We, humans, attach interpretations to almost anything – including sleeping positions. While each sleeping position will have a direct impact on your health, it would also say something about your personality, experts say. Also, there are so-called unhealthy sleeping positions that sabotage your posture and biochemistry as you sleep. Be it true or not, there’s nothing to lose if you know about the possible meaning and impact of your sleeping pose to your overall health.
Your body language while in bed will reveal a lot about your preferences, says Dr. David Greuner of NYC Surgical Associates. The expert said that since most people spend around 6-8 hours in slumber, there’s no doubt that their bodies will have something to communicate physically.
Interesting, ey? We’re just as intrigued as you are right now. So to start deciphering what is the healthiest sleeping position and what it denotes, here are the experts’ interpretations:
The fetal position is also referred to as sleeping like a baby. It simulates the natural pose we used to do inside our mommies’ tummies. Fetal position is the most common due to the comfort it provides. It’s also easier to doze off on this stance. About 40% of the population prefers this sleeping position.
Fetal sleeping shouldn’t be mistaken for side sleeping. This position has a crouched nature which imbibes safety. The amazing fact about the fetal sleeping position is that more women prefer this than men.
Experts say that those who prefer this position are more likely to be sensitive yet friendly. Fetal sleepers are also warm but they also maintain a protective shell against others.
When it comes to physical health, fetal sleeping could be problematic for those with back and neck issues. The spine is bent on this position but less twisted than what it looks like when side sleeping. It may not be one of the unhealthy sleeping positions, but it’s not the healthiest sleeping position either
Sleeping like a log
Sleeping like a log is exactly what it is: side sleeping with both arms on the side and the legs are piled on top of each other. It’s like someone froze and then fall asleep with a straight posture. This is less popular than any sleeping position which constitutes only 15% of the population.
Experts say that log sleepers are easy-going and trustful of strangers. They are also said to be social but a bit gullible in some sense. It might be comfortable for some, but log sleeping also has a share of pros and cons.
For the benefits, log sleeping defeats snoring and it also supports spine alignment. Given the proper neck support, this will also solve neck pains. The only problem here is shoulder pain and breast sagging for women. Anyway, log sleeping can be beneficial for those with spine issues and can’t lie down flat on their backs. That’s the reason why I can’t consider this as one of the unhealthy sleeping positions.
Side sleeping is one of the most common sleeping positions. It’s comfortable and associated with many health benefits. Side sleeping is when you lay on either your left or right side with one knee slightly bent and the upper arm clutching or hugging a pillow. It’s less crouched than a fetal position.
Side sleeping is said to ease heartburn since the esophageal sphincter is relaxed on this pose. It’s also believed that the lymph drains easily as the thoracic duct is found on the left side of the body. All these are possible if your sleep on the left side. It’s also effective in limiting snoring. However, side sleeping is disadvantageous to women as their breasts will sag without a proper cushion.
Experts don’t suggest any personality association with this sleeping position. But even without this interpretation, side sleeping is considered to be the healthiest sleeping position. Just make sure that you release pressure points to prevent back, neck, and shoulder pain.
The yearning log
The yearning log is simply sleeping with a straight body on one side, but with hands outstretched as if “yearning” for something. Experts interpret it to be openness and a strong resolve. They said that yearning log sleepers tend to make up their mind slower but when they do, they are not apt to change it. They are not thought to be as less gullible as the loggers. (Hey, don’t try to force your arms out, this is just an interpretation!)
In terms of physical impact, log position is just the same as logging. But take note that the shoulder area might be a bit twisted. As the arms stretch forward, the upper arm will have the tendency to lunge more to rest on the mattress. That will create unnecessary strain on the upper back.
But overall, there’s nothing wrong with this offshoot position of logging. It’s not one of the unhealthy sleeping positions. Anyway, a pillow under the upper arm will solve the issue.
Stomach sleeping is popular among men, but discouraged for women, especially for pregnant ones. But gender aside, lying on your belly will cause more back arching, thus a higher possibility of a neck, back, and chest pain. This position is also a bad idea for those who have back and neck issues. It will cause chronic pain and muscle spasms. It’s not the healthiest sleeping position, so far.
For women, sleeping on their tummy will be painful to the bust area. Since the breast will be pressed down for long, you’ll surely wake up with a sore bosom. For pregnant women, stomach sleeping is a total no-no. Just imagine squeezing your baby down there.
Interestingly, experts say that stomach sleepers are usually heavy drinkers and have the tendency to be rash. It’s also suggested that stomach sleepers will likely avoid extreme situations. One more thing is that stomach sleepers tend to be in agriculture-related industries.
