You Should Power Pose in Your Sleep

Photo: Ryan McVay/Gety Images(c) Ryan McVay

Amy Cuddy is the Harvard Business School social psychologist who popularized the notion of “power posing,” the idea that standing in a confident manner — with upright posture and a puffed-out chest — can actually make you feel and act more confident. Likewise, if you stand slumped over like a meek, wishy-washy pushover, you’ll behave as if you are just that.

Recently, Cuddy has been curious how early in the day we start power posing, and preliminary findings suggest that it seems to start the moment we wake up. As she told the New York Times in a recent interview:

Lately, she has been examining the differences between subjects who sleep sprawled out versus those who curl up. Early results show that people who arise with arms and legs extended feel brighter and more optimistic than the 40 percent who start the day in the fetal position.

But what if you wake and find yourself curled up like a blanket-covered little ball? Are you doomed to have a bad day? Not to worry, Cuddy said. “If you wake in fetal pose, open yourself up like the guy on the subway taking up too much space, and soon you’ll feel like a happy warrior,” Cuddy told the Times. As for negotiating tactics for seizing this space from the significant other and/or pet with whom you may share your bed, well, you’re on your own there.