Curled in a ball

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Have you ever wondered what your favorite sleep position says about your personality? A lot, according to all the research!

When talking with a friend, do you stand with your arms straight by your side or with them crossed in front of your chest? Do you cock your head when listening or lean in or away? What about when you sleep? Do you spread out like a snow angel or curl up in a tiny ball?

Experts say that 55% of non-verbal communication, or the signals you send to another person about your personality, how you think and what you mean by your words, can be found in your body language (the signs you send with your body when you interact with others). The same can be true for your sleep position. How you position yourself in bed while you’re sleeping—with or without a partner—can speak volumes about who you are when you’re awake.

Below are some of the most common sleep positions. See if you can find yours and learn what your sleep style says about you!

THE LITTLE BALL — You probably call this position the fetal position. You’re curled up on your side, knees tucked into your chest, elbows bent and close. Sleeping like a ball is one of the most common positions, and more women than men favour it when snoozing. According to BetterSleep.org, people who sleep in the position have higher levels of education.

  • Your personality? Most people don’t know it, but you’re a softie and you like to feel safe and protected. You’re pretty sensitive and that’s a good thing. You might be a bit shy, but you do like people, so when you warm up and feel comfortable in a group, you can be the life of the party. And when it comes to sleep, you’re a pro-napper!

THE CRAVER — You sleep on your side, with your arms out front like you’re reaching or wishing for something. What are you missing in your waking life that you spend your nights searching for?

  • Your personality? You’re thoughtful and careful, taking your time to make a decision. But once your mind’s made up, you stick to it. While you try to be open-minded, your caution can lead your cynical or suspicious side reign. And when it comes to sleep, you could use some help: 17 ultimate sleep hacks.

THE FLAGPOLE — You lie on one side or the other, with your arms by your side, close to your body.

  • Your personality? While your sleep position is a little stiff, you’re not at all like that when you’re awake. You’re a social butterfly and love to be around people. You’re friendly and popular but are also very trusting, even with strangers. If this is you, keep your eyes open before someone pulls the wool over them. And when it comes to sleep, you might want to ease off the caffeine a bit: where caffeine is hiding in your diet.

THE PILLAR — You’re most comfortable flat on your back with your arms by your side.

  • Your personality? Hey strong and silent type, we’re talking to you. Even though you’re probably pretty reserved and not saying much, we know you’re constantly thinking. You hold yourself – and others – to high standards. Even though you’re often disappointed because of those standards, you don’t make a fuss when things don’t go your way. And when it comes to sleep, it might be a good idea to relax a little and nap once in a while.

THE CRAZY CRUNCHER — You’re happiest on your tummy, head turned to the side, legs splayed in any direction, with your arms wrapped around your pillow. When you get it right, it feels so good.

  • Your personality? You love people and love to speak your mind, but you still need to find your comfort zone and are sensitive to criticism. You like to be in control, but mostly feel like you’re not. Surprisingly, stomach sleepers tend to be heavier drinkers, and sometimes wake up feeling anxious. And when it comes to sleep, you often need a jump start in the morning: 8 breakfast smoothie recipes.

THE SNOW ANGEL—This sleep position looks exactly how it sounds. You sure like to stretch out, and you’ve got your arms and legs spread wide, pretty much taking up the entire bed.

  • Your personality? Your position really tells your story. You’re pretty wide open in all areas of your life. You like to have lots of friends and you try to be there for them as much as you can. You’re happy to be the centre of attention or take a back seat and share the spotlight with someone else. And when it comes to sleep, you have the game of sleep figured out!

THE SUNBATHER—If you sleep flat on your back with your arms splayed above your head or clasped under your head, then you’re a sunbather.

  • Your personality? Just like all beach lovers, you like to chill out and relax. You’re a pretty happy go with the flow kind of person and put a priority on making those around you around you happy as well. You take great pleasure in doing for others. And when it comes to sleep, do a quick double check on your bedtime habits.

THE CUDDLER—Whether you’re hugging a stuffed animal, your pet, your partner, or your pillow, you like the security of snuggling up.

  • Your personality? You really like to be cozy. You put your relationships high on life’s priority list. You like to feel close to people and you’re very touchy feely. And when it comes to sleep, you often need a little something sweet before tucking into bed: 40 dietitian-approved bedtime snacks.

Do you see your sleep position here or are you a Freestyler and change your position depending on the night? Do you think your personality and sleep position are the perfect match?

What Your Sleeping Style Says About You: 16 Different Ways Of Catching Shut-Eye And What They Mean For Your Life

It’s no secret that a lot of us are skimping out on sleep. Whether it’s because of school or work or the existence of the internet, I think all of the sleep-deprived among us can agree that if the Earth somehow changed its rotation and granted us a few more hours in a day that we would be spending all of them in bed. But the time you go to bed or wake up isn’t all that determines the quality of your sleep, nor does exclusively what you do before you go to sleep. The biggest factor deciding the overall quality of your sleep, it turns out, is the position that you sleep in.

