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Thursday, April 11, 2013

To sleep: perchance to write



I used to be a champion sleeper. I would hear the kids in the middle of the night (over my husband’s snoring, thus the champion title), tend to their needs, tend to my own (I’ve had three kids—there's no such thing as a full night of rest without a bladdus-interruptus), then fall instantly asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow again.
Those were the days. Now, once my brain wakes, that’s it. Which is totally unfair as I’m pretty sure it sleeps through most of my conscious hours. 

You'll get nothing from me! Mwahaha!

Uh, that was a little creepy.

I need my Zzzs. Writing on little sleep is like paste without its toothbrush—possible, but stinky. Knowing this probably adds to the difficulty of getting back to sleep, so I flip, I flop, I twist and scrunch, trying to find a nominally comfortable position that doesn’t pinch after a few minutes in the hopes shutting down the body will shut down the mind. 

I don't understand why I'm uncomfortable.

During one of these midnight stare-at-the-clock sessions, I started to wonder why I could only find comfort in one sleep position. So I went on a fact finding mission—you know how I love those—and was surprised to find that your choice of sleeping position is linked to personality traits.


According to an article featured in Men’s Health Magazine, those who sleep on their stomachs are usually outgoing and brash, but get their feelings hurt easily and don’t take criticism all that well. Harrumph. Me thinks the researcher has a case of the jealous against stomach sleepers.




Sleep curled on your side (known as the Fetus sleeping position)? Most people do, 41% of those surveyed. You curlers are described as tough on the outside, but gooey at your center (okay, not gooey—shy and sensitive). You take time to warm up to new people, but once you relax you’re quite trusting and easy-going.



Out of nowhere I’ve started sleeping on my back—a position I NEVER used to sleep in. What does that mean?! 

According to this study, I’m quiet and reserved.


Yeah.
Anyway, back sleepers usually don’t like to make a big deal of things or to be in the limelight. They’re described as great listeners and even better friends.

Okay. Clearly, I need to go back to sleeping on my stomach.

How about you? Is this survey accurate? Since I fall asleep in one position and wake in another, I must have some serious issues to work through.

27 comments:

  1. LOL. My ex-husband slept on his back. Not so quiet or reserved. ;)

    Me? I sleep on my side, or the other - I switch throughout the night. (I always want my pillow just slightly chilled.)

    But I have to say. Since there are only three ways to sleep and a slew more personalities than three, I think the researcher should quit his day job. LOL

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    1. Right?! Lol - methinks that research money is going to something other than research ;)

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  2. Yeah, since I used to ONLY sleep on my belly (before those kids of mine sucked all the joy out of sleep!), then only my side (and only my left side, because the right side goes numb within minutes of finding that position), and now my back, and my personality has not changed or even mellowed AT ALL, perhaps they need to research this idea a little more.

    And according to the study, you should sleep on your right side only because the left side puts stress on vital internal organs. Sheesh. Why don't they make us drug up and strap ourselves down while they're at it? ;(

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  3. I always fall asleep on my right side. It's the only way I can get comfortable. But I often wake up on my back.

    I hate when I wake up at 1 or 2 am wide awake. I think it's time to get up and going for the day then I glance at the clock and groan. There's no way I can get up that early and function at work until 5:30 or 6:00 pm. 4 am is a different story. Then I have time to write in peace and I'm not a zombie at the end of the day.

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    1. I cannot get comfortable on my right side at all. ;( Waking up in the middle of the night is the worst, especially when you wake enough that your mind kicks in and won't shut down again. So frustrating!
      I'm sorry, did you say 4am? Goodness, I forgot that 4:00 comes twice in a day until you said that (because NO WAY would I willingly get up that early). Lol

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  4. I must be on my back to fall asleep. It has become an ingrained subconscious habit that I can't explain. I might roll over during sleep onto my side but my husband is the opposite; he can only fall asleep on his side, then switches to his back later (sinuses). I will tell you this, however, I have never slept so well in my entire life since going vegan 5 years ago.

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    1. Hi Maria! I was never able to fall asleep on my back until 2 or 3 months ago. Now it is the only way I can fall asleep. Weird! Interesting about going vegan. The thought never crossed my mind, but I wonder if what you eat plays a part in your sleep preferences...now you've got my brain churning. ;)

      Thank you for commenting!!

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  5. I sleep on my stomach with my arms up under my pillow. When I go in to get a massage, the therapist can always tell exactly how I sleep. But I can't help it--I know it's bad for my back and shoulders but it's the only way I can fall asleep.

