We all have our preferred sleeping habits and without them it can make a good night's sleep near impossible, but we often disregard its importance in our daily lives.

It is well known that a good night's sleep results in increased productivity the following day, but does our sleeping position affect our working output? OnBuy were keen to find out how important good sleep really is by surveying 5,438 working professionals to determine whether your sleeping position can affect your salary and work rate for the better.

OnBuy's Furniture Department discovered that the most common sleeping position is 'The Fetal' position, with a whopping 3 in 10 admitting that this is their preferred way to sleep. The second most popular position is 'The Pillow Hugger', with a quarter of Brits favouring it. 'The Freefall', 'The Thinker' and 'The Soldier' follow in third, fourth and fifth with 14%, 13% and 10% choosing these positions as their favourite. But how do these results change once broken down by salary?

Does your sleeping position affect your salary?

Does your sleeping position affect your salary?

After separating the data into the top 10% of earners, OnBuy can reveal that your sleeping position does affect your salary! The data shows that those who sleep in 'The Freefall' position are most likely to be successful at work. In fact, 29% of those earning more than £54,900 annually admit that they prefer to sleep in this position. Interestingly, it is said that those who sleep in this position are bold, sociable and enjoy the limelight - fitting the description of many high earning professionals.

The second most popular sleeping position among high earners is 'The Soldier', with 23% choosing this as their favourite, placing it in second. Those who sleep in this position usually like to hold their cards close to their chest, expecting both themselves and others to adhere to high standards and moral codes. According to experts, 'The Soldier' position is one of the healthiest as it allows your body to reset without any unnatural bends in your spine, reducing the chance of back pain.

Our research can reveal that sleeping in 'The Fetal' position is also likely to make you more successful. Although it is the most popular position overall, only 21% of high earning professionals opt for it, placing the sleeping position in third. Those who sleep in 'The Fetal' position are usually tough on the outside and can be shy when meeting new people, however, over time they will eventually relax and open up.

Another sleeping position that is popular among successful people is 'The Pillow Hugger', with 13% choosing this as their preferred position. People who cradle their pillow at night are said to be naturally loveable and cherish relationships, making them good partners and friends - this also helps in the workplace as you project a friendly and approachable nature.

To complete the most popular high earning positions, the results are as follows:

  • The thinker: 9%
  • The starfish: 2%
  • The stargazer: 2%
  • The log: 1%
Does your sleeping routine affect your salary?

Pexels / Andrea Piacquadio

Does your sleeping routine affect your salary?

According to our research, employees get an average of just 6 hours and 36 minutes of shut eye on weekdays, with only 1 in 2 experiencing the suggested average of eight hours per night. However, after splitting the responses of higher and lower earners, OnBuy found that the highest earners experience 6 hours and 58 in bed each night on average - 22 minutes more than lower-earning employees.

OnBuy also found that the average employee wakes up at 7:06 am on a weekday, however, the top 10% of earners wake up at 6:42 am, on average. This just goes to show that the early bird really does catch the worm!

One aspect that both higher and lower-income earners share is the time they choose to have a shower or bath. Overall, most workers prefer to shower in the morning (56%), and so do the top 10% of earners (60%).

Christabel Majendie, a resident sleep expert at Naturalmat, shares her expertise:

"Poor-quality sleep is associated with reduced daytime performance, and this includes your professional life. Common complaints include problems with concentration, focus, lack of energy and low motivation, low levels of alertness and productivity, irritability, and mood issues.

How much sleep needed varies from person to person, but most adults need anything from seven to nine hours of sleep. If you are consistently giving yourself less than seven hours in bed, it is likely you are sleep deprived and this will affect your work performance. However, there are some rare individuals who need less sleep than the average - if they increase their time in bed, they do not get any more sleep.

One barrier to getting enough sleep is working hours. If you are a night owl and must wake early for work, this can be a real challenge. Work out when you should go to sleep in order to get the hours needed before waking up and have a wind-down period of 30-60 minutes before you go to sleep. One way to encourage sleep if you are a night owl is to avoid bright light and electronic devices an hour or two before bed and walking outside in natural daylight for 30 minutes can help too.

It is important to be comfortable when you sleep so consider your mattress and bedding. Sleep in a position that is comfortable for you - this varies from person to person. If you frequently snore, avoid sleeping on your back. Snoring can be an indication of a sleep-related respiratory problem which can significantly affect sleep quality - sleeping on your side can reduce this."


OnBuy's Furniture Department surveyed 5,438 working professionals asking them for their salary, preferred sleeping position, average hours of sleep, weekday waking up time and showering/bathing schedule.

OnBuy then used Gov.uk's definition of high earners (the top 10% of earners in the UK) to separate the data into those who earn over £54,900 (before taxes) and those who earn below that, splitting them into higher and lower earners to see if your sleeping habits affect your working output/salary.