What couples sleeping positions reveal about relationships?

What couples sleeping positions reveal about relationships

  1. You climb into bed. You close your eyes.
  2. Your partner climbs in and does the same.

Neither of you really think about your sleeping position. You get on with taking your night’s rest. Maybe you should pay more attention to it, however, because your sleeping positions(s) could be saying a whole lot more about your relationship than you realise.

Experts have commented on some common sleeping positions, following psychologist Corinne Sweet’s study on behalf of bed retailer Dreams. Here’s what certain positions might be telling you:

The Spoon

Who doesn’t like a cosy spoon? This suggests trust and that one partner is protective over the other. The position is especially common when couples have just gotten together. As the relationship matures, it may transform into the ‘loose spoon’, in which the position is the same, but there’s a slight distance between the two partners. The trust is still there, but each partner is just looking to get into the best position comfortable for the best night’s sleep.

Intertwined but separating later

It’s a sign the relationship is in good health. There’s attention but also independence. You’re reaching a compromise, with each partner satisfying the other’s emotional demands but also giving them some space. If the couple stays intertwined all night, it’s a warning that the partners might be growing too emotionally dependent on each other (if they haven’t already done so). Sleeping back to back and not touching is a sign of a secure relationship.

What couples sleeping positions reveal about relationships.
Couple intertwined in a loving embrace.

Nuzzling up

Do you go to sleep with your partner’s arm wrapped around you and your head nuzzled against their chest? It’s one of the sweetest positions and common in couples who have just gotten together or who are rekindling their relationship. There’s a major amount of trust, plus a real sense of protection. The two feel really close.

What couples sleeping positions reveal about relationships.

Facing but not touching

Beware if this is happening. Your relationship might need a bit of work, although this might not be apparent when you’re awake. It’s a sign the partners have a real need for intimacy and communication and an emotionally demanding relationship. Even though they may be sleeping, the partners still want more from each other.

Back to back and touching

How comfortable are you with your partner? How comfortable are they with you? Are you sleeping back to back and touching? If you are, it’s a sign you’re feeling relaxed around each other. There’s something a little cute about this position, and it’s common in newer couples. 

Hogging the bed

If one partner is hogging the bed, sprawled across in a starfish-like position, this is a screaming red flag. It suggests that they’re selfish. Not only are they dominating the bed, but also (potentially) the relationship. Take note, too, of whether your partner sleeps close(r) to the headboard. If they do, this is a sign of potential dominance. Consider having a chat about what’s going on so you can address any toxicity in the relationship. 

Note that these are interpretations from experts and how things may or may not be amiss in your relationship, based on the sleeping position. If you think something’s wrong, ask your partner and talk things through calmly. Don’t rush in with all guns blazing. No position will feel comfortable; otherwise.

Related pages