If you’re the type who wiles away the hours looking at cat videos on the internet (and let’s be honest, we’re all guilty of it), you may have spotted this adorable kitten from Japan in the news recently.
Tetsuro the cat went viral in Japan for his unusual sleeping position, sleeping flat on his back just like a human, which you can see for yourself in this article from the Mirror.
— 鉄朗と倫太郎 (@goma_tetsuro) August 21, 2016
As you can see, Tetsuro sleeps flat on his back, with his hands down by his sides, but is it a good idea?
Well according to experts, sleeping in this ‘soldier’ position is great for our back and spine as it stretches out the vertebrae and puts the spine in a neutral alignment, causing less stress on it.
However, sleeping like this could also cause issues such as snoring and sleep apnoea.
Sleep apnoea is a condition where gravity causes the soft palate and base of the tongue to slacken into the rear of the throat, causing you to actually stop breathing for a couple of seconds.
This leads to waking up numerous times through the night, which clearly hurts your sleep quality.
Sleep apnoea can also lead to other issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, and affects around 180,000 people in the UK, although Tetsuro doesn’t seem to be bothered! He took the internet in Japan by storm after his owner uploaded numerous videos and photos of his unusual sleeping position, such as this one where he even managed to get some shut-eye on a spinning office chair!
— 鉄朗と倫太郎 (@goma_tetsuro) August 26, 2016
It may seem a little bit odd, but in fact, many cats actually sleep this way from time to time, but not many adopt it this often, preferring to curl up in the foetal position.
This is also the most common position for us humans, with 41% of people in a BBC survey claiming it was their preferred sleeping position.
Interestingly, it also found that twice as many women are likely to adopt the position as men are.
Sleeping in this position is generally considered ok, although one of the issues that it can raise is that it can worsen gastric reflux.
One sleeping position which is generally advised against however, is stomach sleeping. This is because it naturally pushes our face and head upwards, putting stress on our neck and spine, and it’s one of the most common causes of neck and back pain.
And if you believe that your sleep position says a lot about your personality, well according to this article, sleeping on your back like Tetsuro means that you’re bossy, stubborn and set in your ways!
And as adorable as he looks, we wouldn’t fancy being the ones to try and shift Tetsuro from that chair!
For all the latest sleep-related news and tips make sure to check back to the Sleepy People blog.