Your body language can reveal a lot about your personality and your thoughts. But you’ll be surprised to know that your body is communicating even when you’re asleep. "Most people spend six or more hours per day sleeping, so of course your sleeping position reveals a lot about you," Dr. David Greuner said.
Michelle Robin adds that your sleeping position can also affect your health. "If you remain in a position for hours at that puts a kink in your neck, numbs your arm, or hurts your hip, it takes a toll," she explains.
The good news is that just as it’s possible to use body language to convey trust and to enhance our interpersonal relationships, we can also work with our sleeping positions to get the maximum health benefits.
Curl up like a baby?
Many people fall asleep in a side-laying fetal position because it offers them a sense of safety, says mattress designer, Susanne Flother. According to a survey, it happens to be the most common sleeping position.
Those who favor the side-lying fetal position tend to be sensitive, but may project a tough exterior, reported Chris Idzikowski, PhD. Likewise, Dr. Idzikowski added, fetal sleepers tend to be quite personable, even if they come off as shy upon first meeting people.
Sleeping like a log?
Sleeping like a "log" is the way Dr. Idzikowski describes lying on your side with your arms at your sides. If this is your favorite sleeping position, then you’re probably easy-going, social, and relatively trusting of strangers. That said, you may also be a bit gullible .
Sleeping like a log but with arms that "yearn"?
This sleeping position is on your side like the log except your arms are reaching out in front of you, as if you were "yearning" for something or someone.
Like the log position, the yearning-log indicates an open nature, according to Dr. Idzikowski, with an added benefit: You’re probably not as gullible. You’re also probably slower to make up your mind, but once you do, you’re less likely to change it.
Taking side-sleeping to the next level
Whether you lean toward fetal or logging, experts agree that your tendency to fall asleep on your side is a plus for your nighttime comfort. However chiropractic expert Dr. Robin recommends you try a variation to obtain an optimum night’s rest and comfort during the day:
Knees only slightly bent
Small pillow between the knees to keep the spine in a more favorable and stable alignment
Hug a pillow between your arms
None of our experts offered an opinion as to what this position may mean about your personality; however, if you adopt it even for a night, it means you’re open to learning from others.
But which side?
According to a survey, left-side sleeping is favored by those who work in marketing and advertising, those between the ages of 45 and 54, and those who are degree-educated, whereas right-side sleeping is favored by those who work in transport and manufacturing, those between the ages of 35 and 44, and those who smoke and love caffeine.
As for the relative benefits of each:
Left-side sleeping may improve heartburn symptoms, according to Michael Breus. "The reason for this is because when you sleep on your right side, the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes, allowing stomach acid to leak out, which can result in irritation," he explains.
Right-side sleeping may be better for your heart, for the simple reason that it does not add any gravitational pressure to the heart.
Sleeping face down is far less popular than side-sleeping. According to a research, stomach-sleepers tend to work in agriculture, to be between the ages of 45 and 54, and to be heavy drinkers. According to Dr. Idzikowski, however, if your sleeping position of choice is face-down with your head turned to one side and your pillow grasped between your arms, you have a tendency to be gregarious, and even at times brash but you really don’t like to be criticized. And you do your best to avoid extreme situations.
On the back track?
People who sleep flat on their back tend to work in transport and logistics. And they’re also most likely to wake up feeling "refreshed." But maybe that’s because back-sleepers tend to be a young group, in general, with most of them being between the ages of 25 and 34, which is the best age for sleeping soundly through the night. In addition, snoring is associated with back-sleeping, according to Dr. Greuner, which means that although you may be waking up refreshed, your partner won’t be. However, this can be alleviated by sleeping on your side.
Freestyle sleepers tend to work in utilities and are typically between the ages of 35 and 44. Mattress designer, Flother, thinks that everyone’s a bit of a freestyler. "We’re all much more active at night than we think we are," she says. "We naturally move 50 to 80 times every single night, and all that so-called tossing and turning is actually a good thing." Nighttime movement keeps the muscles supple, and helps distribute nutrients and hormones to all parts of the body."