When sleeping on your tummy, make sure that you turn your head on one side. Newborns, meanwhile, are discouraged from sleeping face down. Back sleeping can be considered as one of the unhealthy sleeping positions.
You’ve just arrived at one of the most common positions next to side sleeping. Lying on your back is beneficial as it supports spinal alignment that other positions simply can’t achieve. It also releases all the pressure points associated with side sleeping given that the neck area is properly supported. I can say that this is the healthiest sleeping position given that the person doesn’t have back issues.
Experts say that back sleepers tend to wake up more refreshed than others who prefer different sleeping positions. One theory posited here is that most back sleepers are young, usually at the age of 25-34. This age bracket is the prime of sound sleeping.
Sleep experts add that back sleepers usually work in logistics and transport industries.
But as much as these facts are music to the ears, back sleeping is the major culprit to snoring. When you lay on your back, your throat becomes narrower, thus the loud vibration when you breathe. A back sleeper may wake up refreshed but the one they are sharing the bed with won’t.
The starfish position is when you prefer sleeping with your arms raised near your head with legs parted. It’s like being pinned down by a sudden force called sleep. Only 5% of the population sticks to this position. They are said to be great listeners and wanting to be the center of attention.
Personally, I can say that the starfish position is pretty comfortable. I like placing my left arm high above my head with the other one lower. The only problem here is the slight strain on the shoulder area. But other than that, it’s an excellent position to align the spine and have a nice stretch in the morning. Just be careful not to elbow your partner!
Take note, though, that starfish is one of the unhealthy sleeping positions for pregnant women. Lying on your back while at the last stage of pregnancy is said to increase the possibility of stillbirth. Also, it won’t be healthy for your back.
Freestyle position is when someone simply doesn’t stick to a single position. He or she can be lying on this back at one moment and then on the side after a few hours. Some have the amazing power of rounding the bed. I know someone who can sleep on their belly and then wake up on lying on their back at the bottom of the mattress.
This is actually the healthiest sleeping position according to sleep experts. We have to move while sleeping so our muscles are stretched and our joints aren’t stuck in one place. Constant moving while sleeping is also a good thing when it comes to hormones and nutrient distribution.
There’s no problem with this sleeping position until you share the bed with someone. Your “nomadic” habits may not sit well with them.
By the way, experts say that freestylers are usually at the age of 35-44 and works mostly in utility industries.
Imagine yourself falling into your bed face down, arms tucked in front. That’s what the freefall sleeping position looks like except that the head is tilted to one side. A freefall sleeper will also love snuggling their arms under the pillow. Although this looks cute for kids and even adults, it’s one of the unhealthy sleeping positions.
First, it strains your hands beneath. You’ll likely wake up with a bad case of numbing. Second, it arches your back which can both cause neck and spine issues. You’ll also do a lot of tossing and turning in the middle of the night just to be comfy with this position.
For women, they use to tuck their hands beneath to avoid their weight from crushing their breasts. I did this once and made no difference. My arms hurt and my chest is sored just the same as lying on my belly.
Sleep interpreters say that freefall sleepers are usually outgoing and sociable. However, they aren’t always open for criticisms and the pose isn’t the healthiest sleeping position.
If you’re sharing the bed with your partner, you may want to consider the spooning position. It’s cuddling your partner on his or her back. This is said to increase intimacy and bond between couples. However, there’s a higher risk that you’ll wake up multiple times when your partner moves.
Spooning is said to release the oxytocin hormones which lowers stress levels and helps in easily falling asleep. But for hot sleepers, they may loathe the idea of close spooning.
Another problem here is if your partner is a freestyle or starfish sleeper. There would lots of tossing and turning (possibly elbowing) at night. Experts say that couples who spoon-sleep are more connected and assured of their relationships. It’s definitely not one of the unhealthy sleeping positions.
The soldier sleeping position is as tough as it looks like. It’s when you sleep with both your arms kept on the side close to your body. Your legs are also straight and parallel to each other. Basically, this is the best position for keeping spinal alignment. However, sticking to this the whole night without moving will strain your muscles. The bad news is that this is a recipe for loud snoring. The person you share the bed with may be happy with your physical discipline, but they would have sleepless nights with the wheezing. Anyway, I consider this as the healthiest sleeping position as long as the sleeper moves from time to time.
Sleep interpreters say that soldier sleepers are reserved and quiet. They also expect a lot from their selves more than they do from others. Deep as sleep, right?
Aside from the interesting interpretations, knowing what the unhealthy sleeping positions are will be advantageous to your body. It will help you wake up more refreshed and with less strain. What do you think of these health and personality interpretations? Do you agree with it? Let us know below!