There’s a science behind how people sleep at night. Some may find it comfortable to sleep on their back, some prefer their side, and others like sleeping on their stomach. People’s sleeping position says a lot about both their personality and their overall health. Sleep habits such as sticking to one side of the bed, how someone sleeps with another person, or lying on a pillow a certain way can determine a lot about a person. So, continue reading to discover if your nightly sleeping routine is healthy.
These Sleepers May Be Yearning For Something
Dr. Idzikowski describes the yearning log sleeping position as someone who sleeps on their side, but stretches their arms out in front of them. Someone who chooses to sleep this way may be a little more open and trusting than most.
While this person probably isn’t too gullible in their life, they may be very indecisive. Luckily, once they make up their mind, they usually stick to their opinion. Also, side sleeping is great for digestion and can reduce snoring.
Sleeping On The Left Side Of The Bed Helps With Heartburn
A survey from Sealy found that left-side sleeping is preferred by people in marketing and advertising, people between the ages of 45 and 54, and people with college degrees.
If you experience any painful heartburn symptoms, sleeping on the left side of the bed may help. “The reason for this is because when you sleep on your right side, the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes, allowing stomach acid to leak out, which can result in irritation,” said SleepScore Labs Advisory Board Member Michael Breus, MD.
Tips For Side Sleepers
While there are many ways to sleep on your side, there are certain things to do while sleeping that can optimize your comfort and health. Chiropractic expert Dr. Robin has a few suggestions.
Those who sleep in the fetal position shouldn’t put their knees all the way up to their chest. It’s helpful to keep a small pillow between your knees to keep your spine aligned. Also, try hugging a pillow between your arms to keep them outstretched. This opens up your chest, lungs, and other airways.
The Benefits Of Sleeping On The Right Side Of The Bed
While sleeping on the left side of the bed can help with heartburn, sleeping on the right side can actually be beneficial to your heart health. Nazma Parveen, MBBS, explained that sleeping on the right side of the bed doesn’t cause your heart to experience any gravitational pressure.
A survey from Sealy found that people who sleep on the right side of the bed tend to work in transport or manufacturing, are between the ages of 35 and 44, and drink a lot of caffeinated beverages per day.
Sleeping On Your Stomach Isn’t Ideal
There are a lot of things that can go wrong for people who sleep on their stomachs. It can obstruct airways for people with sleep apnea and chronic snoring and puts stress on the lower back and neck.
Sleeping on your stomach can cause your spine to realign, which can give you chronic pain during the day. Dr. Idzikowski says someone who sleeps face down on their stomach tends to be gregarious, yet brash. They also don’t like to be criticized and avoid dangerous situations.
Younger People Tend To Sleep On Their Back
A research study done by Sealy found that people who slept on their backs tended to be between the ages of 25 and 34 and worked in transport or logistics. Those who sleep on their backs will wake up more refreshed, but it can also cause them to snore more.
“When you’re lying on your back, your throat is more narrow, making snoring louder and more frequent,” said SleepScore’s Dr. Breus. Those who choose to sleep on their back should place a pillow behind their knees to support the spine and reduce back pain.
Sleeping In The Fetal Position Is Common
In Britain, professor and sleep expert Chris Idzikowski surveyed nearly 1,000 volunteers to determine if there was any correlation between sleep positions and personality. His research allowed him to uncover some commonalities between subjects.
First, Idzikowski found that the fetal position is the most common sleep position, especially for women. Someone who sleeps in the fetal position may have a shy and sensitive personality. The position might also give someone a sense of safety, especially if they are lacking it in real life.
Sleepy Soldiers Are Shy And Reserved
Someone who sleeps in the sleepy soldier position will lay flat on their back with their arms straight down at their side, which looks like a soldier standing at attention.
The personality traits of someone who sleeps as a sleepy soldier tend to be quiet, reserved, focused, and independent. These are people who love structure, might take themselves too seriously, and have high expectations for themselves and those around them. According to Psycom, about 11 percent of Americans sleep this way.
Why The Shooting Star Is So Unique
The shooting star or starfish sleeping position is one of the most unique choices. This is when someone sleeps on their back with their legs stretched out and their arms are stretched above their head.
Men are more commonly found in this position and the personality traits associated with it are selfless, giving, supportive, and a good listener. Shooting star people are very loyal and make their relationships and friendships a top priority in their lives.
