How your sleep position affects your dreams

Ever wonder what your dreams mean? It could have something to do with the way you're sleeping

By Melissa Greer

How your sleep position affects your dreams

A study published in the September 2012 issue of the American Psychological Association’s journal Dreaming revealed some interesting connections between sleep position and what you dream about. For example, if you sleep on your stomach, you may be having sex dreams more often than people who sleep on their back or side.

Participants in the study were asked to record the details of how often they dreamed, the intensity of their dreams and the themes that were present. They also kept track of how often they slept on their side, back or stomach. When people slept mostly on their stomach, one of the most common dream subjects was sex, such as believing that they had a secret admirer, often someone famous. Other dream themes that were common for stomach sleepers included feelings of being tied up, being locked up and being unable to move.

What is this sleeping position’s connection to dreams of feeling restricted? While that’s not completely understood, the study’s authors say it may be a result of the pressure that’s applied to your face, chest and genitals when sleeping on your stomach.

This article was originally titled "Did you know?" in the December 2012 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience–and never miss an issue!

Best Health magazine, December 2012

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