Did you know that 95% of us sleep in the same position every night? Be that, spread out like a starfish, arms by the side like a soldier, face down in a freefall or something else entirely. Sleep expert Professor Chris Idzikowski researched the topic and found that the shape we sleep in can reveal things about our personality. Read on to find out what your sleep position says about you and also how it might impact on how your body feels in the morning.
The most popular position to sleep in, opted for by 41% of people (and more than twice as many women as men). Also known as the foetal position - thinkers sleep curled up on their side, with arms curled on top of the pillow, or under the pillow. At least one hand lays resting near the chin.
Personality: People who sleep this way are often perceived to be tough on the outside but sensitive on the inside. They may be shy when they first meet somebody, but soon relax. Impact on the body: Sleeping with your knees bent can put stress on the back . To avoid this tuck a pillow between your knees.
Log sleepers sleep on their sides with their back and legs straight, both hands down by their sides, and their cheek resting against the pillow - straight like a tree trunk fallen in the woods. 17% of us sleep this way according to the study.
Personality: Log sleepers tend to be easy-going, social people who like being part of the in-crowd. They are trusting of strangers, and they may even be a little bit gullible.
Impact on the body: Sleeping on your side with arms your under you can cause the head to be awkwardly positioned and might result in neck pain. Try to find a pillow that can support your head and neck in this position and still remain soft and comfortable enough for the side of your face to rest upon.
The position of choice for 13% of people. Yearners sleep on their side with their head slightly off the centre of the pillow and arms outstretched along its length. Backs tend to be straight and legs slightly bent.
Personality: Yearners were found to have an open nature, but could be a little be suspicious and cynical. They are slow to make up their minds, but once they have made a decision, they are unlikely to change it.
Impact on the body: Sleeping this way may leave you vulnerable to neck and shoulder pain as positioning your head at the edge of the pillow rather than in the centre might not offer you sufficient support. If you have the space, place a cushion alongside your pillow so your arms can rest on that. That means you place your head in the centre stage on your pillow to get maximum support.
Personality: People who sleep in this position are generally quiet and reserved. They don't like a fuss, but set high standards for themselves and for others.
Impact on the body: Back sleepers need firm support for the back of the head and neck. The soldier position is more likely to lead to snoring than some of the others and that might result in a bad night's sleep for you and your partner.
Personality: Freefallers are often gregarious and brash people on the outside, but they can be nervy and thin-skinned underneath. They don't like criticism, or extreme situations.
Impact on the body: Sleeping facedown can exaggerate the arch at the base of your spine and cause strain. If you can't sleep comfortably any other way, you should reduce the strain on your back by placing a pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen. Try sleeping without a pillow under your head to avoid arching the head backwards.
Like to sprawl out in the bed? If you are one of the 5% of people who sleeps on their back, both arms and legs out spread out - then you are officially a starfish.
Personality: Starfish 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 centre of attention.
Impact on the body: The Starfish position can be bad for your back. If you must sleep on your back, prop a big, fluffy pillow under your knees to maintain the normal curvature and reduce the pressure on the sciatic nerve in your lower back. A small, rolled towel under the small of your back may be helpful to provide additional support. Make sure your neck is well supported with a fairly firm pillow. As with other back sleepers - this position is prone to snoring and therefore may lead to a disrupted night's sleep.
Find more about the research and read the whole article from the End your Sleep Deprivation sleep science website here.