Sigmund Freud believed that our dreams can tell a lot about our psychology and what recent psychologists have found is that our body language, while sleeping can also say a lot about who we are. For ages, psychologists have tried to reform psychoanalysis by finding ways to figure out one’s personality in a short period of time. What they have found is that there are 6 different sleeping positions and each position correlates with different personality traits. George Domino and Sarah Bohn (1980) state that when we are in deep sleep, our body unconsciously embraces different positions based on our character. Dr. Chris, a sleep specialist at Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service confirm that the latter is true. We will look at them in order of the most common positions to the least common ones based on what scholars have confirmed. Moreover, I will discuss what the healthiest sleeping positions are from a medical perspective.
Dunkell (1977) categorized three out of six positions to be the most common
The first position is the fetal. This is when one is sleeping curled up on their side
- It is 41% common worldwide.
- Michael Schredl (2002) concluded that those who adopt this position are usually shy and sensitive. Other scholars also believe that they overthink matters and this leads them to be over worried.
The second common position is the log in which one would lie on their side with both arms down by their sides.
- It is 15% common world wide.
- Scholars such as the ones I have mentioned earlier have agreed that those who sleep in the log position are mostly easy going, friendly and sociable people. However, they trust people easily and can sometimes be extremely naïve.
The third common position is the researcher. Some scholars refer to it by the yearner positon because adopters sleep on their side with both their arms out in front of them like they are reaching out to something.
- It is 13% common worldwide.
- They don’t trust people easily, are more skeptical than others and they take a long time to make up their minds but once they finally take a decision they stick to it.
Now let us move on to the least common positions that Dunkell (1977) has classified.
The fourth common position is the Soldier. It is the position in which one lies on their back with both hands to his/her side.
- It is 8% common worldwide.
- They usually have strong personalities yet are much of the silent type. They are mostly reserved, they don’t like loud stimuli or fusses. Moreover, they set high standards for themselves and expect others to be like them.
The freefall position is one in which you lie on your stomach with hands up and around the pillow, and the head turned to one side.
- It is only 7% common worldwide.
- Pallavi Srivastava (2014), a professor at the Times Internet University in India teach that this is the most uncomfortable position to sleep in and those who adopt it wake up feeling anxious.
- Ones who sleep in this position are people who want to be authoritative and in control but in reality aren’t.
The least common sleeping position is the starfish in which one lies on their back with both arms up by the side of their head.
- It is only 5% common worldwide but even that is not a small percentage. Based on the Worldometers.info the world population is about 7 billion (2014).
- Scholars describe these type of people as extremely generous. They are good listeners and always offers help when needed. However, they do not like to be the center of attention.
So, which of these positions are considered the healthiest?
Doctors say that the position that one’s body adopts is not necessarily the healthiest. Dr. Walker from the Health.com states that there is no one perfect position. Each position has its pros and cons but he split them into three categories: sleeping on one’s side, back or stomach. Sleeping on your back is healthy for your backbone, neck posture, digestion and skin texture. However, sleeping on your back and snoring are best friends. Sleeping on your side is bad for your backbone and neck posture. Side sleeps are bad for skin because this position promotes wrinkles and are bad for female breasts. However, sleeping on the left side is the most reliable position for pregnant women to adopt because it facilitates blood flow and prevents snoring. Doctor Walker describes the stomach position as the worst of all. It increases snoring, back pain, neck pain and bad skin. Doctor Walker explains that in this position participants apply so much pressure on their muscles and joints. Therefore, leading to irritated nerves and waking up with anxiety.
To sum up, psychologists and researchers are trying to build on the findings of Sigmund Freud in terms of unconsciousness, dreams and body language while asleep. They have concluded to find six different sleeping positions and each position correlates with different personality traits. These sleeping positions are the fetal, log, Yearner/ Reacher, Soldier, Starfish and finally the Freefall. Based on what doctors have concluded the healthiest sleeping position is on one’s back and the most harmful is on one’s stomach. So which type of position do you adopt while sleeping?