What Does Your Sleep Position Say About You?

Robert Phipps, a British body language expert, says how a person sleeps can reveal key personality traits.

Whether you’re a side sleeper, back snoozer, or a knees-up cuddler, the position you choose while sleeping could reveal something about your personality, according to a British body language expert.

Robert Phipps, a leading body language expert in the United Kingdom, claims that a person’s sleep position can reveal key personality traits, like stubbornness or bossiness, as well as how critical a person is or if they feel they have control over their life, according to the Telegraph.

He also says the position you sleep in can indicate how stressful your day was or how much you tend to worry.

In research conducted for the budget hotel chain Premier Inn, Phipps surveyed 1,000 British adults about their sleeping positions, according to the Telegraph. He allowed participants to select more than one option for their preferred sleep position. Using those results, here are four of the most common sleep positions the survey identified, and what it says about you.


If you sleep with your knees curled up and your head down, you’re not alone. Phipps said about 58 percent of the people surveyed sleep in this position.

  • What the fetal position says about you: The fetal position is common among worriers, says Phipps. The more we curl up, the more comfort we seek, he says according to the Daily Mail. Fetal sleepers are conscientious, ordered, and like things in their place, according to the survey.
  • What to do about it: Try not to overthink things, which only causes more worry. And be careful not to become too stuck in your comfort zone, and prepared to tackle new challenges as they arise, the survey said according to The Telegraph.

Sleeping with the body straight, limbs to the side, was the second most popular position in the survey, with about 3 in 10 people saying they sleep in this manner, according to Phipps.

  • What sleeping like a log says about you: This position may indicate that a person is inflexible and rigid in their thinking, and possibly set in their ways, stubborn, and bossy.
  • What to do about it: Phipps said people who sleep in this way should try to “stretch themselves” and embrace the challenges and excitement of a new day. He recommends trying to relax and let your muscles unwind from the day when you’re going to sleep; that way, you’re more likely to wake up feeling flexible in your thinking, according to The Telegraph.

If you sleep with your arms stretched out in front of you, Phipps would describe you as a “yearner;” 25 percent of the survey participants sleep in this manner.

  • What yearner position says about you: Yearners are their own worst critics, Phipps said, who always expect great results. Sleeping with outstretched arms can either mean these people are chasing their dreams, or being chased. Their outstretched arms show these people want more from life and are willing to go out there with both hands and get it, according to the survey.
  • What to do about it: Yearners should face each day as a new start, Phipps said in the survey. They should think about where they are going and what they want from the day, and then go for it with full commitment.

If you sleep face down with your arms outstretched, you’re in the freefaller position. About 17 percent of respondents classified themselves as freefallers in the survey.

  • What freefaller position says about you: People who sleep this way can sometimes feel like “life happens around them” and they are just “hanging on for the ride,” according to The Telegraph. These people might feel they lack control over what will happen the next day, and are more likely to wake up feeling anxious about leftover issues and tasks from the previous day.
  • What to do about it: In his survey, Phipps recommended that freefallers take control of each new day and deal with things one step at a time until they feel confident they are ready to tackle the next step.

By Erin Hicks