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Do Different Sleep Positions Have Hidden Meanings?

Published February 9, 2023
Do Different Sleep Positions Have Hidden Meanings?

It's time to hit the sheets. You crawl into bed and assume "the position." (The sleep position, that is.) You've likely slept the same way since childhood, and like most people, you'd struggle to fall asleep in any other position. Sleeping positions will vary from person to person; however, your particular preference may reveal something interesting about you.  Keep reading for the psychology behind the way you fall asleep.

1. The Fetal Position

Coming in at the top of the charts is the Fetal Position. 41% of people studied prefer to fall asleep this way, and if you look only at women, that number rises to 51%, according to Professor Idzikowski. This position is when you're sleeping on your side, and knees pulled up toward your chest, arms bent, and hands positioned close to your face on the pillow.

Alternatively, you may have one arm under the pillow while the other is near your chin. This textbook "comforting" posture can be considered an attempt to calm yourself, similar to when you resided in your mother's womb. Studies show that people who prefer the fetal position tend to be sensitive and shy at first, but they are warm, very organized, and conscientious when relaxed. Since this position can add significant stress on your back, place a pillow between your knees to take some of the pressure off.

2. The Side Sleeper

The second most common position is the side sleeper. 15% of participants preferred this particular position, where you are lying straight on your side and resting on your hip. It can be challenging to comfortably support your neck and head in this position, so be sure to find a soft enough pillow that will cradle your face. Sleeping on your side can also result in more facial wrinkles. The meaning behind a side sleeper commonly reveals that you have an easy-going nature, are trusting and enjoy partaking in large group activities/social gatherings.

3. The Yearner

In "the yearner" pose, your legs are slightly bent, and your head is somewhat angled off the center of the pillow. With 13% preferring this variation of the fetal position, arms are also stretched forward as if reaching for something.
Personality traits closely related to this position indicate an open mind with a side of cynicism. You're also likely slow to make decisions but firm in those choices once they're made. This position can be hard on your neck, so try to find a pillow that supports your head.

4. The Soldier

This position is favoured by only 8% of the participants studied. The soldier position has you sound asleep on your back with your arms down by your side, your legs straight and close together. Those who sleep on their backs tend to snore and may be prone to sleep apnea. However, this position offers ample support for your back and neck. The Soldier sleeping position suggests that you're typically quiet and more reserved. You're also likely to set high standards for yourself and others around you.

Getting a good night's sleep is so essential to your health and sense of well-being. Just because you go to bed at a reasonable hour doesn't guarantee that you'll wake up without a stiff neck or sore shoulder, however. Your preference may be the culprit that's causing pain by putting extra stress on your back and neck. Quality sleep can also be disrupted by excessive snoring and headaches. Are you a victim of morning soreness or extreme fatigue? Maybe it's time to look at your sleeping position preference and adapt your style to alleviate pressure and relieve pain. The hacks that our sleep specialists provided below can help take away that strain and give you a more restful and restorative sleep.

Back Sleeper Hack: place a pillow under your knees and try to keep your arms down by your side. This can help alleviate back pain as well as any strain on your shoulders.

Side Sleeper Hack: attempt to keep your arms down by your sides while you sleep. This can help support your spine and relieve any pain in your neck and back.

Stomach Sleeper Hack: to help provide extra support for your spine, place a pillow under your hips. 

Side Sleeper Hack: place a pillow between your knees to reduce strain on your lower back. This will also help keep your spine in alignment while you sleep.

Can you relate to the psychology behind these common sleeping positions? Is your preferred position causing you pain or placing stress on different areas in your body? If so, try some of our sleeping hacks! And always remember that if you are looking for better sleep, our affordable and natural latex mattress selection can offer some extra support when you need it most. 

Sweet dreams!

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