The Skydiver Isn’t What It Seems
Someone who sleeps in the skydiver, prone, or freefaller position will lay on their stomach with their head to the side and have their arms wrapped around a pillow. According to the BSC, this position is the most common with Gen X and millennials.
Nectar Sleep explained that a skydiver sleeper will be open, playful, and fun on the outside, but may be anxious and controlling on the inside. Also, these people aren’t afraid to take risks.
The Most Common Sleeping Position For Couples
The most common sleeping position for couples is a bit misleading. While it might not seem romantic, most couples will sleep back-to-back and far apart. This position is called liberty lovers.
Corrine Sweet, a relationship psychologist, found that this position means a couple is connected and secure in their relationship. About 27 percent of couples sleep this way each night. Healthline said this is actually a good position for both partners because it can relieve pressure on internal organs.
Spooning Is A Classic
Spooning is usually one of the most popular sleeping positions among couples. About 18 percent of those surveyed said they regularly spoon. While this is a romantic position, it also includes a power dynamic within the relationship.
One person will be the “big spoon” and give a sideways hug to the “little spoon” with both parties sleeping on their sides. The upsides to spooning are that it’s better for breathing and can relieve aches and pains.
Why Couples Do Back-To-Back Touching
Corrine Sweet, a relationship psychologist, conducted a survey among couples to find their most common sleeping positions and back-to-back touching came in second. This is when couples are facing away from each other, but their backs are touching.
“Both partners are relaxed and comfortable with one another – this is often common in new relationships,” said Sweet. Since this is a form of side sleeping, couples have reported feeling less joint pain in the morning.
This Position Is Two-In-One
Psychologist Corrine Sweet found that about eight percent of couples sleep in the unraveling knot position. This is when the couples begin intertwined and after about 10 minutes, each person will sleep in the position of their choosing.
“It’s a compromise between intimacy and independence, allowing for the best of both worlds,” said Sweet. According to Healthline, couples who sleep in this position have likely been together for a long time and feel more secure in their relationship.
Couples Should Avoid This Position
A partnership should be equal and even a sleeping position can reveal a struggling power dynamic. For example, one partner may be sprawled across the bed and the other is tucked into a corner with little room.
“One partner dominates the space, while the other takes a secondary role,” said relationship psychologist Corrine Sweet. Even though it might not seem like much, this is a huge sign of power disparity between a couple and should be addressed early on.
The Cradle Position Is Filled With Passion
When someone refers to a couple who’s in the “honeymoon phase,” it wouldn’t be uncommon to see them sleeping in the cradle or nuzzle position. This occurs when one person lays flat on their back and the other will rest their head on their partner’s chest.
It’s also common for the couple to be wrapping their arms and legs around each other while sleeping. This position is most popular with both new and rekindled relationships, but only four percent of couples actually sleep like this every night.
Some People Change Up Their Sleeping Position
While some people are true back, side, or stomach sleepers, others will often change up their sleeping position depending on their comfort level. A survey from Sealy explained that these “freestyle” sleepers commonly work in utilities and are between the ages of 35 and 44.
Almost everyone will change up their sleeping position throughout their lives, so it’s completely normal. People will move about 50 to 80 times throughout the night in order to wake up refreshed, move their muscles, and give their body nutrients and hormones.
Easy-Going People Will Sleep Like This
Professor and sleep expert Chris Idzikowski found that people who were more social, outgoing, and trusting of strangers tended to be side sleepers. These kinds of sleepers keep their arms down at their sides as well.
Dr. Idzikowski also mentioned that side sleepers tend to be a bit more gullible. People who sleep in this log position tend to not experience numbness, but the BBC discovered that only about six percent of the world’s population prefer this method.
The Tangle Position Can Be Overwhelming
One of the most intense couples’ positions is the tangle. While this is quite rare, it is usually seen at the beginning of new relationships. It would look like two people hugging each other very tight while laying on their sides.
Also, legs are usually intertwined. This position has a lot of meaning behind it. The tangle usually translates to a couple who is very codependent and feels the need to both physically and mentally stay attached to their partner.
What The Pillow Talk Position Is All About
The pillow talk position will include two people sleeping on their sides and facing each other, but they won’t touch. This could indicate a problem in the relationship with both parties seeking attention from one another, but failing to receive it.
“This position shows a need for intimacy and close communication,” said relationship psychologist Corrine Sweet. If you find that you and your partner regularly sleep in this position, it may be time to try listening to each other more.
