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Meanings of the Different Types of Sleeping Positions

Did you know that the sleeping positions we adopt can have an impact on not only how long we sleep for but also the quality of sleep we get? Medical research suggests there are seven common positions that people will choose during the hours of sleep.

If the body does not get proper sleep, it can't function to its full potential. Some of the symptoms or problems caused by a lack of sleep are: 

  • Mood swings, feeling irritable
  • Poor concentration
  • Exhaustion
  • Lack of coordination

All of these side effects can put a huge strain on your general well-being as well as your mental health. Your preferred sleeping position can say a lot about your personality, and how you live your life.  

The Fetal position is one of the most popular as we all spent nine months in this position while being carried in the womb. It seems only natural that after spending such a long period of continuous time in this position that we would adopt it again after birth. 

This position is where you are curled up into a ball with your knees tucked up towards your chin. On the plus side, sleeping in this position could have you drifting off like a baby in no time. On the negative side, sleeping in this curled up way may be restricting your ability to breathe deeply and could also have a negative effect on your back and neck. This position is linked to people who over-think too much and constantly worry about their problems. 

On your back: One popular position is called 'the starfish': it can also be achieved by lying on your back with your leg and arms stretched out. As mentioned previously, lying on your back in any way can increase the likely hood of snoring and poor sleep. This position is linked to being a good listener, helpful and not attention seeking.

sleeping positionsOn your side, arms out in front of you: This position can be known as 'the yearner'. It can attribute to blood flow constriction in the arms and put unnecessary pressure on the nerves. This can be linked with people who are cynical, open natured and stubborn. 

On your side, arms by your side: This can also be called the 'log position'. Sleep studies show this position is far less popular. It might have something to do with the fact that sleeping with your arm under your body or trunk can restrict blood flow. When blood flow to one of your limbs is restricted, you can experience what's called paresthesia, which is more commonly known as the sensation of pins and needles. 

This condition has no strong links with harmful or life threatening illnesses, although long term effects have appeared in tumor and stroke patients. If the paresthesia does not go away after 5 to 10 minutes it might be a good idea to make an appointment to see your doctor or physician. This position is linked with people who trust easily, are easy going and sometimes gullible.

Your Sleeping Position Can Increase Your Snoring

sleeping positionsOn your back, arms at your sides: This position is often known as 'the soldier' because it resembles a soldier’s attention stance on the parade ground. It is supposed to be the most beneficial for you if you suffer from back or neck pain. 

This is the position the hospital might put you in if they suspect any back, neck or head injuries, as it is where all the muscles are aligned in a straight row and you should not be able to do any further damage whilst lying like that.

Lying like this can have its downsides as well. People who prefer this position are more likely to suffer from extensive snoring, which can of course interrupt a person’s, or their partner’s, ability to achieve proper sleep.  If you do suffer from a snoring condition, it is best to get checked out by a specialist because it could turn out to be something more serious, such as a form of sleep apnea.  

This position is linked with people who are reserved and quiet but can have quite high standards.

sleeping positionsOn your belly: The position in which you sleep on your belly with your arms raised out in front of you is also called 'the freefall' because of the angles or positions your arms and legs take on. The difficulty with this position is that breathing can be quite hard, as your face is more or less in the pillow. 

You will have to turn your face either left or right, which can put a huge strain on your neck and back because the curve of your spine is not naturally supported. The plus side is that sleeping on your front has proved good for the digestive system. This position is linked with brash people who do not like extreme situations or criticism. 

Pillow sleeper: This can cover a varied range of sleeping positions aided by one or more pillows. Some people sleep on their side with a pillow between their legs or knees. Others sleep with a pillow behind their back to provide support.  


Specialized snoring pillows prevent them from rolling over onto their back into the soldier position if they do not want to snore loudly. Some people even lie on their front with a pillow under their hips to aid the support of their joints. 


It can be difficult to find the most comfortable way to sleep without a lot of trial and error. Sleeping positions  are usually determined during childhood and can be very difficult to change after many years. The need for change could occur with a back, neck or head injury, or during pregnancy. It is extremely important to monitor the way a baby sleeps. They should always lie on their back, without pillows, to prevent suffocation.

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