That being said, there’s ultimately no “right” way to sleep (on your back is the healthiest, but there’s no point if you’re losing sleep trying to pass out in that position), so if you were hoping to win a competition for Best Sleep Position Achieved, you’re all out of luck. But that doesn’t mean that the way you sleep doesn’t still say a lot about who you are as a person*. See if you can find yourself on this list to see what exactly your sleep position says about you (aside from the fact that you probably want some more of it).

On your back

As stated above, this is the most medically-recommended position to sleep in, since it promotes spinal health and can even fight acne you might get from putting your head on a pillow. If you’re a back-sleeper, you’re more likely to be a Type A person: You stand up straight both because you are confident and because it wards off the haters (aka, the kids who were mad you were wrecking the curve in biology with your stellar test grades). You’re either the oldest kid in the family, or act like it by being the ring leader among your siblings.

In a fetal position

This is when you curl your knees up to your chest and sleep in a ball. You’re less likely to snore, so you’re basically the dream bedmate, but the position is also associated with arthritis and restricted breathing. Personality-wise, you probably love cuddling and cozy things and would rather spend Friday night cooped up in front of the fire place (or the Netflix pre-taped fireplace) than out on the town. This is the most common sleeping position, so you’re also a bit #basic. Whatever. Own it.

On your side

People who sleep on their sides tend to be a little tougher than their fetal position-sleeping counterparts, but are still just as sensitive. The position is associated with the constriction of neck and shoulder muscles, so that may be where you tend to feel your stress. People who sleep on their sides with their arms outstretched (the “yearners”) are usually more open-minded and accepting.

On your stomach

You are a champion of having good taste in food, which might be a consequence of digesting it really well from sleeping on your stomach. Because of the way your spine is aligned when you sleep, you might be a bit of a sloucher, which makes people underestimate you from time to time. Demolish them the way you demolished last night’s pizza: quickly and without regret.

Sitting up

You are either traveling or absurdly prepared for a zombie attack at any given moment. If you sleep like this on the regular, you probably experience a lot of stress in your life, and you feel all the strain of it in your neck. Medical professionals recommend avoiding this position unless it is entirely necessary for travel, so if you’re doing this for other reasons, do yourself a favor and invest in a home alarm system and get some sleep already.

Surrounded by cats

You are either a typical loving and slightly sleep deprived human being, or Taylor Swift. Either way, a bit of bad news: people who co-sleep with their pets get significantly less sleep, with over half of them reporting that their pets woke them up at least once in the middle of the night. At heart, you are most likely the “parent” of your friend group and find it hard to say no to people (and non-people), but you might want to reconsider if you’re feeling especially tired. Putting yourself first has never been your strength, and people are constantly having to tell you to take care of yourself before you burn out.

In complete and total darkness

You are bold and have very little fear of the unknown—a natural Gryffindor if there ever were one. And a healthy Gryffindor at that: Sleeping in total darkness is associated with higher levels of melatonin production, an essential hormone for preventing cancer and other illnesses. The downside is that you’re not exactly a morning person, but then again, you’re far from alone in that.

With a nightlight

You are the kind of person who is prepared to the point of paranoia, and uses the words “worst case scenario” more times in a day than you’d probably want to admit. You don’t sleep with a light on because you’re afraid of the dark, but because you want to be ready. Unfortunately the disruption of sleeping with a light on has been associated with a higher risk of depression and lower levels of sleep quality, so it is a habit you might want to curb if you can.

Clutching your cell phone for dear life

Like cookie butter at Trader Joe’s just before snowmageddon, you are a hot commodity, and it’s important to you not to let anybody in your life down. Two reasons to consider changing your ways: the interruptions in sleep your phone causes majorly mess up your REM cycle, and the blue light from your phone can seriously confuse your body into thinking it’s day time (which is probably why you’re infamous among your friends for being a night owl).

Cuddling with another human being

You are a compromising and open person, and you feel comfortable enough with yourself to tell the people who matter in your life just about anything. Contrary to popular belief, you actually get great quality sleep with a sleep buddy—and the strength it brings your relationship might help you live longer. You tend not to stress out over the little things, and enjoy mornings more than most people.

Blissfully alone

You are very in tune with your goals and desires, and have no trouble striking out to achieve them on your own. Rather than shifting your sleep schedule to accommodate someone else’s, you make the rules for yourself, in bed and in all the other aspects of your life. You are a little more baffled by changes in your routine than other people, but it’s nothing you can’t handle.

