You More Likely Have An Anxious Personality Type If You Sleep Like This

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Sleeping positions and what they mean has been a topic researchers have been interested in for years. Director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, Professor Chris Idzikowski, and sleep researcher Samuel Dunkell (both of whom have penned books based on their findings) are just a few of them. 

Some theorize about what your sleeping position really says about your relationship, while others look at personality traits and try to find a link between them and how we choose to lie down at night. 

If you gravitate toward one of the most popular sleeping positions — curled up in a ball with your knees tucked close to your chest, resembling a fetus in the womb — you are more likely to have an anxious personality type, per Dunkell (via Sleep Foundation). Fetal position sleepers are also emotional in nature, added the sleep researcher and psychoanalyst, who likened the position to "a tightly closed bud" in his book, "Sleep Positions: The Night Language of the Body" (via The Washington Post). According to Idzikowski, however, there is more to be said about people who sleep like this. 

Fetal position sleepers are shy and sensitive

Idzikowski — who did a study on sleeping positions and what they said about someone's personality traits and health involving 1,000 participants — found that the fetal position was the most common, amounting to 41% of the study's subjects, per BBC. The position was also most preferred by women. 

Sleeping bunched up like a ball was linked with a tough exterior but sensitive heart. If you prefer this sleeping position yourself, you might be perceived as shy by others when they first meet you, but you tend to relax with time.  

Anxious personality trait aside, did you know that there are many surprising ways your sleep position can impact your health? Side sleepers, in general, are said to be better bed partners, mainly owing to the fact that there's less chance of them snoring, per Healthline. There are also many health benefits to side sleeping like improved waste clearance in the brain, maintaining a natural alignment of your spine, and better circulation for a baby in a pregnant mother (via WebMD). However, not everything about the fetal position is good for you. In fact, curling up in a ball can increase your chances of waking up sore the next morning. You can also be putting undue strain on your lungs and diaphragm. 

Fetal position sleepers can put stress on their lower back

Sleeping like a baby might look cute; but it could be doing damage to your posture and lower back, explained chiropractor Dr. Anthony Leong (via Ryde Chiropractic on YouTube).

A lot of us already spend a lot of our day sitting hunched over our desks (if we work from home or have desk jobs), shared Dr. Leong. "That's not such a good position to hold both day and night, let alone even part of the day ... you will encourage your body to hold that posture and remember and keep that posture," he said. For those with sciatic nerve problems or disc issues, the fetal position puts even more strain on the lower back, added chiropractor, Dr. Jeb Thurmond

Regardless of whether your sleeping position has anything to do with your anxious personality, if something is causing harm to your health, it's always a good idea to fix it. But changing sleeping positions can be tricky, mainly because most of us have been sleeping a certain way since we were kids. Dr. Leong recommends slightly stretching yourself out each night without forcing yourself to suddenly give up the fetal position. "You don't need to be completely straight, but just don't be all curled up in a ball," he shared. Using a physical object, like a body pillow, might also help you stay more stretched out through the night.