People More Comfortable In Their Relationship May Sleep Like This
While spooning is typical for a lot of couples, there comes a point when they start lying in the loose spoon position. It looks similar to a spooning position, but there is a little more space between the two people.
Some may think there could be a problem if a couple is wanting more space when sleeping, but it’s the exact opposite. Dr. Diana Gall said, “It still provides that closeness and reassurance. But, there’s more space between you, allowing you to breathe and relax into a comfortable position.”
There Are Some Mixed Messages With The Chasing Spoon
Spooning is usually considered to be a romantic sleeping position between couples, but the chasing spoon defies that myth. This position occurs when the “little spoon” has moved to one side of the bed and the “big spoon” moves over to hover their arms over them.
It may seem as if the big spoon has chased the little spoon off of the bed or that the little spoon is trying to get away from the big spoon.
This Couples’ Position Won’t Get You A Good Night’s Sleep
A couple who is truly close may end up sleeping in the face-to-face and touching position. This would look like both partners facing each other on their sides and have their arms and legs intertwined.
Sleep experts believe that couples who sleep in the face-to-face and touching position are usually very close and happy in their partnership. The University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom estimates that about four percent of couples sleep this way every night.
The Cliffhanger Could Mean Some Trouble In Paradise
Body language can show a lot more than most think. This is especially true with couples’ sleeping positions. The cliffhanger position will have a couple lying as far apart as they can from each other.
Sometimes they will be so far apart that their feet will dangle off of the bed. According to Science Daily, a 2014 survey of about one thousand people found that those in bad relationships tended to sleep further apart from their partner.
Paper Dolls Is Comfy, Yet Intimate
Finding a sleeping position while sharing a bed can be difficult. One that is comfortable, yet intimate is the paper dolls position. This has both partners sleeping on their backs with either their hands or legs barely touching.
The paper dolls position can help with back pain and circulation issues, but it can increase the amount and loudness of you and your partner’s snoring. In order to make it even more comfortable, tuck a pillow between your knees to stretch out your spine.
Get The Best Of Both Worlds In The Tetherball Position
Since everyone is unique, it means that people who share beds will most likely sleep in different positions. Many couples want to feel some sort of physical touch, but aren’t sure how it can work.
The tetherball position could be a good way to start. One partner will be curled up in a ball or fetal position and the other will sleep on their back. The partner sleeping on their back can rest their hand on their partner’s hip.
Find Some Freedom With The Leg Hug
One position that gives both partners a good amount of freedom and movement in the bed is the leg hug. Both people can choose if they want to sleep on their stomach, side, or back, but will have their legs wrapped around each other.
When both partners are actively wrapping their legs around each other, it often means they’re committed and feel safe in the relationship. If only one partner is doing it, then there might be a power imbalance in the relationship.
Shingles Is A Sign Of Deep Affection In A Relationship
Not to be confused with the virus, the shingles sleeping position is both intimate and sweet. One partner will sleep flat on their back and the other will sleep with their head resting on their partner’s shoulder.
Sleep experts say that the shingles sleeping position is symbolic of complete understanding and confidence in a relationship. One person serves as a protector and the other feels secure that they have someone who can look out for them.
This Position Could Signal An Unhealthy Couple
Sleeping on your stomach is one of the worst ways to sleep. Neil Robinson, a chief sleep officer at Sealy, said, “This is in fact one of the worst positions for causing back pain as it places pressure on your spine.”
When couples do this it is called the stomach snooze and can symbolize a lack of trust and show vulnerability. Those who find themselves consistently sleeping this way should consider placing a pillow under their stomach to align their spine.
Non-O Blood Types Have A Greater Risk Of Heart Disease
According to the American Heart Association, certain blood types have a higher risk of heart conditions. A study in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology said that O bloods have a lower risk, while AB bloods have higher risks. AB types have an 8% greater risk of heart attacks and a 10% increased heart failure chance.
Penn Medicine explains that non-O bloods contain a protein called the von Willebrand factor. This slightly raises the risk of clotting and high cholesterol. However, the chances are still slim, and you can remain healthy with a proper diet and exercise routine.
Blood Can Affect Your Chances Of Getting The Stomach Flu
Norovirus, better known as the stomach flu, infects 200 million people every year. Surprisingly, your blood type might influence your chances of getting it. According to Science Times, the norovirus needs to attach to H1, a type of blood antigen. If your blood doesn’t produce the H1-antigen, you may have some immunity to the stomach flu.
