Before drifting off to dreamland each night, there’s a good chance you slide into a familiar position. Maybe you roll over to your right side and pull your knees into your chest or perhaps you lie flat on your back, arms at your sides as if you’re in “corpse pose” at the end of a yoga class. While you may think this pre-sleep move is simply your way of getting comfy, it reveals a lot about your personality and your health.
1. You sleep on your back. You’re more likely to be a Type A person. During the day, you stand up straight, because you’re confident and to ward off negativity. Being the ringleader and decision maker of the family suits you well. Sleeping on your back is the most medically recommended position but only 8% of snoozers do it. Your head, back and spine maintain a neutral position with no extra pressure, which reduces aches come morning. Also, spending all night with your face out in the air, vs smooshed up against a pillow, may lead to fewer facial wrinkles.
On the other hand, snoozing on your backislinked to sleep apnea – gravity forces the base of the tongue to collapse into the airway, which obstructs breathing. If you suffer from sleep apnea, consider moving to your left side for a healthier (and quieter) night’s sleep.
2. You sleep in a fetal position. You’re addicted to everything cozy and love cuddling. Spending Friday night in front of the fireplace while bingeing on Netflix sounds better than a night on the town. This is the most common sleeping position, so you’re in good company with the rest of the world. Own it.
Sleeping in a fetal position is ideal for pregnant women but even if you’re not pregnant, you’re less likely to snore. While you’re the dream bedmate, this position is also associated with arthritis and restricted breathing. Curling up too tight can restrict blood flow and damage your spine (over time). Try adjusting slightly to lie more onto your back, which will improve circulation through the night.
3. You sleep on your side. Even though you don’t love cuddling as much as the fetal sleepers, you’re still pretty darn sensitive – but a tough cookie during times of stress. You’re also accepting and open-minded to new situations. Snoozing with your arms stretched out at your sides is one of the most comfortable sleep positions. If you suffer from acid reflux and heartburn, switch to your left side for an easier time dozing off.
A word of caution – side-sleeping can cause nerve compression in the arms and legs, which can lead to chronic pain. Side sleeping during pregnancy improves heart circulation and lowers lower back pressure. Even better, it works if you’re not expecting too.
4. You sleep on your stomach. You have decadent taste buds and love all things food, mainly because you digest so well from sleeping on your stomach. Other than digesting your food, stomach sleeping reduces snoring and can relieve some sleep apnea symptoms. But sleeping on your front is widely regarded as the worst sleeping position because it flattens the natural curve of your spine, which can lead to lower back pain. Sleeping all night with your head turned to one side also strains the neck. If this is your preferred position, try using pillows to gradually train your body to sleep on one side.
5. You sleep surrounded by cats. At heart, you’re most likely the “parent” of your friend group and find it hard to say no to people. Putting yourself first has never been your strength but everyone loves you, especially your furry friends snuggling with you in bed.
A 2014 sleep study found that people who slept with their pets took longer to fall asleep, were more likely to wake up tired and were more likely to be woken up by a dog barking or animal making noises. On average, people who share a bed with their pets, took 4 minutes longer to fall asleep than those who slept without pets. If you sleep with your pets, try a night or 2 without them and see how you feel in the morning.
Regardless of health benefits, we sleep in the position we find comfiest. But if you want to sleep better – and healthier – try the Goldilocks method for finding your next perfect sleep position. Experiment with different sleep positions until you find the one that’s just right for you. Whether it’s back, side, or stomach, you’ll likely wake up in the position that your body naturally moved to.
At the end of the day, unless a doctor specifically recommends switching, it’s probably best to keep doing what feels right.
Check out more about how your sleep position affects personality from our friends at Buzzfeed:
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