It's no secret that a lot of us are skimping out on sleep. Whether it's because of school or work or the existence of the internet, I think all of the sleep-deprived among us can agree that if the Earth somehow changed its rotation and granted us a few more hours in a day that we would be spending all of them in bed. But the time you go to bed or wake up isn't all that determines the quality of your sleep, nor does exclusively what you do before you go to sleep. The biggest factor deciding the overall quality of your sleep, it turns out, is the position that you sleep in.
That being said, there's ultimately no "right" way to sleep (on your back is the healthiest, but there's no point if you're losing sleep trying to pass out in that position), so if you were hoping to win a competition for Best Sleep Position Achieved, you're all out of luck. But that doesn't mean that the way you sleep doesn't still say a lot about who you are as a person*. See if you can find yourself on this list to see what exactly your sleep position says about you (aside from the fact that you probably want some more of it).
On your back
As stated above, this is the most medically-recommended position to sleep in, since it promotes spinal health and can even fight acne you might get from putting your head on a pillow. If you're a back-sleeper, you're more likely to be a Type A person: You stand up straight both because you are confident and because it wards off the haters (aka, the kids who were mad you were wrecking the curve in biology with your stellar test grades). You're either the oldest kid in the family, or act like it by being the ring leader among your siblings.
In a fetal position
This is when you curl your knees up to your chest and sleep in a ball. You're less likely to snore, so you're basically the dream bedmate, but the position is also associated with arthritis and restricted breathing. Personality-wise, you probably love cuddling and cozy things and would rather spend Friday night cooped up in front of the fire place (or the Netflix pre-taped fireplace) than out on the town. This is the most common sleeping position, so you're also a bit #basic. Whatever. Own it.
On your side
People who sleep on their sides tend to be a little tougher than their fetal position-sleeping counterparts, but are still just as sensitive. The position is associated with the constriction of neck and shoulder muscles, so that may be where you tend to feel your stress. People who sleep on their sides with their arms outstretched (the "yearners") are usually more open-minded and accepting.
On your stomach
You are a champion of having good taste in food, which might be a consequence of digesting it really well from sleeping on your stomach. Because of the way your spine is aligned when you sleep, you might be a bit of a sloucher, which makes people underestimate you from time to time. Demolish them the way you demolished last night's pizza: quickly and without regret.
You are either traveling or absurdly prepared for a zombie attack at any given moment. If you sleep like this on the regular, you probably experience a lot of stress in your life, and you feel all the strain of it in your neck. Medical professionals recommend avoiding this position unless it is entirely necessary for travel, so if you're doing this for other reasons, do yourself a favor and invest in a home alarm system and get some sleep already.
Surrounded by cats
You are either a typical loving and slightly sleep deprived human being, or Taylor Swift. Either way, a bit of bad news: people who co-sleep with their pets get significantly less sleep, with over half of them reporting that their pets woke them up at least once in the middle of the night. At heart, you are most likely the "parent" of your friend group and find it hard to say no to people (and non-people), but you might want to reconsider if you're feeling especially tired. Putting yourself first has never been your strength, and people are constantly having to tell you to take care of yourself before you burn out.
In complete and total darkness
You are bold and have very little fear of the unknown—a natural Gryffindor if there ever were one. And a healthy Gryffindor at that: Sleeping in total darkness is associated with higher levels of melatonin production, an essential hormone for preventing cancer and other illnesses. The downside is that you're not exactly a morning person, but then again, you're far from alone in that.
With a nightlight
You are the kind of person who is prepared to the point of paranoia, and uses the words "worst case scenario" more times in a day than you'd probably want to admit. You don't sleep with a light on because you're afraid of the dark, but because you want to be ready. Unfortunately the disruption of sleeping with a light on has been associated with a higher risk of depression and lower levels of sleep quality, so it is a habit you might want to curb if you can.
Clutching your cell phone for dear life
Like cookie butter at Trader Joe's just before snowmageddon, you are a hot commodity, and it's important to you not to let anybody in your life down. Two reasons to consider changing your ways: the interruptions in sleep your phone causes majorly mess up your REM cycle, and the blue light from your phone can seriously confuse your body into thinking it's day time (which is probably why you're infamous among your friends for being a night owl).
Cuddling with another human being
You are a compromising and open person, and you feel comfortable enough with yourself to tell the people who matter in your life just about anything. Contrary to popular belief, you actually get great quality sleep with a sleep buddy—and the strength it brings your relationship might help you live longer. You tend not to stress out over the little things, and enjoy mornings more than most people.
You are very in tune with your goals and desires, and have no trouble striking out to achieve them on your own. Rather than shifting your sleep schedule to accommodate someone else's, you make the rules for yourself, in bed and in all the other aspects of your life. You are a little more baffled by changes in your routine than other people, but it's nothing you can't handle.
Next to a snack
You are possibly my long lost twin. (I keep a bag of Goldfish by the bed at all times. Not sorry.) You're a bit of an unpredictable person, kind of like the organs whose clocks you are constantly disrupting with your late night cravings, but the good news is you're the life of the party. Still, studies say that it's better to snack than to go to bed hungry, so you are clearly the kind of person who doesn't mind when the haters hate, hate, hate, and/or hate.
Splayed out like roadkill
You are a creative and imaginative person, although easily—DO I SMELL POP TARTS?!—distracted. You love sharing your ideas but you don't necessarily like being the center of attention. You are possibly a Tumblr aficionado and although you might not get a lot of beauty rest, when you do fall asleep, you fall asleep so hard that the apocalypse would not wake you.
With your head under a pillow
You are ridiculously patient and persevering, not just in dealing with people's snoring or the other outside noises you deal with on a nightly basis, but in all the things that go on in your life. You likely have a job that other people consider "high stress," but you know that you can take on just about anything that comes your way.
Falling out of bed
In your waking life, you are not necessarily the most creative person, and tend to stick to the rules and pursue work that is regimented and orderly. Nothing wrong with that—you find comfort and success within predictable boundaries. However, this may contribute to the REM disruptions that cause you to fall out of bed at night, when wild dreams where you're having trouble blurring the line between dream and reality can cause excessive kicking and thrashing. Fortunately, it is an easily treatable problem, so there's no need to play Batman after you hit the hay every night.
A mix of all the sleeping positions
You are basically The Joker of sleepers. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT YOU WILL DO NEXT?! You are both mysterious and adaptable, floating from social group to social group less like a butterfly and more like a chameleon. This sleeping style is also associated with people who tend to be less satisfied with their lives, so hopefully all your shifting both in your waking and your sleeping life will lead you to a more resolute place soon.
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