How a person sleeps at night may reveal a lot about that person’s waking behavior. Research conducted by the Better Sleep Council (BSC) suggests a person’s sleep position may relate to his or her health, age, perhaps even education level. Additionally, the study found that differences between age groups became apparent in reported sleep position preferences, and although sleeping position is largely a matter of perceived comfort and habit, it affects sleep quality.
Sleeping through the ages
Different generations have different perceptions when it comes to the best sleep positions.
- Millennials and Gen Xers are more likely to sleep in the Freefall positions than Boomers
- Gen Xers are more likely to believe the Fetal is the best sleeping position
- Boomers are more likely to sleep in the Yearner position than Millennials and Gen Xers
- Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are more likely to say they sleep in the position they sleep in because it’s the most comfortable
Sleep and sex: How positions differ
Men and women have different views when it comes to sleep position and the perceived benefits of various sleep positions.
- Although Fetal is the top position for both men and women, women are more likely than men to sleep this way
- Men are more likely to sleep in the Starfish and Log positions than women
- Women are more likely to sleep in the position they usually sleep in because it’s a habit
- Men are more likely than women to say they sleep in the position they sleep in because they have a sleep disorder, it has medical benefits, their bed is too small or too big, or their partner invades their space
The benefits of Log sleeping
- Log sleepers consider themselves healthier than those who sleep in the other positions. Log sleepers also consider believe they get enough sleep.
You don’t pick out your mattress – your sleep position does
- The top two mattresses that people reported sleeping on are innerspring and pillow top – about half (49%) of all Americans have one or the other
- Those who have innerspring mattresses are more likely to sleep in the Yearner position than those who sleep in the Fetal, Freefall, or Soldier positions
- Those who sleep in the Log position are more likely than those who sleep in other positions to say their mattress is very comfortable. Log sleepers are also more likely than others to lay down and test their mattress before buying it.
Sleeping like a baby? Maybe not for those with advanced degrees.
- Those with higher education (graduate+) are more likely than those with less education (4-year degree or less) to say they sleep in the Fetal position. They sleep in the Fetal position because they have a sleep disorder, it has medical benefits, their bed is too small or too big, or their partner invades their space.
Survey Details: Better Sleep Council July 2017