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    1. Sleeping like that is how I tore my rotator cuff! Hence the reason I try to force myself to sleep on my back.

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    2. Lily,
      That is exactly how I slept before I had kids and I LOVED it! I couldn't wait to give birth to my oldest so I could go back to tummy sleeping, but it wasn't comfortable any longer. I was so bummed! My sciatic nerve pinches when I try to lay on my stomach. Ack!

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  6. Hmmm...well, my body prefers to be on my stomach for sleeping, but I try to force myself to sleep on my back, and yet half the time end up on my side. So...??? I have no clue what that says about me.

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    1. You have a very dark and dangerous mind, Catherine. Bahaha! Ahem. Lately, I start on my left side, then flip onto my back right before I fall asleep. My mom is the only person I've heard of that doesn't move at all when she sleeps. She goes to sleep on her back and wakes on her back. It's creepy. She scares me. Lol

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  7. I sleep every which way! I toss and turn all night. Maybe I'm a writer as an outlet for all of those multiple personalities. :-)

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    1. Multiple Personality Disorder, eh? I suspected as much. Lol. I wonder how these researchers were able to pick out a specific position for each person because most people toss and turn. Maybe they just made stuff up? ;]

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  8. Hmm, I sleep on my side a lot. In the mornings, I often wake up on my back. Hot Builder says I sprawl out all over the place, sending him to the edge of the mattress. So I have no darn idea what I am.

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    1. Yeah, I start in one position and wake in another too, but I prefer to stay on my side because I do NOT like him touching me in sleep. That's when I start flopping around until he's chased back to the other side of the bed. Do not cross that line! ;]

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  9. I sleep on my side and the survey is totally accurate. I have to be tough on the job, but inside I'm a total mush-I cry at sappy commercials and sad parts in books.

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    1. Hey Nancy! You are the first commenter that the survey is accurate for! Shh, don't tell anyone, but I cry at sappy things too. Which is why I avoid them as much as possible. I have a sister-in-law who loves to cry, thinks it's good and healthy for the soul. All crying has done for me is make me look like I rounded on the wrong end of a bar fight. ;/

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  10. What a great post! I'm a habitual side-sleeper, which is why when I was told by my physical therapist that I needed to begin sleeping on my back with a towel curled under my head to prevent my headaches..."sigh" oh the sadness of that day. I've foolishly reverted to sleeping on my side and it's like I've come home. : ) I don't think many would describe me as tough on the outside but I'm definitely gooey on the inside!

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  11. Thanks Christi, you gooey little morsel! ;)
    It's so hard to change from your favorite sleeping position, isn't it? It about killed me when I had to give up sleeping on my tummy after kids. I still miss it but every attempt has ended badly for my back. :(

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  12. I was always a stomach sleeper...my whole life...until I got pregnant, and had to train myself to sleep on my side or back. Now I rarely sleep on my tummy, and even almost 4 years later I still think it's SO weird when I wake up on my back. I could NEVER have slept on my back before. NEVER! But the tummy sleeping personality still fits me best, so the researcher's study is flawed. He didn't take into account child-bearing women :/

    Great post!

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    1. Hi Jerrica! That's exactly what happened with me--face down all the way until them dern babies ruined me! Lol. I thought it was odd and uncomfortable that my mom slept on her back all night with a twitch and now it's the only way I can sleep. Oh my gorgonzola, does that mean I'm turning into my mother?! ;}

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  13. I fall asleep on my left side, in a half-fetal position (one leg straight, one leg bent). I often end up on my belly or on my back. I can only sleep on my right side if my husband is not in bed (he sleeps on that side of me and I feel suffocated if I am facing anyone while sleeping).
    I fall asleep best when slightly curled on my left side with either a cat or dog surled up with me.

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    1. Sara,
      I cannot stand to sleep facing my husband. Breath in my face grosses me out, especially sleeping breath. URP! There is an invisible line down the center of our bed and if he crosses it, I will wake him up and make him move. There is no mercy on this. My side is my side. Get the hell off. :)

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  14. I'm a side sleeper! I sleep on my left side, totally curled up like a boiled shrimp. Occasionally I sleep on my stomach, but when I do, my toes have to hang over the edge of the mattress. I wonder what THAT says about me? I can't EVER sleep on my back. SO uncomfortable. This was a fun blog- thanks, Andris!

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    1. The boiled shrimp reference and the hanging toes tell me a LOT about your disorders, Olivia. We're gonna get you medicated real quick. Teehee. ;}

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