Correlation Between Sleeping Positions and Personality

We have all heard of people being cranky or grumpy when they wake up in the morning. Maybe it is just because they are not a morning person or they are still tired; however, some studies show that a person’s personality and behavior correlates to the position in which he or she sleeps in. Studies show that most people do not change their sleep positioning much throughout their lives. The explanation is quite simple, people have their specific sleeping positions because it does in fact reflect their own personality. Moreover, it is not easy for someone to change their personality especially in the intimate, private space of their own bed.

According to Professor Chris Idzikowski, who is director of the UK Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, only 5% of the people he conducted research on sleep in different positions every night. Idzikowski also pointed out different effects on a person’s body based on their sleep position. He concluded that those who lie flat down can more easily work their stomach contents back up into their mouths, but one who lies on their back tens to snore and breath less overnight.

There are an endless amount of different sleep positions that people may sleep in; some may prefer quite abstract positions while others may be simple in their positioning. Certain positions are found to be much more common in surveys. Researchers studied which position a person sleeps in and linked it to their behavioral tendencies. Of course they had to study and test multiple people who slept in the same positions to come to a solid conclusion of their personality types.

First position, is the fetus, or curling up with the knees into the chest. In a study with 1000 participants, 41% of the people chose to sleep in this position. The fetus is twice as prevalent in women than in men. These people are rough on the outside and quite shy at first, but on the inside they are soft and sensitive. After becoming comfortable with someone new, their shyness fades away, and they will relax.

Another position is the log, lying on your side with both arms down by your side. Someone who sleeps like this is very social and probably very likable. Others are drawn to a person like this because he or she is carefree and easy-going. These sleepers are trusting of others, even with strangers, which makes them gullible sometimes.

The next position is the yearner: lying on your side with your arms out in front of you. This person can be cynical and suspicious. He or she is open-minded and slow to make a decision, yet once he or she has taken a stance, it is unlikely to be changed.



The soldier is lying on your back with arms by your sides. This is a very basic position; consequently, these sleepers often are reserved and keep to themselves even though they are good listeners and hold themselves and others to high standards. Many participants of the experiments stated that they get the most sleep in this position.

The freefaller is the one position examined with the sleeper lying on his or her stomach. The arms may be in a variety of places: spread out, on the pillow, under the pillow, in two different places, or any other place you can think of. One article declares that this is the most defensive sleeping position. This person is out-spoken, narrow-minded, dominant, arrogant, and bold. He or she makes others adjust to his or her views and does not take criticism well. Many sources also agreed that this sleeper is thin-skinned.

The last position that Idzikowski looked at was the starfish. The person lies on their back with arms and legs spread out like Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. This is a liberal, free-thinking, relaxed, and peaceful person. This sleeper needs space in life and does not like crowded areas. This person does not like being the center of attention but will take it once in awhile.

One odd sleeping position that another study suggested was with the blanket pulled over the head clutching the edge of the blanket, as shown in the picture below. This person has some clear personality traits based on their style of sleeping. These are mysterious people who are shy, weak, deceptive, secretive, and scheming. They are not what they seem to be and hold all their problems inside. This kind of person is unlikely to open up to anyone.



This video gives a good synopsis of the information above.

All these studies showed how many of the subjects shared similar personality traits that were loosely related to their sleeping positions. The experiments provide a correlation, but there is no causation given whatsoever. Most likely it is the personality that leads to the different sleeping positions. One cannot make allegations about a person’s nature based on how they sleep. Nonetheless, there is some relation between a person’s behavior and how they sleep.

4 thoughts on “Correlation Between Sleeping Positions and Personality

  1. ska5221 Post author

    I agree with you. Someone’s mood when they are falling asleep will definitely affect how well they sleep, whether positively or negatively. I’d be interested to see that study conducted, as well.

  2. Emily Lippincott

    This is honestly one of the coolest topics I have read about so far because I would never have thought to correlate your personality with your sleeping position. I fall under the freefaller position, and for what I think I don’t move through the night (yet I have no clue). However, I can’t really picture my personality being the one described by that sleeping position. But like you said, “One cannot make allegations about a person’s nature based on how they sleep” and I would hope someone weren’t to say I am narrow-minded and arrogant!

  3. Eric Robert Kisner

    This is eerily accurate, except, in the world of science, nothing is eerie, I suppose. I personally am a fetus sleeper, though it often makes me the most tired to lay in the freefaller position. I think the one thing I can relate to from the personality description that corresponds to this position is that I’m thin-skinned. Most people I know who sleep in the freefaller position are indeed very defensive and often intensely narrow-minded and insecure. College is teaching me that science is everywhere!

  4. amp6199

    I enjoyed reading about the different sleeping positions. However, I understand where you are coming from when you say correlation does not exactly match causation. Drawing from my own sleeping patterns, I think that I sleep in many different positions throughout the night. One of them being the starfish, and another one being the freefaller. Obviously, someone cannot be both open-minded and liberal while also being narrow-minded and defensive. Perhaps the sleeping pattern of a person could have something to do with how they are feeling that particular night? That would be an interesting study as well.

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