Next to a snack

You are possibly my long lost twin. (I keep a bag of Goldfish by the bed at all times. Not sorry.) You’re a bit of an unpredictable person, kind of like the organs whose clocks you are constantly disrupting with your late night cravings, but the good news is you’re the life of the party. Still, studies say that it’s better to snack than to go to bed hungry, so you are clearly the kind of person who doesn’t mind when the haters hate, hate, hate, and/or hate.

Splayed out like roadkill

You are a creative and imaginative person, although easily—DO I SMELL POP TARTS?!—distracted. You love sharing your ideas but you don’t necessarily like being the center of attention. You are possibly a Tumblr aficionado and although you might not get a lot of beauty rest, when you do fall asleep, you fall asleep so hard that the apocalypse would not wake you.

With your head under a pillow

You are ridiculously patient and persevering, not just in dealing with people’s snoring or the other outside noises you deal with on a nightly basis, but in all the things that go on in your life. You likely have a job that other people consider “high stress,” but you know that you can take on just about anything that comes your way.

Falling out of bed

In your waking life, you are not necessarily the most creative person, and tend to stick to the rules and pursue work that is regimented and orderly. Nothing wrong with that—you find comfort and success within predictable boundaries. However, this may contribute to the REM disruptions that cause you to fall out of bed at night, when wild dreams where you’re having trouble blurring the line between dream and reality can cause excessive kicking and thrashing. Fortunately, it is an easily treatable problem, so there’s no need to play Batman after you hit the hay every night.

A mix of all the sleeping positions

You are basically The Joker of sleepers. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT YOU WILL DO NEXT?! You are both mysterious and adaptable, floating from social group to social group less like a butterfly and more like a chameleon. This sleeping style is also associated with people who tend to be less satisfied with their lives, so hopefully all your shifting both in your waking and your sleeping life will lead you to a more resolute place soon.

Images: Getty Images; Giphy (10)

Sleep expert and educator Terry Cralle, RN, offers these suggestions and steps you can take to improve your sleep no matter the position.

Good news for side snoozers

While there are many variations of sleeping on your side, all of which are beneficial in helping to alleviate insomnia and chronic sleep deprivation, the most comfortable position involves bending the knees slightly upward toward the chest. If you have a bad back, consider placing a pillow between your legs to alleviate pressure on your hips and lower back. Sleeping on your side is encouraged for those suffering from back or hip pain. It’s also recommended for pregnant women, specifically the left side.

Sleeping better on your back

If you prefer to sleep on your back, be careful, as it may induce lower back pain and even episodes of apnea, which interfere with normal sleep and restfulness. However, there are a few minor alterations to this position you can make to sleep more soundly: Try placing a soft pillow or rolled-up towel under your knees to facilitate the natural curve of the spine.

Cautions for stomach sleepers

If you like sleeping on your stomach, you’re in for a bit of bad news: Sleep professionals don’t recommend sleeping on your stomach as it causes strain on your lower back and possible neck pain. People who sleep on their stomachs report increased restlessness caused by frequent tossing and turning in an effort to get comfortable. If you do sleep on your stomach, use an extremely soft pillow or none at all, so your neck won’t be at an awkward angle.

So how do Americans sleep – and what might that reveal about them? Below, the BSC shares insights from a nationwide survey of sleep positions.

Sleep Positions
Fetal position: Turns out, many of us still sleep like we did when we were infants. A whopping 47% of all Americans sleep in this curled-up manner and it’s considered the most common sleep position. Women are also more likely to sleep in this position compared to men (54% vs. 39%) and 37% of Americans believe it is the best sleeping position.
Freefall position: People who lie on their stomachs, with their heads turned to the side and their arms under or wrapped around a pillow, comprise 17% of the population studied. Despite being the second most popular sleeping position, about one-quarter (26%) of all Americans consider it the worst sleeping position. Introverts also report having the strongest aversion to this position, so try not to ask them too many questions about it!
Yearner position: Can’t find the right sleeping position for you? If you’re yearning for a good night’s sleep, look no further than the Yearner position (no pun intended.) A close third – with 13% of Americans sleeping this way – the position consists of lying on your side with both arms out in front of your body. If you’re interested in this position, try talking to a Baby Boomer, as they are more likely to sleep like this than Millennials and Gen Xers.
Soldier position: A soldier may be a person who serves in the military, but it’s also the name of the fourth most common sleeping position, preferred by 11% of the population studied. Those who lie on their backs with their arms down and close to the body when they sleep are more likely than those who sleep in the Fetal, Freefall or Yearner positions to either not change positions or only change positions once. They are also more likely to say they sleep this way, along with Log and Starfish sleepers, because it has medical benefits.
Starfish position: For all you sea lovers out there, you’re in luck. Sleepers who prefer to sleep like marine invertebrates account for 7% of the population studied. Like the Log and Soldier positions, these sleepers are more likely than those who sleep in the other positions to say they sleep that way because it has medical benefits. However, these sleepers, who lie on their backs with arms up near their heads or pillows, along with Log sleepers, are more likely to sleepwalk.
Log position: A log is more than a hunk of wood that you throw on a fire to keep you warm. It’s actually one of the six main sleeping positions, and 6% of the population sleeps this way. Despite being the least popular sleep position, those who sleep on their sides with both arms down consider themselves healthier than those who sleep in the other positions.

