Most psychologists agree that our unconscious body language reveals a lot about our state of mind and even our relationships. But what lessons can we learn from the positions and postures we adopt when we sleep?
Are you a ‘soldier’ who sleeps on your back, arms flat by your sides? Or a ‘sky diver’, lying on your front, arms reaching out above your head? And what does this say about you?
While we may not sleep in the same position every night, or wake up lying in the same spot we fell asleep in, most of us adopt a favourite. And it can reveal so much about our personality and insecurities, as well as our sexual desires and character strengths.
Our bedtime body language is all the more fascinating because there’s nowhere to hide. During the day, we can disguise the way we really feel. But all that changes the second we drift off, as our conscious thoughts take a back seat and give way to who we really are.
Even insecurities from childhood experiences can be seen here, especially if something has happened to exacerbate those feelings.
So, look at these pictures to work out which style of sleeper you are, then uncover the secrets this reveals . . .
Body language expert Annabel Knight, interpreted a selection of the most common sleep styles including the log (pictured)
The second most popular sleep position, you lie on one side, with your legs straight and your arms down by your sides.
What it says about you: Log sleepers are generally relaxed, positive people who think the best of others. Sociable by nature, people love to be around you.
However, your laidback attitude can make you appear gullible.
And, while it’s good to be easygoing, at times it’s crucial to openly express your opinions if you don’t want to lie awake worrying people are taking advantage.
Annabel says those who sleep in a soldier style (pictured) are often quiet and reserved, she encourages them to seek opportunities for self expression
You sleep on your back with your arms straight down at your sides, as if standing to attention.
What it says about you: Soldier sleepers are likely to be strong, silent types. Often quiet and reserved, you don’t like to make waves.
This rather rigid sleep position suggests a love of structure in other areas of your life, too.
Seriousminded, you set exacting standards, both for yourself and others. Taking up an artistic hobby, where you are encouraged to express yourself more freely, could help you cope with the stresses you sometimes place on yourself — and improve the quality of your sleep.
The body language expert says the starfish position (pictured) is common with people who are confident but don’t like to be the centre of attention
You lie on your back with arms and legs outstretched — or your hands tucked behind the pillow.
What it says about you: While this is the least popular position, those who sleep like this tend to be confident and gregarious, but don’t necessarily like to be the centre of attention.
This ‘open’ position suggests you are a good listener and may often go out of your way to help friends and family.
Don’t forget to look after yourself, though. A little pampering before bed will help you sleep better.
A study suggests the baby sleep style (pictured) is the most popular of all positions, Annabel advises those who use it to practice mindfulness to dispel racing thoughts
Also known as the ‘foetal’ position — you like to sleep curled up on your side, with one or both of your knees bent up and pulled in towards your torso.
The most popular of all the sleeping positions, a study by the UK’s Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service found that around 41 per cent of us choose to sleep in this way, with twice as many women adopting this position as men.
What it says about you: Sleeping with your knees curled up, as you once did in the womb, is instinctive and comforting — and suggests that, although you may appear to have a tough exterior, you have a soft centre that you feel you need to protect.
A natural worrier, you can sometimes struggle to sleep. Activities that encourage mindfulness, such as meditation, yoga and regular exercise, could all help to dispel racing thoughts.
Your cautious nature means it may take you a while to trust people and open up to them, but, once you do, you are a loving and generous friend.
THE SKY DIVER
Annabel says people who sleep in the sky diver style (pictured) are often very direct and can come across as insensitive
You sleep on your stomach, with your head turned to one side and your hands tucked under the pillow or at either side of your head.
What it says about you: If you feel comfortable sleeping in this ‘freefall’ position, it suggests you are an open, confident person.
You’re probably very direct — which can sometimes come across as brash or insensitive. You may also use your freespirited exterior to disguise your insecurities and need for control.
If you find yourself waking with anxiety in the night, try jotting down a todo list for the next day before you go to bed. Getting worries down on paper can help put them in perspective.
The body language expert believes people who sleep in the yearner position (pictured) can be openminded, yet cynical
You sleep on your side, but both your arms are stretched out in front of you, as if reaching out for something.
What it says about you: People who sleep in this unusual position are likely to be complex characters — openminded, yet cynical.
You can be slow and cautious when it comes to decision-making, but stubborn once your mind is made up.
You have a strong sense of loyalty and are a reliable friend.
If your indecisiveness makes it hard to sleep well sometimes, write a pros and cons list to give structure to your swirling thoughts.