How did you sleep last night? Curled up in a ball or lying face down on your back? Whichever way you choose to lie in bed before you drop off has become the focus of a new study, in which researchers say they can tell what kind of personality you have. The study has identified four major groups of sleeping positions; foetals, logs, yearners and freefallers. Apparently the most common sleeping position is the foetal, in which people curl up into a ball. This indicates that you are worried about something. The next favourite position is the log, which would indicate a stubborn personality, third is the yearner, who sleeps with arms outstretched and last up is the freefall, who sleep face down on their stomachs.
The research shows that more than half of us in the UK curl into the foetal position as they sleep and this is a sign that we are looking for comfort. A leading expert in the field of sleeping positions, Robert Phipps said those who favour the foetal position, typically with knees up and head down, want to return to their comfort zone. Foetal sleepers are conscientious and ordered, but can over-think things and worry unnecessarily, he claimed.
The ‘log’ is the second most common position, with 28 per cent of people in the UK lying fully extended in a straight line with their arms by their sides. According to the study by a body language expert, people who sleep in the log position are stubborn and set in their ways, and their preference for having things done their way can make them appear bossy and aloof. Mr Phipps also said that those of us who adopt the log position can wake up stiffer than when they went to sleep. The body language expert claims ‘loggers’ need to relax more and let their muscles unwind, leaving them to wake up less rigid both physically and mentally.
‘Yearners’, who sleep with arms outstretched, make up 25% of the population and describe people who are longing to chase their dreams. Yearners sleep with their arms stretched out in front, and it is thought that this position can have two possible meanings. While it can be interpreted as symbolic of the sleeper’s desire to chase their dreams by taking on new and exciting challenges, it can also suggest that the sleeper feels they are being chased. Mr Phipps said that, while yearners wake up eager to face the challenges of the day and grasp new opportunities, they can also waste time and energy chasing things that don’t provide the fulfilment they seek.
Finally, the last 17% of those surveyed adopt the ‘freefall’ position, suggesting they feel a lack of control over their lives. Freefallers sleep face down on their stomachs with their arms at right-angles, as though clinging on to their bed for dear life. Mr Phipps described it as physically the least comfortable sleeping position, and said many freefallers feel as though they lack control in their lives and are merely ‘hanging on for the ride’. Mr Phipps claimed that freefallers can wake up feeling anxious about things they need to get done during the day.
The study, which was commissioned by the Premier Inn hotel chain, revealed that percentages were understood to add up to over 100 per cent to take account of people who change sleeping positions during the night. I’m not so sure how accurate this study is however, as I sleep in the foetal position because I get cold, and then revert to the recovery position as I warm up!