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Who you are is in how you sleep

London, Sept. 16: A scientist claims to have discovered a direct link between people’s favourite sleeping position and their personality.

Prof. Chris Idzikowski, one of Britain’s leading sleep experts, has identified six different positions and each one says more about a person’s character than they may care to reveal.

The most popular position, particularly among women, is the “foetus” position, with 41 per cent of people, and 51 per cent of women, saying that they usually slept curled up on their side, holding on to the pillow. This position, the professor claims, means that they may appear tough but “are actually sensitive souls right to their core” and are usually shy.

Those who adopt the “starfish” — spreadeagled on their back — tend to be good listeners who make friends easily but do not like to be the centre of attention and prefer to let other people take the limelight.

Of the six positions, the “freefaller” is the more rarefied of sleeping shapes, with just 6.5 per cent of people preferring to sleep on their front. They tend to have “a brash and gregarious exterior,” although this confident front hides a nervous personality who responds badly to personal criticism. A “soldier”, who sleeps on their back, tends to be quiet and reserved, setting high standards for themselves; a “log,” who sleeps on their side, is relaxed and social; and a “yearner”, a similar position to a “log” but with raised arms, is suspicious and cynical.

Prof. Idzikowski, who carried out the research for the hotel group Travel Inn, said: “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.”

“What is interesting is that the profile behind the posture is often very different from what we would expect. For example, ‘freefallers’ are actually hiding a more reserved side to their personality despite occupying a large amount of the bed.”

The research was conducted by comparing a person’s preferred sleeping position to the most common personality traits identified in the subject.

Despite certain personality difficulties associated with the “freefall” position, they can comfort themselves with the fact that it is good for digestion. “Starfish” and “soldiers” are more likely to have a bad night’s sleep and to snore. The research also revealed that changing your sleeping position was just as unlikely as couples’ changing the side of the bed on which they usually sleep. Just five per cent fell asleep in a different position every night while the vast majority stuck to their favourite one.

Prof. Idzikowski even bothered to research “duvet use” during the night, and found that one arm or leg sticking out of the duvet is Britain’s favourite position, followed by both feet poking out the end.

One in 10 people like to cover themselves entirely with the duvet, but the research did not reveal what this decision says about somebody’s personality or the heating arrangements in their home.

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