What Your Sleeping Style Says About You
Experts say how we sleep and how much we sleep affects mood and health.
What Time Is Your Internal Alarm Clock Set For?
Whether a person is up all night watching reruns of bad sitcoms and scary
movies or sound asleep by 9 p.m. is based, in part, on his own internal alarm
clock. And such clockwork may play a role in workplace success.
"A clock mechanism makes us sleepier at certain times and more alert at
others, and it can make you want to stay up all night or go to bed quite
early," Ballard says.
This can be a problem at times. "For instance, teenage boys who don't go to
sleep until 3 or 4 a.m. may sleep through their classes, and if this persists
into adulthood, they may have difficulty functioning in an early morning job,"
A study of middle school students showed that
Sleeping Style Affects Physical Health
How you sleep also affects your physical health. For example, the freefall
position (lying on your front with your hands around the pillow and your head
turned to one side) is good for digestion. But the "soldier" (lying on your
back with both arms pinned to your sides) and the "starfish" may lead to
snoring and a bad night's sleep.
"Some sleep positions are bad for health," Idzikowski tells WebMD.
Other research has shown that the breathing pauses of
sleep apnea occur when a person sleeps
on their back.
"If you have an underlying sleep disorder, body position may be
significant," says Krieger. "Sleep apnea is worse when you sleep on your back,
and other patients with leg cramps and have leg
discomfort, so they tend to sleep in the fetal position and hold their
Sleep apnea is marked by brief interruptions of breathing during sleep,
while restless legs syndrome is characterized by an overwhelming urge to move
the legs, usually due to uncomfortable or unpleasant sensations.
There are simple
However, talking with your doctor and letting him know what is going on may
help. There may be an underlying medical problem causing these sleep-related