9 Sleeping Positions & What They Say About You

We all favour certain sleeping positions to send us off to the land of nod each night, and most of us have preferred this specific sleeping shape since we first entered the world. There are a multitude of ways to sleep comfortably, from curling up into a ball to lying spread-eagled across the entirety of the bed. However, what you might not know is that the way in which you sleep at night could provide some interesting insight into your character. So to discover whether you’re a good friend, more likely to be an introvert, or prefer to be cuddled then read on and find your sleeping type.

Here’s a text friendly version of this infographic:

9 Sleeping Positions and What They Say About You

Whether you usually sleep spread across the bed, or hang upside down like a bat, the shape you adopt when sleeping can be indicative of your character. To see what your sleep position says about you, look no further.

The Foetal Position

41% of people tend to adopt this position at night and double the amount of women than men tend to sleep in this way. It involves curling your knees towards your chest, as if sleeping in the womb.

Secret Softy

This sleeping position means you’re tough on the outside and soft on the inside. You can be shy to begin with, though usually open up and relax quite quickly.

The Yearner

This is also a very common sleeping position and involves sleeping on your side with arms stretched in front of you, as if trying to reach something.

Complex Characters

People that sleep like this are a bit of a mixed bag, being both open-minded, yet cynical. They are suspicious of their own decisions, though have a firm resolve once they’ve come to a conclusion.

The Log

15% of people enjoy sleeping in the log position, which means it must be comfortable even if it doesn’t look it. Want to try snoozing in this way? Sleep on your side with your arms straight.

Naturally carefree

If you tend to sleep like this chances are you’re a bit of a social butterfly, friendly, carefree and popular. However, your trusting nature means you can also fall into the trap of being gullible.

Soldier Stance

Somewhat severe looking, you can imagine exactly what this position is like; a soldier lying on his back with arms straight by his sides.

Attention!

Sleeping in this way will usually mean that you’re quite quiet and reserved. It may also mean you expect both yourself and other people to adhere to strict moral codes and high standards.

Freefall Form

This sleep position makes you look a little like a relaxed skydiver freefalling through the sky, with your arms wrapped around your pillow as you sleep on your stomach.

Geronimo . . .

Sleeping in freefall means you’re bold and sociable, though you might not have the thick skin necessary to deal with criticism or situations you aren’t comfortable with.

Spread-eagled Starfish

A true mattress hogging type of position, the starfish sleeper spreads their limbs in a carefree manner over the entire bed surface.

A flexible friend

Chances are you’re a true friend if you like to sleep in this way, eager to listen to anyone that needs to talk or help anyone that needs a hand. Surprisingly, you probably don’t really like to be the centre of attention.

The Stargazer

This position isn’t the most popular, possibly because it can mean the sleeper gets a little too cool in the night. The position is quite a vulnerable one, with stargazers lying on their backs with their arms wrapped around their head.

The Best BFF’s

Stargazers prioritise their friends, doing everything they can for those they hold dear. Usually these sleepers will have a happy, easy-going disposition.

Pillow Hugger

This sleeper hugs a pillow close to their body, and they usually have their limbs wrapped around it in some way.

Fancy a hug?

Pillow huggers like to get cosy and be cuddled, cherishing the relationships they have with the important people in their lives above all else.

The Thinker

Another sleeping shape that’s like the foetal position, the thinker will sleep curled up with a hand gently resting on their chin, as if pondering something.

Emotional evaluator

Those that habitually sleep in this position are more emotional than other sleepers, with both positive and negative emotions running high for those that favour this position.

Personality or preference

The sleeping position you favour could be indicative of your personality or you could just really like spreading out when it’s time to catch those zzz’s . . .Whatever the meaning behind your sleeping position, making sure you’re comfortable is key to a good night’s sleep.

Sources:

Do your favourite sleeping positions match your personality? Let us know in the comments below!

What Does Your Sleep Position Say About You?

FRIDAY, Oct. 19, 2012 — 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.

1. THE FETAL POSITION: 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.

2. SLEEPING LIKE A LOG: 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.

3. “YEARNER POSITION”: 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.

4. FREEFALLER POSITION: 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.

TELL US: What kind of sleeper are you? If you found your sleep type in the list above, do you think it accurately describes a part of your personality? (Note: Mobile users will not be able to comment.)

What does your dog’s sleep position mean?

By Karen A. Soukiasian

Puppies need lots of sleep.

