Are you a fetus? A log? A starfish? No, I’m not talking about the animal you most closely identify with — I’m talking about how you sleep. Dr. Chris Idzikowski, director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service in the U.K., did a study about what your sleeping position says about your personality. Identifying six common sleep postures, Idzikowski surveyed a thousand Brits about their sleep positions and personalities. The survey showed some interesting connections between the way people sleep and characteristics of their personalities. For example, people who slept in fetal position (by far the most common position) had a tendency to show a tough exterior, while being sensitive on the inside; people who sleep on their backs with their hands at their sides, in contrast, tend to be on the reserved side.
Idzikowski admits that while the survey gives real insight into how people sleep, the correlation between personality and sleep position is “probably [a] statistical curiosity” (In comments for an article about the study, Idzikowski suggests that the survey was done more for the sake of novelty than hardcore peer reviewed science; the results of the UK survey were not repeated when he tried the same thing with a Southeast Asian survey group). But still! This is a cool idea, no? The premise of Idzikowski’s study is fascinating, I think, because it suggests that we might express our feelings and attitudes when we are literally unconscious, when we have no ability to shape how others perceive us.
While we don’t have definitive proof that sleep position indicates personality, it’s fun to speculate about what our sleeping positions, which for most of us are deeply ingrained and instinctive, can tell us about ourselves – and especially about how we are in bed...when we’re not sleeping. That’s right, I’m talking about sex. If sleeping position can tell us about personality, might it not also tell us about what we’re like as lovers?
Come with me on a completely unscientific journey as I breakdown what your sleeping position might say about you.
1. The Fetus
Fetal sleepers lie on their sides, with their arms and legs curled inward. According to Idzikowski for BBC News, these sleepers are “tough on the outside but sensitive at heart,” with a tendency to be shy but open up over time. When it comes to their sex lives, sleepers who favor this position may be on the shy side at first, and tentative about reaching out for what they want, both emotionally and sexually. As they get more comfortable over time, however, they’ll become more outgoing and confident. Once they’ve established a solid foundation of trust with their partners, they’re sensitive, generous lovers who aren’t afraid to go for their desires.
2. The Log
If you’re a log, you sleep on you side with your arms straight down beside you. Idzikowski theorizes that log sleepers are social people who like hanging out with popular people and are generally easy to get along with. They trust easily, sometimes too easily. As sexual partners, logs may be fun, outgoing, and willing to try new things. Their tendency to trust people can come back to bite them, however—they’ve had their hearts broken before by people they shouldn’t have trusted.
3. The Yearner
Yearners sleep on their sides with their arms extended in front of them. Idzikowski’s survey suggests that these sleepers have an “open nature, but can be suspicious, cynical.” They take a long time to make a decision, but once they have, they stick to it. In sexual situations, yearners can be standoffish at first and slow to trust—they tend to assume the worst about potential partners. But once someone has finally gained a yearner’s trust, he or she will be in it for the long haul as an open, dedicated partner.
4. The Soldier
Soldiers sleep on their backs with their arms by their sides. The survey suggests that soldiers are characteristically reserved. These quiet people hate drama and expect others to act according to the same high standard that they do. Sexually, soldiers may prefer to stick to a routine – they are not ones for wild sexcapades. That’s not to say they’re bad in bed: they do their best to please and expect the same consideration from their partners. One hint of drama, however, and they are out the door.
5. The Freefall
Freefallers sleep on their stomachs with their heads turned to the side and their arms up around their pillows. The survey showed these sleepers to be “gregarious and brash people, but […] nervy and thin-skinned underneath.” They’re not comfortable with being criticized or with being involved in extreme situations. By this logic, freefallers are fun and outgoing in bed — to a point. They act like they’re into more adventurous sexual behaviors, but they draw the line at hardcore kink. They act uber-confident during sex, but that confidence is fragile. Criticism will send them into a meltdown.
6. The Starfish
Starfish sleep on their backs with their arms up next to their heads. Idzikowski suggests that these sleepers are good listeners who love to help out but don’t like being center stage. As sexual partners, starfish are good, generous lovers who listen to their partners and try to fulfill their needs. They have a hard time, however, advocating for what they want in bed. A good partner to a starfish will need to make sure that he or she gets his or her needs met – even when he or she doesn’t easily speak up about them.