Everyone has a preferred sleeping position, one that is naturally assumed when preparing to drift off into a comfortable slumber. Although many of us do not wake up in the position we fall asleep in, the initial shape is thought to serve as a means of character insight and the vital starting block for a solid night’s sleep.
A series of generic sleeping positions have been categorised and named in accordance to the shapes they seem to represent. Due to our limited awareness as we sleep, the alter-ego or the subconscious self is thought to be demonstrated, as the sleeping position we choose to adopt is associated with certain character traits which are readily displayed, rather than masked by the controlled behaviour we project in our waking lives. It could be said that sleep depresses our level of control, just as alcohol removes our inhibitions; ‘In vino veritas’, which is a Latin phrase that translates as ‘In wine there is truth’, which reflects how a reduced state of awareness can uncover true identities, made up of genuine thoughts and emotions, as diplomatic conventions peel away.
Six positions are broadly defined as the Foetus, Log, Yearner, Soldier, Freefall and Starfish:
The Foetus position is made by a sleeper who lies curled up on their side. This position is associated with someone who seems resilient but is actually sensitive. This analogy may stem from the childlike, scrunched form of the sleeper, as an unconscious state lays bare vulnerability and a need for security, as a projection of strength diminishes and becomes more feasible as a means of self-preservation.
The Log Position is as its name suggests is a straight position, where sleepers lie on their side with both arms by their side. The well-known phrase; ‘Slept like a log’ can be applied literally to sleepers. Characters who adopt this position are thought to be easy going, sociable people, who may be gullible. This position initially seems to be quite introverted, as the limbs are kept securely next to the body, which may reveal the flip side to a wakeful personality, who is more daring and outgoing in a bid to overcome introversion.
The Yearner Position is characterised by outstretched arms, which are almost frozen in the midst of an embrace, which is said to represent an open nature, in people who are thought to be slow to make up their minds but unlikely to change their decisions. This seems to be an accurate conclusion as the sleeper seems to demonstrate an outstretched commitment.
The Soldier Position occurs when a sleeper lies on their back, with their arms pinned to their side in an almost regimented stance. People who sleep in this position tend to be quiet and reserved and a submission to authority and self-control seem to be concurrent with the name. People who sleep in this position are thought to set themselves and others high standards which demonstrate a further link to a soldiering attitude.
The Freefall Position is made by a sleeper who lies on their front with their hands around the pillow and head turned to one side. The position illustrates a parachutist’s mid-air stance, which contradicts the character association of a sleeper who does not like extreme situations. It could be said that the sleeper keeps vital organs secure against the mattress, which shows that they are not willing to take risks.
The Starfish Position is the most striking position, as a sleeper lies on their back with both arms and legs outstretched. Their characters are thought to be good friends who listen and offer help, which could be reflected in their star shape, as they are pulled in all directions. However, their slumberous shape seems to contradict its character associations of shyness.
Sleeping positions also depend on other factors, such as the amount of space you are occupying and whether you share with someone else. If sharing, a mutual layout needs to be worked out. For example, two starfish sleepers may find themselves clashing in a bed space, although their similar personalities may be compatible in waking moments, while two foetus shaped sleepers can easily interlock, signalling an affinity.