Sleep Position and Your Personality

Written by Zulekha Nishad

Last Updated June 6, 2024

Do you fall asleep on your back, stomach, or side? Well, the position you choose while catching some zzz's can say a lot about your health and personality. 

sleep position and your personality

For example, did you know that falling asleep on your side can help reduce snoring and lessen back pain? Or that people who sleep on their stomach are more likely to suffer from neck pain?

In this blog post, we'll take a look at what each sleep position says about you. So whether you're a back sleeper, stomach sleeper, or side sleeper, keep reading to learn more!

Sleeping positions and personality

Most people don't think much about how they sleep or what their sleeping position means. But according to sleep experts, your sleep position may actually reveal a unique insight into your traits and behaviors.

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While there are three common sleep positions - side, back, and stomach - each has its own variations. Here's what they might mean about your personality.

Side sleeper

You may be a side sleeper if you prefer sleeping on your left or right side, rather than back and stomach. Kids spend equal amounts of time sleeping on the side, back, and stomach. However, as people age, they tend to sleep more on their sides.

sleep positions side sleeper

Age and body mass index are two factors associated with more side sleeping.


Given below are the most common variations of side sleeping positions:

Fetal position

Fetal position sleepers lay curled up like a baby in the womb, with legs and arms bent.

Many people prefer sleeping in a fetal position because it offers them a sense of safety as they doze off. Those who prefer this position may be tough on the outside but sensitive inside.

sleep positions fetal position

Sleepers who prefer fetal position tend to be more anxious and emotional. They even look shy when they meet someone for the first time.

However, fetal position is one of the most natural ways to sleep and is comfortable for those struggling with stomach issues and acid reflux.

Log position

Log position refers to sleeping on your side with your legs extended, arms down, and close to your body.

Those who prefer sleeping in log position are easy-going and social butterflies.

sleep positions log position

According to research, log sleepers are trusting and carefree. But they are also known to be quite gullible.

Yearner position

Yearner position refers to sleeping on your side with legs and arms outstretched. In this position, a sleeper looks as if they are yearning for something.

sleep positions yearner position

According to research, people who prefer this sleep position tend to be open-minded. But they are not as open as sleepers who prefer the log position.

Yearners can be cynical, suspicious, and slow when making decisions. But once they do, they're less likely to change it.

Back sleeper

Back sleep posture is the second most popular sleeping position after side sleeping. If you sleep on your back, you are more likely to wake up refreshed and rejuvenated.

There are different ways to sleep on your back. However, the most common back sleeping postures are "soldier" and "starfish."

sleep positions back sleeper

Soldier position

Soldier position refers to sleeping on your back with arms by your sides with legs straight .

sleep positions soldier position

According to research, people who prefer this sleep position are quiet and reserved. They also tend to hold high standards.

Starfish position

Starfish sleeping position refers to lying on your back with arms up by the pillow and legs outstretched.

sleep positions starfish position

According to research, sleepers who prefer this sleep position are selfless, helpful, and good listeners. They value friendship and don't like being the center of attraction.

Stomach sleeper

Stomach sleeping is the least preferred sleep posture out there. It is also known as prone sleeping position.

sleep positions stomach sleeper

According to studies, only a small percentage of adults prefer this sleep position. This may be due to the extra effort required for breathing and lack of flexibility in the spinal cord.

The most common variation of stomach sleeping is the "freefall" position.

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Freefall position

Freefall position refers to sleeping on your stomach with hands around the pillow and your head turned to one side.

sleep positions freefall position

According to research, freefall sleepers are social and can border on being rude or nosy. But, deep down, they are sensitive. They can become uneasy by criticism or dealing with extreme situations.

Sleep position and health

It's not all about how many hours you sleep at night - the way you sleep matters too.

Your sleeping position can make you more likely to experience back pain, heartburn, sleep apnea, or even get a good night's rest.

Here's how different sleeping positions lead to health issues or better wellness outcomes.