AB blood types tend to be more susceptible to norovirus than O blood types. However, this can vary among individuals. The norovirus consistently changes, and immunity only lasts for around six months. Even if you are less susceptible, you could still get the stomach flu once in a blue moon.
Certain Blood Types Are In More Danger Of Dementia
In 2014, research in the journal Neurology discovered that certain blood types have a higher risk of cognitive impairment. AB blood types were 82% more likely to have cognitive impairment, which can lead to dementia. O types have a lower chance.
Researchers suggest that this could have to do with heart disease. AB types also have a greater chance of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Dr. Mary Cushman says that these conditions are closely related, and people with diabetes or stroke are more likely to develop dementia.
Sugar Determines Your Blood Type
Blood type is determined by antigens, a protein that lies on top of red blood cells. According to the Stanford School of Medicine, antigens are chains of sugar. The sugars they produce are called A sugar, B, sugar, and O sugar. Oddly enough, the actual function of these antigens is not known.
Blood Groups and Red Cell Antigens says that antigens seem to have no purpose. If you remove them from the blood, your health will not suffer. It is possible that these antigens used to have a purpose but stopped operating through evolution.
Some Blood Types Are More Prone To Food Allergies
Studies have found that food allergies might be influenced by blood. In 2007, research in the Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine compared the likelihood of specific food allergies to blood type. Overall, people with negative blood types are more susceptible to food allergies.
According to the study, people with type O blood are more likely to react to gluten, nightshades, eggs, and dairy. Those with AB blood are susceptible to nuts, seafood, eggs, dairy, and gluten allergies. Of course, allergies are also genetic just as blood types are. There is no guarantee that you will have an allergy solely because of your blood type.
All Non-O Bloods Risk Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most fatal cancers. A study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that non-O blood types–A, B, and AB–have a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Of these, B blood types have a greater risk. A has a 32% chance, B has a 51% risk, and AB has a 72% chance. The study’s lead author, Dr. Brian Wolpin, says that scientists don’t yet understand what heightens the pancreatic cancer risk.
AB Blood Clots More Often
Depending on your blood type, you could have a higher risk of blood clotting or hemorrhage. The American Heart Association reports that AB blood types are more likely to clot. Chances of deep vein thrombosis, or clotting in the leg, raise by 47%. Pulmonary embolism, or clotting near the lungs, raises by 51%.
AB bloods have a protein that slightly increases the risks of clotting. On the other hand, O blood types are more likely to hemorrhage. A Japanese study in Critical Care found that O bloods have a 28% higher risk of hemorrhaging.
Blood Can Affect Diabetes Risk
Many people know that diet and exercise habits affect the risk of diabetes. But blood type could also contribute, if only slightly. French researchers from the Gustave Roussy Institute discovered that women with B positive blood have the highest chances of developing diabetes.
According to the journal Diabetologia, people with B-positive blood have a 35% greater risk of diabetes. The percentage changes to 10% with type A blood, 17% with AB blood, and 21% with B-negative blood. People with O type blood have the lowest chance of diabetes. Remember, though, that blood type is not a diabetes-sentence.
Type A Bloods Are More Prone To Stomach Cancer
Unfortunately, people with type A blood are more likely to get gastric cancer. In 2012, a study in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that A-type blood is susceptible to H. pylori. This pathogen creates inflammation and is one of the more prominent risk factors for stomach cancer.
Further research in BMC Cancer asserted that both type A and type AB bloods are prone to gastric cancer. The study suggested that type A genotypes are more prone to H. pylori than O or B blood types.
Mosquitoes Favor Certain Types Of Blood
Some people need more bug spray than others. Research has found that mosquitoes favor certain blood types. In 2004, research in the Journal of Medical Entomology concluded that people with blood type O receive the most mosquito bites. Blood type A is the next favorite.
Why do mosquitoes prefer certain blood types? According to Dr. Baumann-Blackmore, they’re attracted to chemicals in sweat. Certain blood types produce more substances such as ammonia and lactic acid, which mosquitoes like. If you have blood types A or O, don’t leave the house without some bug spray.
The Rarest And Most Common Blood Types
Since blood types are genetic, how common they depend on ethnicity. However, the rarest blood type overall is AB-negative. Less than 1% of the American population has AB-negative, while 4% has AB-positive blood.
Worldwide, the most common type of blood type is O-positive. Between 37% and 53% of the population has O-positive blood, depending on the country. O-negative blood, the universal donor, is far rarer. People with O-negative blood make up between 1% and 8% of the overall population. Blood types A and B are somewhere in the middle.