Watching your dog sleep can be comforting and sometimes comical, but the dog sleep position your pup uses also tells you a lot about him.

Several of your dog’s sleep behaviors are similar to humans, while others are inherent and all dog.

Did you know the dog sleeping position your pup chooses can influence how well your dog sleeps? And that understanding dog sleeping positions can give you insight into your dog’s personality.

The average dog sleeps 12-13 hours per day. It may not seem that way, but puppies snooze even more!

Companion dogs kept indoors, sleep longer, and deeper than working dogs or dogs kept outdoors. Because their situation is more precarious, outdoor dogs rarely relax enough to reach a healthy, deep, restful sleep. Instead, they rely on catching an extra nap here or there. To help an outdoor dog get good rest, consider providing him with a high-quality outdoor dog bed.

Most dogs are skillful at catching a few winks whenever they can. Although they seem to be able to fall asleep quickly, that form of napping is similar to Stage 1 sleep, where they are barely sleeping.

Poor rest dog sleep position

Curling up — the most common dog sleep position — provides the highest security. Dogs curl in a ball, with their paws underneath and their tails wrapped around their faces.

The most natural dog sleep position is curling up. That’s a favorite dog sleep position for dogs kept outdoors.

You often will find a dog curled up in a ball, with their paws under their bodies and their tails wrapped around their faces. By covering their faces, dogs are protecting their eyes and throat. Although it is the least vulnerable dog sleep position, it also is the least restful way for dogs to sleep.

Although the position lets dogs conserve body heat and protect limbs, face, throat and vital organs, dogs remain tense. This dog sleep position gives them the advantage of being able to get on their feet immediately. The dog’s muscles are tense and ready to spring into action. Dogs that sleep in this position rarely relax enough to drift into the REM stage.

Curling is the normal sleeping position for wild dog and wolf packs. This dog sleep position provides the dog with awareness upon awakening because their senses are heightened to movements, sounds, and scents. They conserve space in the den while protecting their offspring and sharing body heat. Even most domesticated puppies inherently curl up together or around their mother.

Some dogs like to sleep on their stomachs, almost like they are in a “down” position. This allows them to jump up at the slightest perceived threat or react quickly if they think they are missing out on what you are doing.

Dogs that sleep on their backs with their paws “protecting” their chests are indicating they prefer not to be bothered. Use caution when suddenly awakening any dog sleeping in this position!

If your dog’s crate is too small, that may keep him from being able to get into his favorite dog sleep position. Find a dog crate the fits your dog’s size and temperament to ensure he gets a good night’s sleep.

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Restful dog sleep position

Dogs that sleep on their sides are comfortable in their surroundings.

Dogs that sleep on their sides are comfortable in their surroundings and are in a restful sleep position.

“Super dog” sleepers choose to sleep sprawled out on their stomachs. They look like they are flying. Dogs in this position are in restful sleep, but ready to go as soon as they hear you move!

Finally, we have what looks like the “dead roach” position where dogs favor sleeping on their backs with their legs in the air.

Only confident, secure indoor dogs choose this position because sleeping on their backs is the most vulnerable position for a dog. It’s also the most comfortable and most restful position. Puppies are more likely to sleep on their backs when they are with the rest of their litter. They feel safe and secure.

Plus, it’s your dog’s way of cooling down quickly. Indoor dogs that have expended lots of energy and are over-heated often sleep on their backs.

Researchers have not observed dogs or wolves in the wild sleeping on their backs. Dogs kept outdoors will not sleep in this position either because it sends a message of vulnerability and submission.

Dogs that sleep with their legs in the air are confident and comfortable in their surroundings.

Dog sleep stages

It appears dogs follow similar stages of sleep as humans.

Dogs in Stage 1 are barely sleeping. This is the stage where most outdoor dogs, wild dogs, and working dogs sleep.

As they enter Stage 2, their blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, and body temperatures gradually lower.

When dogs transition between light and deep sleep, they’re in Stage 3.

At Stage 4, they enter the slow-wave stage where dogs usually are oblivious to their surroundings. If awakened suddenly, they often appear confused.

Stage 5 is where the fun begins! This is the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase of sleep. Dogs relax their bodies, but their brains remain active.

Do dogs dream?

At Stage 5, the dog’s eyes roll under the lids, and they slowly ease into those dreams we find so amusing. They whimper, growl, make lapping and eating sounds and motions, whine, bark, and appear to be chasing something! Some dogs will cycle their legs as if they are running. Others even wag their tails.

Most indoor dogs who snuggle into their beds spend up to 12% of their sleeping time in REM.

Puppies spend a higher percentage of time in REM, and most experts think that during this stage, puppies process and merge what they are learning every day into the behaviors they will follow.

Interestingly, smaller dogs tend to dream more than their larger cousins.

