Sleep Habits: What They Say About You

March 17th, 2011 | Nutrition and Health

I’ve been having some back problems lately and I’ve been spending the last few nights trying out different sleeping positions to find that ideal comfort zone. On my side with one leg crossed over the other; on my back with my knees bent toward the ceiling; I even tried lifting my legs in the air above my head out of sheer desperation for a moment of comfort.

Since I was up all night, I couldn’t help but think about our sleeping habits and what defines us as sleepers. Do you snore? Grind your teeth? Sleep on your stomach or your back? Your sleep habits are often related to your overall health and state of mind and even your personality.

Sleep and Your Health

Snoring could be related to allergies or the health of your throat. An obstructed airway or irritated throat tissue as a result of excessive smoking, drinking or overeating can lead to snoring. Sleeping on your back relaxes the throat muscles and makes snoring more likely, as well.

Grinding your teeth or tossing and turning at night could mean you’re stressed outside of the dream world. Your brain is activating your flight or flight reflexes while sleeping because it’s trying to relieve the stress that you may be ignoring. Be attentive to these types of signs. Stress has major impacts on your health and can greatly weaken your immune system, create issues with your blood pressure and irritate your skin.

Waking up often in the night or waking with a dry throat could indicate sleep apnea, which is when you repeatedly stop breathing while sleeping. For some, this happens as much as 400 times a night! This could be a result of being overweight, having large or inflamed tonsils or your brain being unable to signal your lungs during sleep. This condition prevents your body from getting enough oxygen while resting and can have major negative side effects.

What Your Position Says About You

The position you fall asleep in can tell a lot about your personality. I tend to fall asleep on my side, with one hand close to my head and the other down by my side or out in front of me, with a slight bend in my knees. What does this mean about me? (Apparently that I’m a yearning fetus.) A British study by Professor Chris Idzikowski, director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, explains six common sleep positions and what they can tell about a person’s personality.

  • The Fetus: Those who curl up in the fetus position are described as tough on the outside but sensitive at heart. They may be shy when they first meet somebody, but soon relax. This is the most common sleeping position, adopted by 41% of the 1,000 people who took part in the survey. More than twice as many women as men tend to adopt this position.
  • Log (15%): Lying on your side with both arms down by your side. These sleepers are easy going, social people who like being part of the in-crowd, and who are trusting of strangers. However, they may be gullible.
  • The Yearner (13%): People who sleep on their side with both arms out in front 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.
  • Soldier (8%): Lying on your back with both arms pinned to your sides. People who sleep in this position are generally quiet and reserved. They don’t like a fuss, but set themselves and others high standards.
  • Freefall (7%): Lying on your front with your hands around the pillow, and your head turned to one side. Often gregarious and brash people, but can be nervy and thin-skinned underneath, and don’t like criticism, or extreme situations.
  • Starfish (5%): Lying on your back with both arms up around the pillow. These 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 center of attention.

Regardless of your position, sleep is important for a healthy body and skin. It gives your body that necessary time to relax, recharge and process everything you’ve done throughout the day. Lack of sleep can leave you tired, stressed, less alert, and can lead to cognitive impairment, high blood pressure and injury from lack of attentiveness.

Sleep should be a time of peace and relaxation. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try exercising more (exercise can have a stimulating effect soon after your workout, so leave a few hours between the gym and your bed); avoid heavy meals and stimulants like caffeinated beverages and nicotine in the evening (or try to avoid nicotine all the time); and try out different positions to find the most comfortable one.

Sweet Dreams.

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4 responses to “Sleep Habits: What They Say About You”

  1. Dee Courter


    Pretty cool article, I learned some stuff I didn’t realize. I just happen across this blog; it’s pretty informative. I’m going to have to go through some of your other articles.

  2. The sleep habits what u have written is correct.I normarlly sleep like freefaller and starfish positions. The comments that u have written is very closer to my life.

  3. Joesph Pinault


    You have a lot of useful suggestions on this web site.

  4. Elbert Arel


    You have a few useful pointers on this site.

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