O Negative Is The Universal Donor
According to the San Diego Blood Bank, one blood type is a universal donor. O negative only exists in 8% of the population, but it is required for 13% of hospital blood requests. The reason is because O type does not attract antibodies from other blood types.
Lorne Laboratories explains that O negative blood lacks antigens. Usually, antigens prompt the immune system to attack new blood entering the system. Since O negative blood doesn’t get attacked, it is safe to infuse even in newborn babies. This is why the demand for O negative blood is so high.
AB Blood Is The Universal Recipient
Most blood types can only accept certain types of donated blood. The American Society of Hematology explains that using incompatible blood types can cause allergic reactions, infections, or anemia. But one is the universal recipient: type AB positive.
People with type AB positive blood make up only 3% of the population. They can receive red blood cells from every other blood type. However, people with AB negative blood are universal plasma donors. People who need plasma can obtain it from AB negative, regardless of their blood type.
People With Type O Blood Are Less Prone To Malaria
People with type O blood have greater protection from severe or fatal malaria than other blood types. In 2015, Scandinavian scientists tried to find out why. They believe that type O blood was in countries that eventually developed immunity to malaria, such as Nigeria.
Malaria causes a phenomenon called a rosette. Rosettes form when an infected red blood cell connects with a healthy red blood cell. According to Nature Medicine, O-type blood has antibodies that interfere with rosettes. Malaria cannot infect the body as quickly if you have type O blood.
Certain Blood Types May Require Different Diets
Naturopath Peter J. D’Adamo claims that peoples’ diets may rely on their blood types. His theory, called the Blood Type Diet, suggests that certain bloods need to avoid and embrace different foods.
According to D’Adamo, O blood types benefit from a high-protein diet that is light on grains and dairy. A blood types may prefer meat-free diets, and B bloods should avoid many nuts, beans, and grains. AB bloods should focus on seafood and tofu and avoid caffeine. The downside of the Blood Type Diet is that it can be restrictive and inflexible.
People With AB Blood Are More Likely To Lose Their Memory
AB is the rarest blood type, consisting of only 4% of Americans. However, research from the American Academy of Neurology found that AB blood types have a higher risk of memory problems. In fact, people with AB blood are 82% more likely to experience cognitive decline.
AB blood also raises the risk of heart attack and stroke, closely related to cognitive impairment. Factor VIII, a blood protein that makes blood clot, may also heighten the risk of dementia. However, researchers still need more evidence to determine why AB types suffer from memory loss.
Does Blood Type Determine Your Personality?
In Japan and South Korea, many people believe that blood influences your personality, similar to zodiac signs. This is called the blood type personality theory. According to the scientific journal Personality and Individual Differences, research has yet to support this theory, calling studies about it “scanty” and “conflicting.”
People with blood type A are supposedly empathetic and good listeners. B type people are natural leaders, and AB people are independent, rational thinkers. People with the blood type O are practical and motivated. But that’s just an overview; the full theory is far more detailed.
Blood Type May Influence Fertility
In 2010, a study suggested that a woman’s blood type may affect fertility. Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Yale University measured the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in blood. High FSH levels make it harder to conceive.
Women with type O blood had the most FSH levels, which meant that they often had lower egg count and quality. Women with type AB blood had fewer FSH. In short, O-type blood inhibits fertility, while AB-type blood improves it. Between types A and B, people with type A had better luck with fertility.
Negative Blood Types Can Prompt Negative Mental Health
Believe it or not, blood type could influence brain health. In 2015, a study in PLoS One discovered that blood type could raise or lower your risk of mental illness. People with negative blood types have a higher risk of anxiety disorders, antisocial disorders, and attention deficits.
According to scientists from the University of Vermont, people with type O blood were more likely to get depression, anxiety, and attention-deficit disorder (ADD). People with A-type blood have a risk of obsessive-compulsive disorder and ADD. Children with B type have a greater chance of ADD.
Blood’s Rh Factor Can Complicate Pregnancy
Rh is a protein in red blood cells, and it determines whether your blood is positive or negative. Rh factors are often inherited. However, a problem arises when the mother has a negative Rh, and the fetus develops a positive Rh. The complication is called Rh incompatibility.
When the mother’s body detects a different blood type, it may create antibodies to attack the fetus. It could cause anemia in the fetus. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, there are treatments for Rh incompatibility that help both the mother and fetus.