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Sleep Personality: What Your Sleeping Position Says About You

Graphic of different sleep positions.

Sleep Personality: What Your Sleeping Position Says About You

Graphic of different sleep positions.

Introverts and extroverts make up the world. Whether you’re the life of the party or a wallflower, your personality could be evident in the way you sleep.

Many of us have preferred sleeping positions. We may naturally gravitate to this position as a means of self comfort…and maybe even just out of habit. What your sleeping position says about you may reveal hidden personality traits.

Not all sleeping positions are ideal, though. The National Sleep Foundation ranked the most popular sleep positions according to what’s best for the body. Here are the results:

  • Sleeping on your back
  • Side-sleeping
  • Curled in the fetal position
  • Flipped on your stomach

Yes, sleeping on your back is actually the most recommended sleep position. However, the NSF states that this position is not recommended for those with sleep apnea.

Although these are the healthiest ways to sleep, per the Foundation, you might add your own touch to these positions. Maybe you sprawl all your limbs out when sleeping on your back, or perhaps you tuck your hand under your pillow when resting on your side.

Little preferences might even speak to our personalities. So what does your sleep position and those little sleep habits say about you?

Sleeping On Your Back

Not a lot of people clock their nightly zzz’s on their backs. Those who do, though, might prefer to sleep a bit more rigidly…or completely spread out.

The BBC talked with Chris Idzikowski, a sleep expert with Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service (SAAS), about the meaning behind sleep positions. Idzikowski explained back positions called “The Soldier” and “The Starfish.” The soldier position is like the name suggests: lying on the back with arms at the side. A tad serious.

The BBC notes that, according to Idzikowski, certain personality features are illustrated by The Soldier. These sleepers tend to keep to themselves, might not like to get caught up in too many details and have high expectations.

Starfish sleepers, on the other hand, are all over the place. Sprawled out like those cute little sea creatures. BBC notes that this position is indicative of helpfulness and individuals who are listeners, but these sleepers also aren’t individuals who wish to dominate the stage.

A woman sleeps on her side with one arm wrapped around her.


Left side or the right side? You might have a preference for side-sleeping, and perhaps that preference is liked to facing a partner or maybe the side you choose is just out of habit.

A position called “The Log” by Idzikowski is illustrated by sleeping on the side with arms at the sides. According to the BBC, this position means you’re laid back, like to be popular and you’re trusting…but the negative side is that the position also points to gullibility.

Another side position called “The Yearner” is marked by the arms reaching out. So what does this position mean? According to the article by the BBC, these sleepers “are said to have an open nature, but can be suspicious, cynical. They are slow to make up their minds, but once they have taken a decision, they are unlikely ever to change it.”

The Fetal Position

Do you sleep like a baby…literally? The fetal position is popular for many sleepers; if you sleep curled into a ball with your knees tucked up towards your chest, then this is your position.

The fetal position is indicative of individuals who have a soft interior but a tough outer shell, according to the BBC’s article citing Idzikowski. This explanation makes sense, as the position resembles curling into a protective ball or shell.

Belly Sleeping

Those who flip on their stomach for the ideal night’s rest also could flop their arms off to the side, tuck them under the pillow or keep them straight at the side.

If you sleep with your arms snugly under the pillow, then you are in a position Idzikowski called The Freefaller. This position almost looks like a skydiver!

Interestingly, the article for the BBC explained Freefallers tend to be a bit hasty and are definitely not wallflowers. However, it was also noted that they aren’t fond of “extreme situations.”

What about those who sleep a bit more conservatively on their bellies? Maybe you keep your arms neatly at your side? This could indicate similar personality traits as those who prefer the Soldier position, although, there hasn’t been an analysis of this position.

So what position do you prefer? Does the sleep profile as explained by the BBC and Idzikowski fit your personality?

Like our body language throughout the day, the small nuances of how we sleep can tell our partners–or anyone who sees us sleep—a little bit about our personality. These little habits may be so ingrained that we don’t even realize why we sleep the way we do. Rest easier, though, knowing that your sleep position is just another subtle reflection of your individuality.

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