Some dogs shake while they sleep. While shaking can be a sign of health problems such as hypothyroidism, pain, chills and gastrointestinal discomfort, for most dogs, it’s perfectly normal behavior.

Dogs that have suffered trauma and puppies removed from their moms too soon also may shake in their sleep.

If you observe your dog shaking while sleeping, calmly call his name and gently pet or touch him, to reassure the dog that everything is OK. Do not shout or shake them awake!

It’s unclear whether dogs have nightmares, but given the fact many rescues and dogs that have suffered severe physical and emotional trauma shake in their sleep, a little assurance goes a long way.

Should your dog sleep with you?

Nearly half of Americans’ dogs sleep in bed with their owners. And they tend to use several typical dog sleeping positions with their owners. You may wonder why does my dog sleep on me? Or why does my dog sleep on my pillow?

The answer is simple. Because dogs are pack animals, they naturally like to sleep touching their family members. Don’t be surprised if your dog wants to sleep between your legs, or with his back pressed against yours. If your dog doesn’t touch you while sleeping, he’ll likely want to sleep on your side of the bed so he can soak up your scent.

Some dogs will sleep curled up in a ball next to you, and some will sleep with their back to you, facing away so they can alert you to any potential dangers. That’s also why some dogs sleep at the foot of the bed or position themselves, so they are facing the door. Your dog takes protecting you seriously and knows you are at your most vulnerable while sleeping.

Other dogs prefer having their own space. Some like to sleep in their crates, and others prefer to sleep in a bed of their own whether it’s a flat circle, has edges for resting their head or a sleeping bag that creates a safe, cozy spot. To ensure your dog gets a good night’s sleep, invest in a cozy bed. As a dog owner, you’re likely spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars to care for your pet. Why not get some of that money back by joining a pet affiliate program that rewards you for those purchases?

Dogs often sleep at the foot of the bed facing the door. They take their job as protector seriously and want to alert you to any dangers.

Sleeping with dogs provides plenty of benefits for dog owners. Not only does it reduce stress, but it also makes you feel safer. A study from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, shows women feel safer and sleep better with a dog in their beds. The research shows women feel more secure and sleep better with a dog rather than with a man. The study shows both men and cats were more likely to disrupt a woman’s sleep.

Should you pet a sleeping dog? Petting dogs when they are sleeping can disrupt their sleep. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to avoid touching a sleeping dog unless the dog is whimpering or shaking. In that instance, a gentle pat can help soothe dog. If you are petting a dog and the dog falls asleep, it’s up to you whether you stop or continue stroking the dog.

Bottom line

Comfort equals healthier, more, and deeper sleep. Whatever dog sleep position your pup prefers, make sure his sleeping accommodations are safe and comfortable.

As your dog ages, you may need to consider investing in an orthopedic bed to ensure he gets the support he needs.

Remember, a well-rested dog is usually healthier and happier.

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*DogsBestLife.com is a participant in the Chewy Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to let our site earn fees by linking to Chewy.com.

The Best Sleep Position for Your Body

Your p.m. pose can affect a lot more than just your slumber.

Your sleeping pose can have a major impact on your slumber—as well as your overall health. Poor p.m. posture could potentially cause and neck pain, fatigue, sleep apnea, muscle cramping, impaired circulation, headaches, heartburn, tummy troubles, and even premature wrinkles.

Wondering which sleep spot is best? Check out the rankings, below, from best to worst.

Though it’s not the most popular position—only eight percent of people sleep on their backs—it’s still the best. By far the healthiest option for most people, sleeping on your back allows your head, neck, and spine to rest in a neutral position. This means that there’s no extra pressure on those areas, so you’re less likely to experience pain. Sleeping facing the ceiling also ideal for warding off acid reflux. Just be sure to use a pillow that elevates and supports your head enough—you want your stomach to be below your esophagus to prevent food or acid from coming up your digestive tract. However, snoozing on your back can cause the tongue to block the breathing tube, making it a dangerous position for those who suffer from sleep apnea (a condition that causes periods of breathlessness). This position can also make snoring more severe.

2. On Your Side

This position (where your torso and legs are relatively straight) also helps decrease acid reflux, and since your spine is elongated, it wards off back and neck pain. Plus, you’re less likely to snore in this snooze posture, because it keeps airways open. For that reason, it’s also the best choice for those with sleep apnea. Fifteen percent of adult choose to sleep on their side, but there’s one downside: It can lead to wrinkles, because half of your face pushes against a pillow.

3. In the Fetal Position

With 41 percent of adults choosing this option, it’s the most popular sleep position. A loose, fetal position (where you’re on your side and your torso is hunched and your knees are bent)—especially on your left side—is great if you’re pregnant. That’s because it improves circulation in your body and in the fetus, and it prevents your uterus from pressing against your liver, which is on your right side. This pose is also good for snorers. But resting in a fetal position that’s curled up too tightly can restrict breathing in your diaphragm. And it can leave you feeling a bit sore in the morning, particularly if you have arthritis in your joints or back. Prevent these woes by straightening out your body as much as you can, instead of tucking your chin into your chest and pulling your knees up high. You can also reduce strain on your hips by placing a pillow between your knees.

