Everyone has a preferred sleep position. Some people like side sleeping, others sleep on their backs. Maybe occasionally we wake up in a weird position. Then there are those who actually prefer bizarre sleep poses. Take AJ Saleem, academic director at Home Tutoring Houston. “I like to tilt my head to the side so that it is off the pillow almost touching my shoulder, with one arm over my head and one arm under a pillow next to me, and my legs in an exaggerated 4 position.” Sounds like little teapot meets tree pose. But that’s not close to the weirdest sleep pose. Here are six others.
The crime scene position, a free-form posture of lying on your back with legs bent to one side and one arm bent up over your head, isn’t violent. Crime scene sleepers are sensitive, creative and inoffensive people, says Evany Thomas, author of “The Secret Language of Sleep: A Couple’s Guide to the Thirty-Nine Positions.”
The scissors position involves lying face down on your stomach with legs either closed or open, and arms either at your sides or above your head.
“For most people sleeping face down is a chain reaction of discomfort,” says Thomas. “Only select sleepers can stomach anterior positions like the scissors pose.”
If you sleep on your back and spread both arms and legs like a five-pointed starfish, you generally shy away from being the center of attention, according to a study in the North American Journal of Psychology. Professor Chris Idzikowski at the UK Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service found that starfish sleepers were more likely to snore and have a bad night’s sleep. Experts think propping a pillow under the knees or a rolled towel below the small of the back may help. On the positive side, starfish sleepers make good friends and are always ready to listen.
Sixth Posture of the Perfumed Forest
The sixth posture of the perfumed forest entails lying on your back with closed legs and one arm resting up over your eyes and the other across your belly.
“What makes the pose so unusual is its effortless coordination,” says Thomas. If a couple both end up in this sleep position, their breathing is likely to synchronize within an hour of sleep.
Flying bobs entails lying on your side with legs bent at the knees and arms straight out as if holding on to the safety bar in front of a roller coaster seat.
“The flying bobs is a pose of happenstance, something to be tumbled into rather than arranged with any deliberation,” says Thomas. It’s as if you stood at the foot of the bed and fell onto it sideways. The best thing about it is the lack of control it demands from its sleepers, making it perfect for those with a lot of responsibility or those who are too exhausted to care.
Some 7 percent of Idzikowski’s survey respondents classified themselves as free fallers; they sleep face down with arms outstretched to the side. Some clutch their pillow as though they are falling. Free fallers may feel as if life happens to them, and they’re just hanging on for the ride with little control. They can also wake up feeling anxious or worried about tasks from the previous day. Experts think free fallers should aim to control one day at a time so they may be able to sleep more peacefully at night.
Whatever weird sleep position you find yourself in, if you’re resting well and not bothering your bed mate, you’re probably doing all right.