Side sleeping position

According to experts, sleeping on your side is the most optimal way to achieve a comfortable night's sleep. It is also one of the most common sleeping positions.

Side sleeping opens the airway, reducing the symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea. Doctors often recommend side sleeping for people with lower back pain, neck pain.

Side sleep position is also recommended for those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).


If you're pregnant, sleeping on your left can improve maternal and fetal health. This sleep position reduces heartburn, promotes blood flow, and relieves pressure on the uterus. Side sleeping also reduces swelling feet and legs during pregnancy.

A pregnant woman sleeping on her side

If your preferred sleep position is the side, you may have noticed new lines and wrinkles showing up on your face. When you sleep on your side, your face might probably be pressed into the pillow, causing your skin to fold up and cause vertical creases. These types of wrinkles are known as sleep wrinkles.


It's always best to keep your chest and legs as straight as possible when you're sleeping on your side. And, try to use a medium-height, slightly firm pillow under your head and neck. You can also place a pillow between your knees to reduce pressure on the lower back.

Back sleeping position

Sleeping on your back is a great way to maintain your spine's natural position and reduce back pain.

Back sleeping can help reduce muscular tension in your neck and shoulders.

If you're a back sleeper, find a mattress that provides good lumbar support so your lower back doesn't arch unnaturally. You should also look for a supportive pillow that allows proper spinal alignment and helps your neck retain its natural curve.

Back sleeping can prevent facial asymmetry. Years of sleeping on one side of your face can lead to unevenness in the texture or volume of the face.

This sleep position also prevents your face from rubbing up against the pillow, which in turn can make your skin wrinkle-free.

If you have obstructive sleep apnea or a snoring habit, back sleeping can worsen the condition.

Although sleeping on your back can cause acid reflux, symptoms are reduced when sleeping on an adjustable base bed.

Pediatricians often recommend putting infants to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. However, back isn't always best for adults.


A cute little baby sleeping on her back

Keeping one arm up and one down when you're sleeping on your back can strain your neck and shoulders. Therefore, if you prefer a back sleep position, try to lie on your back symmetrically.

When lying down on your back, try to modify the position by placing a cervical pillow, preferably a pillow with a low height under your neck. You can also use a larger rolled cushion or towel to prop up your knees. Both of these additions can considerably reduce lower back strain.

Stomach sleeping position

Stomach sleeping is the not-so-recommended type of sleep position.

This sleeping position can make your body severely strained. You may even wake up with back and neck pain.

Since the midsection of your body is one of its heaviest parts, stomach sleeping can cause spinal overarching. This problem can lead to pain and nerve issues. As a result, you start experiencing tingling sensation or numbness in the fingers and toes.

When you're sleeping on your stomach, you have to turn your head to one side. This can reduce the size of your airway. And also, breathing requires extra effort when you're sleeping on your stomach.

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Stomach sleepers should try sleeping on a firm mattress (not too firm) and a soft to medium firm pillow. A mattress that is too soft can lead to spinal misalignment. Also, a too lofty pillow can put pressure on your neck, causing stiffness.

So, there you have it – the definitive answer to what your sleeping position says about you (or at least, how you sleep). Do you feel enlightened?

A young woman with a sleep mask smiling happily after enjoying a good night's sleep in her comfortable sleeping position

Just keep on snoozing and getting the rest of the ZZZ's that are so necessary for a healthy body and mind. And if you're waking up with pain, try changing your sleep position or talk with a sleep specialist.

But if you're sleeping well and waking up refreshed, there's no need to worry about your sleep position or what it means!

What is your favorite sleep position? Let us know in the comments!

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Disclaimer: What is said in this article has been referenced from multiple sources and is intended only for educational and informational purposes. Please note that no content in this article is a substitute for professional advice from a qualified doctor or healthcare provider. Always consult an experienced doctor with any concerns you may have regarding a health condition or treatment, and never disregard any medical suggestions or delay in seeking treatment because of something you read here.