4. On Your Stomach

While this is good for easing snoring, it’s bad for practically everything else. Seven percent of adults pick this pose, but it can lead to back and neck pain, since it’s hard to keep your spine in a neutral position. Plus, stomach sleepers put pressure on their muscles and joints, possibly leading to numbness, tingling, aches, and irritated nerves. It’s best to try to choose another position, but if you must sleep on your stomach, try lying facedown to keep upper airways open—instead of with your head turned to one side—with your forehead propped up on a pillow to allow room to breathe.

Sleep Position Meanings Can Reveal A Creepy Amount About Your Personality

Whether you’re into cuddling, solo sleeping, or snoozing on your side, back, or stomach, sleep position meanings can reveal a creepy amount about your personality. You spend about one-third of your life asleep, according to a study published in the journal the Handbook of Clinical Neurology, so it makes sense that your preferred sleep style can reveal insights into your waking personality. I tend to sleep on my back or my side because sleeping on my stomach almost always results in a kink in my neck. But, it turns out that these two positions seem to have competing meanings.

Just like your personality, sleep is complicated and multifaceted, and it’s not uncommon for a person to have more than one trait that directly contradicts another. Aside from being vital for optimum physical and mental health, sleep is also highly coveted. While it’s clear that everyone loves sleep, sleep positions and personality traits (because they’re self reported) are not universal and vary by culture, according to a British study conducted by Dr. Chris Idzikowski, according to Sleep Junkie.

“We are all aware of our body language when we are awake but this is the first time we have been able to see what our subconscious posture says about us,” Sleep Junkie quoted Idzikowski as saying. “What’s interesting is that the profile behind the posture is often very different from what we would expect.” If you’re curious what your favorite sleep position says about your personality, the results might surprise you.

1. Side Sleepers Are Easy Going & Open Minded

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If you’re a side sleeper, Idzikowski noted that you’re likely easy going and open minded. Side sleepers who sleep with their arms straight out can also be suspicious and cynical. What’s more, he noted that side sleepers can often wake up stiff, which could make you a lot less of a go-with-the-flow type. Stretching before bed and when you wake up can help reduce your chances of getting up on the wrong side of the bed.

2. Left-Side Sleepers Are More Creative

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It turns out that whether you’re a left or right side sleeper also makes a difference. According to a survey from Sealy, people who favored sleeping on their left sides were more likely to work in marketing or advertising and have a higher level of education.

3. Right-Side Sleepers Are More Likely To Smoke

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The Sealy survey also revealed that right-side sleepers were more likely to be heavy smokers and consume more caffeine than any other sleep position. Additionally, those who favor their right side tended to work in the transportation and manufacturing industries, according to their survey.

4. Fetal-Position Sleepers Seek Comfort

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Curling up in the fetal position like a newborn baby signals that you’re trying to comfort yourself at the end of the day, Idzikowski explained. “Associated traits include a soft interior which is camouflaged by a tough exterior, shy but warm, conscientious, organized and ready to face the day,” Sleep Junkie reported. “Adding a pillow between the knees may be beneficial for people who prefer this sleep position.”

5. Free Fallers Are Anxious & Overwhelmed

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Idzikowski dubbed those who sleep on their stomachs with their arms under the pillow as free fallers, according to Sleep Junkie. If you favor this sleep position, you are likely to be brash and outgoing but also harbor feelings of anxiety due to feeling overwhelmed during your waking hours.

6. Back Sleepers Have High Expectations

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Sleeping on your back with your arms by your sides, also known as the soldier position, reveals that you have high expectations of yourself and others, according to Idzikowski. Soldier sleepers are also the most likely to snore.

7. Starfish Sleepers Make Great Friends

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If you sleep on your back with your arms over your head and around the pillow, you’re a starfish sleeper. Starfish sleepers prefer not to be the center of attention, and their keen listening skills make them trusted friends and confidants, according to the BBC.

8. Spooners Are Crankier Than Solo Sleepers

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While it might seem romantic to cuddle with your partner at night, people who sleep in bed with another person reported up to 50 percent more night time disturbances than people who sleep alone, Sleep.org noted. And, all of that waking up at night can lead to a super cranky morning, which is why one in four couples in the U.S. sleep separately.

9. Heron Sleepers Are Unpredictable

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If you generally flop into bed with your arms and legs akimbo like a clumsy bird, you’re a heron sleeper. According to Ranker, heron sleepers are moody, unpredictable, and have a hard time making decisions. This also sounds like the description for the zodiac sign Libra.

