What Your Sleep Position Says About You

What Your Sleep Position Says About You

  • Melissa Breyer

Starfish? Soldier? Yearner? How do you sleep? I fall firmly into the Fetus category of sleeping positions–curled up on my side–which, according to researchers at the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, suggests that I am a tough cookie with a sensitive heart. (And yes, it’s true…underneath it all I am a big mush.)

Sleep scientists believe the position in which a person sleeps offers important clues about their personality. Director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, Professor Chris Idzikowski, analyzed six common sleeping positions and found that each is associated with particular personality traits.


The Fetus
This is the most common sleeping position, adopted by 41 percent of the 1,000 people who took part in the survey. More than twice as many women as men tend to adopt this position. Those who curl up in the fetus position are described as tough on the outside but sensitive at heart. They may be shy when they first meet somebody, but soon relax.

The Log
Lying on your side with both arms down by your side is the sleep position favored by 14 percent of the people in the study. I’d adopt this position if it guaranteed sleeping like a log, but perhaps not at the risk of being naive. These sleepers are easy going, social people who like being part of the in-crowd, and who are trusting of strangers. However, they may be gullible.

The Yearner
13 percent of people sleep in the pose of the yearner–on their side with both arms out in front are said to have an open nature, but can be suspicious and cynical. They are slow to make up their minds, but once they have taken a decision, they are unlikely to change it.


Are you one of the 8 percent who sleep lying on your back with both arms pinned to your sides? Well hello, soldier. People who sleep in this position are generally quiet and reserved. They don’t like a fuss, but set high standards for themselves and others. The soldier style is more likely to lead to snoring and a bad night’s sleep.

The Freefaller
If you sleep on your stomach with your hands around the pillow and your head turned to one side, you sleep in the freefall position. You are probably often gregarious and brash, but can be nervy and thin-skinned underneath, and don’t like criticism or extreme situations. Seven percent of sleepers assume this posture, which happens to be good for digestion.

The Starfish
About 5 percent choose to lay on their back with both arms up around the pillow. These sleepers make good friends because they are always ready to listen to others, and offer help when needed. They generally don’t like to be the center of attention. The starfish position is more likely to lead to snoring and a bad night’s sleep