal curvature and puts pressure on the lower back area.


So which sleeping position is yours? And what does it say about your health and personality?

Sleeping Positions & Health
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