10. Sleeping Like A Thinker Means You’re Highly Emotional

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Sleeping on your side with one hand under your chin so it looks like you’re lost in contemplative thought is known as the thinker sleep position, and it signals that you might be somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster, according to Ranker. Thinkers can go quickly swing from one emotion to the next, which keeps those around them on their toes.

If you don’t think your personality jives with your sleeping position, or you favor a number of different sleeping positions, it’s not an exact science. Most of the results are self-reported, and while the comparisons are interesting, sleeping is definitely an individual thing. You can be all of these things or none of them. But, as long as you’re getting enough sleep you’re generally going to be more pleasant to be around during the day, regardless of your favored sleep position.

How should you sleep if you have lower back pain?

Share on PinterestCertain sleeping positions may help to treat back pain, and ensure a good night’s sleep.

Not only can lower back pain get in the way of a good night’s rest, but poor sleeping posture may make the existing pain worse.

A poor sleeping position may even be the underlying cause of lower back pain. This is because certain positions can place unnecessary pressure on the neck, hips, and back.

It is important to maintain the natural curve of the spine when lying in bed. A person can do this by ensuring the head, shoulders, and hips are in alignment, and that the back is properly supported. The best way to do this is usually by sleeping on the back.

However, many people are uncomfortable sleeping on their back or find it causes them to snore. Everyone sleeps differently, so there is a variety of options for people who want to sleep better and reduce their back pain.

For people experiencing lower back pain at night, trying out the following postures and tips may provide relief.

1. Sleeping on the back with knee support

Lying on the back is usually considered to be the best sleeping position for a healthy back.

This position evenly distributes weight the full length of the body’s largest surface. It also minimizes pressure points and ensures good alignment of the head, neck, and spine.

Placing a small pillow under the knees can provide additional support and help maintain the natural curve of the spine.

To adopt this sleeping position, a person should:

  1. Lie flat on their back facing the ceiling, and avoid twisting the head sideways.
  2. Position a pillow to support the head and neck.
  3. Place a small pillow under the knees.
  4. For extra support, fill in any other gaps between the body and mattress with additional pillows, such as beneath the lower back.

2. Sleeping on the side with a pillow between the knees

Although lying on the side is a popular and comfortable sleeping position, it can pull the spine out of position. This can strain the lower back.

Correcting this is easy. Anyone who sleeps on their side can simply place a firm pillow between their knees. This raises the upper leg, which restores the natural alignment of the hips, pelvis, and spine.

To adopt this sleeping position, a person should:

  1. Get into bed and carefully roll on to one side.
  2. Position a pillow to support the head and neck.
  3. Pull the knees up slightly then place a pillow between them.
  4. For extra support, fill in any gaps between the body and mattress with more pillows, especially at the waist.

People who habitually turn to sleep on their front may also want to try hugging a large pillow against their chest and stomach to aid sleep and keep their back aligned.

3. Sleeping in the fetal position

Share on PinterestA curled-up fetal position may help those with a herniated disc.

For people with a herniated disc, adopting a curled-up fetal position may bring relief during the night. This is because lying on the side with the knees tucked into the chest reduces bending of the spine and helps open up the joints.

To adopt this sleeping position, a person should:

  1. Get into bed and carefully roll on to one side.
  2. Position a pillow to support the head and neck.
  3. Draw the knees up towards the chest until the back is relatively straight.

4. Sleeping on the front with pillow under the stomach

Lying on the front of the body is usually considered the worst sleeping posture. However, for those who struggle to sleep in another position, placing a slim pillow underneath the stomach and hips can help improve spinal alignment.

Sleeping on the front may also benefit people with a herniated disc or a degenerative disc disease.

To adopt this sleeping position, a person should:

  1. Get into bed and roll on to their front.
  2. Place a slim pillow underneath the abdomen and hips to raise the mid-section.
  3. Use a flat pillow for the head or consider sleeping without one.

5. Sleeping on the front with the head face down

Another reason sleeping on the front is considered bad is because the head is usually turned to one side. This twists the spine and places additional stress on the neck, shoulders, and back.

To avoid this, try lying face down. A small but firm pillow or tightly rolled-up towel can be used to prop up the forehead, allowing room to breathe. This should be done in addition to placing a pillow under the stomach.

To adopt this sleeping position, a person should:

  1. Get into bed and roll onto their front.
  2. Place a slim pillow underneath the abdomen and hips to raise the mid-section.
  3. Position a pillow or rolled-up towel under the forehead to create adequate breathing space between the mouth and mattress.

6. Sleeping on the back in a reclined position

Sleeping in a reclined position may benefit lower back pain, particularly in people with isthmic spondylolisthesis.

If significant relief is found from resting in a reclined chair, it may be worth investing in an adjustable bed that can be positioned accordingly.

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