There’s no question—a good night’s sleep can help you function better in all areas of your life, from handling stress to performing tasks at work or school. Even how well you do in your personal relationships can be linked to how rested you are.
But, does the WAY you sleep tell us anything about your personality? Some experts and sleep psychologists say it can, suggesting your sleep position can offer some insight about your traits and behaviors.
We took a look at the six most common sleep positions to see what the experts had to say, and went a step further by matching them to mattresses from our sleep collection. Take a look to see what your sleep position reveals about you and whether or not you’re sleeping on the right mattress.
1. The Fetal Position (Side Sleeper) The fetal position—laying on the side with knees tucked up toward the chest—is one of the most common sleeping positions. In fact, researchers say that up to 47% of us sleep curled-up like a baby and it’s more common with women than men.
According to research (conducted by the aforementioned sleep experts), people who sleep in the fetal position are sensitive and caring. Although they may come off as shy or introverted when you first meet, they are warm and open once you get to know them.
If you are one of the 47% who sleep in the fetal position, you’ll get your best rest on a mattress that conforms to every curve of your body and provides relief for your pressure points. This will help you sleep longer through the night, because you won’t be flipping from side to side to relieve pressure in your hips and shoulders, and will give you the snug, comforting feeling you crave.
Our pick for your sleep type is the Beautyrest Harmony Lux Everlasting mattress. With layers of plush, contouring memory and support foam over a precision innerspring system, powered by T2 Pocketed Coil™ Technology, this comfort top mattress will cushion your sensitive pressure points and keep you snug and secure all night long.
2. The Log (Side Sleeper) Believe it or not, people who sleep this way are the social butterflies of the group. Despite the stiff appearance of the log position—on the side with arms tucked in and straight legs—research shows people who sleep this way are relaxed, outgoing, social, and trusting of others. Logs also believe that they are the healthiest of all the positions and report that they get enough sleep to function at their peak.
One of the benefits of sleeping this way is how well it keeps the whole body aligned. On a mattress that’s too firm, however, log sleepers might struggle with neck or shoulder pain. That’s why it’s important to find a mattress that has enough cushioning in the top layers to allow the shoulders and hips to sink in, while keeping the spine in perfect alignment.
At the top of our list for the log sleeper is the Sealy Yorke latex memory foam mattress, from the Natural Origins collection. This luxury, medium-firm mattress is designed with SealySupport Gel foams and targeted memory foam to absorb and disperse pressure and deliver breathable, custom full-body support and conforming comfort from head to toe.
3. The Yearner (Side Sleeper) The Yearner lies on their side with both arms stretched out in front of their body. Although they are perceived as open-minded, researchers say deep down they are somewhat suspicious and tend to stick to their decisions. Interestingly, the majority of Yearners are baby-boomers, with few Millennials or GenXers in their midst.
Like other side sleepers, Yearners need a combination of contouring comfort and support. Generally speaking, a plush or medium firm mattress hits the sweet spot; however, heavier side sleepers may prefer a firmer mattress with a deeper comfort layer, like the Serta Reflection IV with its luxurious pillow top.
This luxury hybrid gives the Yearner the perfect combination of pressure point relief and responsive support, thanks to layers of resilient, supportive latex and gel-infused memory foam atop a TruResponse coil system, with 1300 coils that conform independently to every curve. Plus, for those who sleep hot, five advanced cooling technologies work together to reduce heat build-up for a cooler, more comfortable sleep environment.
4. The Starfish (Back Sleeper) Starfishers—flat on the back but with arms up by the pillow and legs spread—are seen as excellent listeners, and giving, selfless people who are always willing to provide a helping hand or a listening ear. Although a relatively low number of people (around 10%) sleep all night on their backs, studies conducted in sleep labs suggest that most people start this way before moving into their favoured position.
Both Starfish and Soldiers (see below) do especially well on a foam hybrid mattress with a plush comfort layer and supportive innersprings—especially those that offer targeted support. Back sleepers should be especially careful when choosing the firmness level of their mattress; a mattress that’s too soft can pull your spine away from its natural arch, causing misalignment and pain, while a too-firm mattress can cause your back to ache because there is no give in the top comfort layer.
A good starting point for most back sleepers is a medium to medium-firm mattress; however, a heavier body type may want to choose a mattress on the firmer side (to prevent too much sinkage) and a lighter person might find the sweet spot with something on the plusher side.
The Two Carat II by Beautyrest is a medium-support, tight top hybrid mattress with 1050 pocket coils in the support zone, plus 1300 micro pocket coils closer to the sleep surface for enhanced conformability and individualized back support. In the comfort layer, Beautyrest has layered their exclusive BeautySwirl gel memory foam over a double layer of firm memory foam for freedom of movement and advanced pressure relief.
5. The Soldier (Back Sleeper) The Soldier, not surprisingly, sleeps “at attention.” That is, flat on the back with arms along the sides of the body and legs straight. According to research, people who sleep this way tend to be quiet and reserved, and tend to hold themselves and others to very high standards.
Like the Starfish, the Soldier should choose a mattress that provides responsive support and a deep foam layer that allows proper spine alignment and pressure relief, like the Serta Nestle. New to the Perfect Sleeper family, the pillow-top Nestle features the 1020 Edition Custom Support® Coil System, a lumbar support core, and Serta’s exclusive HexCloud™ foam in the comfort layer to alleviate pain, pressure points, and tension.
Tip: Back sleepers who are away from home and experiencing back strain from a too-firm hotel mattress can encourage a more natural spinal position by ensuring their neck is fully supported by their pillow and placing a second pillow behind their knees. If necessary, the gap between the lower back can be filled with a folded or rolled towel for additional comfort.
6. Freefall (Stomach Sleeper) These bold spirits sleep on their stomachs with their hands up by their pillow and heads turned to the side. Fun at parties, the person who sleeps in the freefall position can also be brash and outspoken, and doesn’t take criticism well.
Unlike the back sleeper, the Freefaller should choose a firmer mattress with a less “poofy” comfort layer to prevent the hips and midsection from sinking in and drawing the spine down and out of alignment. Ideally, when sleeping face-down, the shoulders and hips should be on the same plane, with little dip in the middle. For this reason, many stomach sleepers prefer a traditional innerspring mattress.
The Stearns & Foster Bardot tight top mattress is a great choice for the stomach sleeper, especially those who tend to sleep hot. The moisture-wicking, breathable stretch-knit cover, along with cooling, luxury Primasense™ memory foam, work to keep you cool and comfortable all night long. Inside, the IntelliCoil innerspring system constantly adapts to your body to deliver the perfect level of support.
Your sleep position is just one of the factors that go into deciding which mattress is perfect for you. Book your Dream Experience appointment today and let one of our Dream Experts help you find the ideal combination of features to ensure you get your best rest ever on the sleep system of your dreams.