Where you sleep says a lot about your relationship

Your bedtime posture might create a signal of a blissfully happy relationship or an unspoken emotional issue. Photo / Mikolo.com

What you need to know:

  • A particular position with your partner can either indicate the unresolved issue that needs to be sorted or a blossoming of romance.

When you are in a relationship, sleeping together is so natural that even in the depths of sleep, your brain cannot completely shut off from your partner.

The tugging of blankets, snoring, and bumping of limbs could occur on some level, and yet far from interrupting your sleep, new research conducted by Edinburgh International Science Festival discovered that, the way your body responds as you sleep tells more about your relationship. Well, a particular position with your partner can either indicate the unresolved issue that needs to be sorted or a blossoming romance. According to London-based relationship psychologist Corrine Sweet, your bedtime posture might create a signal of a blissfully happy relationship or an unspoken emotional issue.

“Sleep is vital for your health and the position in which you sleep could be just as important for your quality of sleep, health, and relationship if you share the bed with your partner,” she says.

Inspired by these researches, we compiled the sleeping positions and their meaning as explained by recent research.


In the spooning position, both the partners sleep sideways and one of them faces the back of the other. This position offers plenty of emotional and physical comfort. According to Corrine, 18 percent of couples sleep while spooning and this releases the love hormone, oxytocin, which calms the couple and makes them happier. If the partner spoons tightly, it suggests emotional stability, closeness, romance, and spark in the relationship.

Chasing spoon

In this position, one partner sleeps on one side and the other chases them. The “chased” partners sleep in a foetal position, the way a baby sleeps in the mother’s womb, while the other partner sleeps with their arms outstretched. This position could mean that the chased partner enjoys being around their lover and the other person is glad to give attention and love needed.

Face-to-face and touching

In this style, couples sleep facing each other with their heads and bodies intertwined, showing a sign of a happy and intimate relationship. According to a survey conducted by Edinburgh International Science Festival, only four percent of couples prefer this position.

Face-to-face but not touching

Healthy communication is the foundation for a strong relationship and this position offers a couple a chance to spend hours in bed talking and comforting each other after a rough day. According to Corrine, this position indicates the couple’s openness and readiness to hear each other.


Also known as nuzzling, one person sleeps flat on their back and the other rests on their head and the chest while the legs and arms are intertwined intimately. This posture indicates protection, assurance, friendship, trust, and compassion.


This is where one of the partners sleeps on the other’s shoulder. It indicates extreme confidence, understanding, and respect. Psychologists argue that the person lying over the shoulder may be doing so unconsciously for protection and that they feel safe around their partner.


Do you need enough space to be sleeping on your side in the bed? Then you are the cliffhanger. For couples, this sleeping position could indicate a rough bump in the relationship. As per survey by Edinburgh International Science Festival, the distance between couples might signify a stressful relationship which unconsciously causes the couple to enjoy space in bed.

Stomach snooze

According to a recent study by the University of Rochester Medical Centre, sleeping on the stomach is not the best position as it puts the spine in an unnatural position. The weight in the middle of the body adds stress on the spine and it becomes hard to maintain its natural curve. 

Sleeping in this position unconsciously implies that the body is prone to vulnerability and says there is a lack of trust and anxiety.

So, when both couples sleep on their stomachs, it could indicate that there is a problem that needs to be addressed.


This is a common sleeping style for new relationships or people who have gradually invested in their union. Psychologists consider it as one of the most intimate sleeping positions as it signifies that you cannot get enough of each other.


Also known as space hog, this is whereby one person sleeps in the starfish position, spreading over the bed. Although it can be comfortable for the individual star-fishing, it may leave less room for the other partner to sleep.

This posture signifies selfishness in the relationship. Remember these are just clues and interpretations, not diagnoses.

Butt touching

It indicates that you still love each other and are sexually attracted, but also respect each other’s space. This can also signify snoring problems between the couple.

If you are worried about your relationship or the way you are sharing the bed, talk to your partner about it.

If you are happy with your relationship and fine with whatever position you doze off in, that is all that matters.


According to a study by the University of Hertfordshire, your sleeping habits are a great way to gauge just how well your relationship is going.

The study states that an overwhelming 94 percent of couples who touch while sleeping said they were happy, while only 68 percent of couples who did not touch while snoozing expressed being satisfied with their relationship.

The study also mentioned that 86 percent of couples who slept closer together reported being happier than those who laid further apart. While it comes as no surprise that body language sends a lot of signals, the fact that there is a serious amount of studies backing this up is.