Sleep Personality

Sleep apnea can cause mood swings

What is your sleep personality? You may not be able to know exactly what you do in your sleep - especially if you don't have someone sleeping next to you - but some studies have shown a correlation between sleeping behavior and a person's personality during waking hours.

Your Sleep Personality

There are a few different distinct personalities that some people display while sleeping. While some folks claim these sleep personalities are a direct reflection of a person's true demeanor, other people feel that the way a person sleeps has absolutely nothing to do with what kind of person they are. Many people feel that when it comes right down to it sleeping is essentially about getting comfortable enough to allow the body to rest as opposed to a manifestation of a person's inner-most personality traits.


During waking hours, an introverted personality craves time alone and does not like to draw in a lot of attention from others. An introverted sleep personality:

  • Sleeps quietly, not disturbing others
  • Moves very little while sleeping and does not change position often
  • Keeps arms and legs close by instead of sprawling out all over the bed

Whether someone with these sleeping attributes is introverted within waking hours probably has much more to do with their upbringing and personal level of comfort with social situations as opposed to the way they sleep.


Extroverted people crave time actively engaged in social activities and are more likely to let their presence be known in a room full of people. An extroverted sleep personality:

  • Moves around several times throughout the night, changing positions often
  • Spreads out to get comfortable when sleeping
  • May talk or mumble while sleeping, or make a lot of noises.

Sleeping next to an extroverted sleeper can be difficult, especially if you are a light sleeper and easily awakened. If your partner has these tendencies you may want to purchase some earplugs and a body pillow to place between the two of you.


Aggressive sleepers may actually push and shove their partner while sleeping, or may shout out in the middle of the night. It can be especially odd when this sleep personality comes from someone who is usually very polite and passive during the day, but should not automatically be assumed to have a deeper psychological meaning. While it is true that nightmares and aggressive behavior while sleeping can be the result of underlying issues, some people simply have aggressive personalities while sleeping but do not have larger issues to tackle.


Passive sleepers are similar to introverted sleepers in the sense that they don't make a lot of noise or move around a lot while sleeping, but the difference is that a passive sleeper will generally not resist against any sleep intrusions. For example, a cat leaping on the bed does not make a passive sleeper awaken to toss the cat off the bed. Passive sleepers who sleep next to an aggressive sleeper may not be disturbed by the forceful tossing and turning of their partner. Passive sleepers simply sleep and don't get bothered very much by outside stimuli.

Correlation or Coincidence

People's personality while they sleep may or may not be a reliable predictor of their personality during waking hours, depending on which study you read. For example, a British study makes the claim that the position a person sleeps in can reveal what kind of personality they have during the day. What the study doesn't explain, however, is whether the position someone sleeps in is caused by their personality, or if their personality is a direct result of the position they sleep in.

Although some sleep studies do suggest a loose correlation, there is no hard scientific evidence supporting the claim that the way a person sleeps is a direct reflection of their personality when awake.

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