Starfish or Freefall? What Your Sleep Position Can Tell You
While there are many variations of sleeping on your side, all of which are beneficial in helping to alleviate insomnia and chronic sleep deprivation, the most comfortable position involves bending the knees slightly upward towards the chest. If you have a bad back, consider placing a pillow between your legs to alleviate pressure on your hips and lower back. Sleeping on your side is actually encouraged for those suffering from back or hip pain because this position doesn’t increase pain in these areas. It’s also recommended for pregnant women.
If you prefer to sleep on your back, be careful as it may actually induce lower back pain and even episodes of apnea, which interfere with normal sleep and restfulness. However, there are a few minor alterations to this position you can make to sleep more soundly: Try placing a soft pillow or rolled-up towel under your knees to facilitate the natural curve of the spine.
If you like sleeping on your stomach, you’re in for a bit of bad news: Sleep professionals don’t recommend sleeping on your stomach as it causes strain on your lower back and possible neck pain. People who sleep on their stomach report increased restlessness caused by frequent tossing and turning in an effort to get comfortable. If you do sleep on your stomach, use an extremely soft pillow or none at all so as not to put your neck at an awkward angle.
Below, sleep expert Chris Idzikowski shares some surprising insights based on his studies of what your behavior at night says about you during the day.
|Fetus position: A whopping 41% of participants sleep in this curled-up manner. Women are twice as likely to rest like this and it is listed as the most common sleep position. These sleepers are said to have a tough exterior but are still sensitive; they may appear to be shy but warm up quickly.|
|Log position: If you sleep on your side with both arms down, you are a social, easy-going person who is trusting, sometimes to the point of being gullible. The study showed 15% of people sleep like a log.|
|Yearner position: A close third – with 13% of participants sleeping like this – is the side-lying position with both arms out in front of the body. Yearners are noted to be open-minded yet cynical, suspicious, and stubborn about sticking to decisions once they are made.|
|Soldier position: About 8% of sleepers lie on their backs with their arms down and close to the body. This group is said to be reserved and quiet, and hold themselves and others to a high standard. Given the flat-back position, soldier sleepers have a higher likelihood for snoring, which may not cause them to wake up often but may result in a less restful night’s sleep.|
|Freefall position: People who lie on their stomachs, with their heads turned to the side and their arms under or wrapped around a pillow, make up 7% of the population studied. Freefallers are brash, outgoing and uncomfortable with criticism.|
|Starfish position: Sleepers who lie on their backs with arms up near their head or the pillow account for 5% of participants. These people are good listeners, helpful, and uncomfortable being the center of attention. People who sleep in starfish position are more likely to snore and to suffer from a poor night’s sleep.|