Healthy Choices

19 common sleep positions couples find themselves in & what they mean

November 30th, 2020

Most people think that sleeping positions are only about comfort. Does the position that a couple sleeps in actually say something else about their relationship though? Healthline recently put out an interesting article with more information on the subject.

It turns out that there are a number of reasons why couples may choose to sleep in one type of position or another. These decisions often aren’t made consciously either. From the closeness of spooning to the couples that sleep in a “starfish” position, here are all of the most common sleeping positions and what they might mean about your relationship.

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sasint Source: sasint

1. The Spoon

About one fifth of couples sleep in this position. One partner acts as the big spoon and the other as the little spoon, both of them fitting together perfectly. Many people feel comforted by being so physically close to their partner. The big spoon is creating a safe and protective environment for the little spoon to sleep in.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

2. Loose Spoon

It’s like regular spooning but with a little bit more space in between your bodies. Some people might fear that this indicates a problem in the relationship. However, the truth is that it is likely just a comfort thing. The extra space provides more room for you to adjust into the position that you find most relaxing.

3. Chasing Spoon

In this position, the big spoon actually looks like it is chasing the little spoon across the bed. One person is sort of escaping the grasp of the other person. It could be interpreted in two ways — either the person wants space in the relationship, or they simply just enjoy being pursued.

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ThePetiteBaker Source: ThePetiteBaker

4. Back To Back Touching

Another name for this sleeping position is back kissing. It could mean that the couple is most comfortable sleeping on their sides, yet still want to maintain some degree of closeness. However, it is most typically seen in new couples who have been together for less than a year.

5. Back To Back Not Touching

If this is how you and your significant other have always slept, there is nothing to worry about. You are likely both very independent people. However, if you usually sleep closer together, and all of a sudden, you’ve started sleeping back to back with no touching, there is likely some sort of reason for it. You and your partner may want to talk about the newfound distance.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

6. Face To Face Touching

This position is seen in couples who are very close to each other emotionally and physically. Both people have their faces pointed towards each other and their bodies are somewhat tangled together too. It shows that they are likely very happy in their relationship.

7. Face To Face Not Touching

If both individuals are facing each other in bed but not touching at all, it could be a sign that neither is getting the attention that they desire. It indicates that you need to prioritize open communication with one another. However, it should be noted that face to face not touching is also the position that pillow talk takes place in.

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Pikrepo Source: Pikrepo

8. The Tangle

This one is face to face sleeping taken to the extreme. Both people are tangled together and sleeping so close to each other that they likely don’t even have breathing room. It’s both intense and intimate. It might be the natural position you fall into after sex. It’s indicative of a new relationship filled with passion or a longer one where both partners are very codependent.

9. The Cradle

With the cradle, one person cuddles the other person or cradles them. Normally, the cradler is laying on his or her back. The partner is leaning in against the chest of the person. Similar to spooning, it’s a protective posture where one is holding the other close. However, there is likely a bit of passion involved too.

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Piqsels Source: Piqsels

10. Fetal Position

The fetal position is sleeping like a baby with your knees tucked up to your chest. A surprisingly large number of people sleep in this manner. Close to half of all Americans sleep in the fetal position, so if you and your partner are like this too, don’t worry, you are in good company.

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Andres Nieto Porras Source: Andres Nieto Porras

11. Unraveling Knot

Imagine you start sleeping completely tangled up with each other, then slowly throughout the night, you naturally start to pull apart. This is the unraveling knot. It’s often seen among two very intimate people who also have independent sides.

12. The Cliffhanger

The cliffhanger often involves one person hanging off of the edge of the bed. It could be because they were pushed there or because the other person is stealing the covers. As long as the actions aren’t carried out aggressively though, you shouldn’t read too much into it. It is seen in many cases with couples who are very satisfied with their relationship.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

13. Paper Dolls

The paper dolls position is when couples sleep with only their hands or arms touching. They can be seen sleeping on their backs but still holding hands just like two paper dolls. They are always connected, even when they sleep. It’s a really cute way of sleeping, especially for back sleepers who still desire intimacy in their relationship.

14. The Soldier

This is where both individuals are lying flat on their backs on the bed staring at the ceiling. Their arms are lying flat at their sides. It’s like a soldier standing in attention, although, at a horizontal angle. While most people don’t consider this position incredibly comfortable, 11% of Americans sleep this way anyway.

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Wokandapix Source: Wokandapix

15. Shingles

It’s not the most romantic-sounding name. However, the shingles sleeping position is when both people are sleeping on their backs, but one is resting their head on the shoulder of the other. It’s a sign that one person is trusting the other person to be the protector in the relationship.

16. Starfish

This is when one person is sprawled out on their back across the entire bed, just like a starfish. They can be seen as “hogging” all of the space. It’s great for the person sleeping that way. However, the other individual is often forced to the outskirts of the bed. It can be an indication of selfishness.

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17. Tetherball

In this arrangement, one person curls up into a ball-like position. The other person lays on their back, resting their hand on their partner’s hip. From the top angle looking down, it appears as though one person is batting a tetherball. It’s for couples who want to sleep in totally different positions yet still maintain some intimate touch.

18. Leg Hug

The leg hug is when both people are sleeping in their preferred position, separately, but with intertwined legs. It could even be as subtle as your feet touching occasionally. In this position, couples can express their love for each other without impinging on the other’s comfort.

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Pikrepo Source: Pikrepo

19. On The Stomach

Stomach sleeping isn’t necessarily the healthiest way to sleep. It’s hard to breathe with all of your weight on your chest and your head in the pillow. It can indicate that there is a degree of vulnerability in the relationship. It’s a rather closed-off position that may mean there is a lack of trust.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

While a large part of sleeping is about comfort, the way you and your partner fall asleep together can say a lot about the status of your relationship. How intimate are you? How close are you? What have you noticed about the sleeping arrangements of you and your partner recently?

Check out a fun video below showing examples of the many different positions that couples sleep in.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Sources: Healthline, RoxLee, The Better Sleep Council