A recent study conducted by Dr. Chris Idzikowski director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre and author of Learn to Sleep Well: A Practical Guide to Getting a Good Night's Rest, your nighttime body language might reveal more than you think.

What does the position you sleep in say about your personality? You may be shocked to learn it may reveal quite a lot about you according to some studies.

Links between personality and sleep position have been mentioned for decades. The most common sleep positions include fetal, stomach, log, starfish (back with arms up), soldier (arms to the side on the back), and yearner (side with arms more or less straight out in front). Some of the more recent surveys include one by a British hotel chain Premier Inn and another by Dr. Chris Idzikowski.

Robert Phipps, a body language expert, has studied the four most common sleeping positions to determine how it reflects a person's personality and outlook on life.

The results, he claims, can identify how stressful your day was, how much you worry and how much control you have over your life.

It is said to reveal traits such as stubbornness, bossiness and fanciful dreaming, as well as how self-critical a person is or whether they feel in control of life.

According to his research, more than half of British adults sleep in the “foetal” position, curled up on their side with knees tucked in.

This stance, favoured by worriers, is said to show the sleeper is seeking to return to their comfort zone after a stressful day.

The Fetal Position, lying curled on one side with legs bent, was the most popular sleep position amongst the men and women surveyed, with 41 per cent choosing it as their favourite. This was also the clear winner amongst women, with 51 per cent opting for a night curled under the comforter.

According to the study, those who preferred this position are described as presenting a tough exterior, but are often shy and sensitive under the surface. They also may take some time to warm up to new people, but ultimately relax and become more social.

The Log Position, lying on your side with legs straight and both arms resting at your sides, was the second most popular amongst study participants, with 15 per cent reporting it as their first choice. People who chose this nighttime sleep stance were reported to be social, easy-going and trusting in their daily lives, though sometimes prone to gullibility.

The Yearner is one who sleeps on their side with both arms stretched out in front of them. Thirteen per cent of people surveyed chose this as their favoured sleep position, and identified themselves as having open personalities, but were sometimes prone to suspicion and cynicism. Yearners are also described as slow decision makers, but once the choice is made they stick to it.

The Soldier Position, lying on your back with both arms straight at your sides, was the first choice for eight per cent of study participants. Character traits for those who prefer this position reflect their disciplined namesake, with sleepers identifying themselves as people who set high expectations for themselves and others, and exhibit a quiet and reserved nature.