We humans spend close to half our lives asleep, but did you know that the way we sleep says a lot about who we are as individuals? Those of us who sleep on our backs, for instance, are said to be the strong and silent types, whereas those of us who prefer to sleep on our stomachs tend to have more open and OTT personalities. So, what happens when you throw two different sleeping style and personalities into one bed during one of the most intimate and vulnerable activities we humans experience?
When we nod off to sleep, our subconscious minds take over. Because of this, the body language we use with a partner while we are lost in la-la land can be a remarkably precise way to gauge what’s going on in our relationships, “Even if you can’t or don’t articulate those things while you’re awake,” says Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of Success Signals, A Guide to Reading Body Language, "You do it in your sleep". Many other experts and psychologists agree with this idea, and have conducted studies in and written books on the subject. According to them, these are the 8 most common couple sleeping positions, so read on the find out which one applies to you and what it tells you about your relationship.
1. You sleep back-to-back and far apart.
Although sleeping with your back to your partner and a space in-between you might not seem romantic, one study found it’s the most common of all couple sleeping positions (most likely because it’s practical). An average of 27% of couples tend to sleep in this position. Contrary to what you might think, it actually means that the couple is connected and secure in the relationship, signifying both closeness and independence.
2. You love to spoon.
As far as couples sleeping positions go, this one is a classic. In fact, close to 18% of couples tend to adopt this position when they get some shut-eye. So, what does it mean? According to body language experts, it demonstrates a dynamic where one partner is more protective towards the other. It’s a sensual, vulnerable position that is sexual but also says, “I trust you.” However, do beware the spoon position turning into a chase. If your partner has retreated toward one side of the bed and you’ve gone to follow him or her, something could be amiss (this is not to confused with the 'loose spoon', which tends to occur as a couples’ relationship matures).
3. You sleep back-to back and touching.
Saying "I love you " isn’t always a grand gesture. Sometimes, it’s can be as simple as touching butts as you sleep! Sleeping back-to-back is the second most common sleeping position amongst couples. So, what does it mean? It shows that both partners are relaxed and comfortable with one another, and is often common in new relationships.
4. You start the night intertwined, but move apart.
Couples who sleep in this position tend to start the night with their arms and legs intertwined while facing each other, and move apart after about 10 minutes. It’s a compromise between intimacy and independence, allowing for the best of both worlds.
5. On person dominates the bed.
Some couple sleeping positions could be a signal for bad news, like this one. If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night with your SO spread-eagled over most of the bed, chances are there could be a power-struggle at play. You could be having issues about who dominates the relationship, or relegated to playing a secondary role in the dynamic.
6. Sleeping with your head on your partner’s chest.
Isn’t it just the sweetest? Only 4% couples tend to sleep in this manner, which indicates a honeymoon period in a new or re-kindled relationship where you are deeply in love and everything is just perfect. Sigh!
7. You spend the entire night entwined.
As sweet and loving as this may sound, there is such a thing as being too clingy, and it’s typically a major warning sign for relationships. If you spend the entire night clung together (arms and legs intertwined and facing each other), it could indicate you and your partner lack independence from one another and feel the need to hold on tight.
8. You face each other but don’t touch
Sleeping with your face toward your partner (and theirs toward you) could indicate an emotionally demanding relationship. According to body language experts, this position shows a need for intimacy and close communication. It seems that you and your partner are begging each other for more, ever as you sleep.