LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Whether it's curled up in the fetal position, flat on the stomach or stretched out across the bed, the way people sleep reveals their personality, a British sleep expert said on Tuesday.
Professor Chris Idzikowski, director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service and a visiting professor at the University of Surrey in southern England, has identified six common sleep positions and what they mean.
"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 says about us," he said.
Crouched in the fetal position is the most popular sleep pattern and favored by 51 percent of women, according to the results of the study he conducted for a large hotel group.
Fetal sleepers tend to be shy and sensitive while people who assume the soldier position, flat on their back with arms at their sides, are quiet and reserved.
Sleeping on one's side with legs outstretched and arms down in what Idzikowski refers to as the log, indicates a social, easy-going personality. But if the arms are outstretched, the person tends to be more suspicious.
The freefall, flat on the tummy with the hands at the sides of the head, is the most unusual position. Only 6.5 percent of people prefer it and they are usually brash and gregarious.
Unassuming, good listeners usually adopt the starfish position -- on the back with outstretched arms and legs.
Idzikowski, who identified the positions by comparing personality traits of people, their preferred way of sleeping and the most common positions, said once a sleeping style is adopted it is rarely changed.
"What's interesting is that the profile behind the posture is often very different from what we would expect," he added in a statement.