What Does Sleeping with Your Hands Above Your Head Mean? (Sleeping Psychology Explained)

There is a lot we learn about ourselves (or others) by looking at sleeping positions. Considerable research has been done over the years into sleeping positions and how they relate to a person’s personality, and there are some interesting correlations.

If you’re wondering, what does sleeping with your hands above your head mean? – I can provide some insight into your personality from this sleeping position. As well as pointing out some risks (and benefits) to sleeping with your hands above your head.

What Does Sleeping with Your Hands Above Your Head Mean?

There are two main sleeping positions if you have your hands and arms above your head. On your front, or on your back.

So, I will look at each of these separately as they have different meanings and implications.

Sleeping on Your Front with Your Hands Above Your Head

This is known as the ‘freefalling’ position in sleep position psychology. People who freefall while sleeping tends to be sensitive, they don’t like criticism, taking risks, and are nervous in social situations.

Sound familiar?

From a health standpoint, it’s not recommended you sleep on your front with your hands above your head.

Sleeping on your front puts extra strain on the base of your spine. You will also need a slim pillow or you risk waking up with some serious neck ache too.

Some people will also experience a numbness or tingling sensation in their hands if their sleeping position is reducing the blood flow, as well as shoulder pains.

Sleeping on Your Back with Your Hands Above Your Head

This position is closest to the ‘starfish’ position in sleep position psychology. Although you can have your legs and arms straight or out at an angle, there is little difference.

People who sleep in this position tend to be helpful and curious, but like to keep themselves out of the spotlight and be more of a silent force.

Sound familiar?

Looking at this position from a health perspective it has some of the same health risks as sleeping on your front.

If you have a backache from sleeping in this position try putting a thin pillow under your knees to relieve some of the pressure on your spine.

Use a responsive memory foam pillow too so your neck is supported while maintaining good posture.

A lot of back sleepers recommend latex pillows, so it’s worth checking out the benefits of sleeping on latex.

Sleeping with Arms up Above Head Bad for Your Health?

It’s not the best position to sleep in, that’s for sure. Sleeping with your arms above your head is almost certainly going to cause you some shoulder pain over time.

You are putting stress on your shoulder muscles in this position opposed having your arms resting by your side.

You are also restricting the flow of blood to your extremities. Which can cause a ‘dead arm’, tingling and numbness, and loss of feeling for a few moments when you wake.

If you’re a back sleeper according to the British Snoring Association you’re more likely to snore too which is worth bearing in mind.

Should You Change Your Sleeping Position?

You should try and start sleeping with your arms by your side or tucked under your pillow by your head rather than above your head.

This will reduce the risk of shoulder injury and numbness from restricting the blood flow because your arms are extended above your head.

It’s better to do something about it now rather than wait until you start feeling the effects of sleeping in this position.