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12 Common Couple’s Sleeping Positions, What They Mean & the Best Ones

What is the state of your relationship? A couple’s sleeping position says a lot about their relationship. Which one is yours, and what does it mean?

Couple's Sleeping Position

Remember when your mom lectured you on how important sleep is? Well, she’s been right this whole time. She probably didn’t mean it in the context of a couple’s sleeping position, but that’s open to interpretation.

You may spend every night lying beside your partner with your phone in your hand and back facing towards them or maybe you nuzzle into your partner’s shoulder, cuddling together until you fall asleep.

Believe it or not, the sleeping positions you and your partner have reveals a lot about your subconscious. In fact, while you’re sleeping, this is the time when your subconscious has full control and clearly shows you, through body-language, things that may be going on within your relationship.

And you know what? You probably don’t even notice. So, to find out what’s really going on in your relationship, off to the bedroom! I won’t be in the bedroom with you, but I’ll help guide you through the things you need to look at when sleeping next to your partner.

Couple’s sleeping position guide – What do these sleeping positions mean?

Here are the twelve most common couple’s sleeping positions and what they signify in your relationship. Don’t freak out if you sleep with your back facing your partner, it doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed.

If anything, this is a great opportunity to become more self-aware about your relationship. Let the unraveling of your subconscious begin *insert mystical music and smoke machine here*.

#1 The spoon. Ah yes, the spoon—one of the classic couple’s sleeping positions. Funny thing is, only 18% of couples actually enjoy sleeping in that position. I mean, as a female, the thought of a man draping his whole body around me for eight hours is dreadful.

But this position, also known as the “traditional position,” shows protectiveness and bonding within the relationship. Also, it’s a pretty sexual position when you look at it, so usually couples who are sexually comfortable sleep in this position. [Read: How to spoon right: 11 tips to make spooning more intimate]

#2 The loose spoon. This is the type of spooning I can handle. It’s basically the traditional spooning position; however, there’s some space between the couple. It’s an evolved spooning position. The space between the couple shouldn’t be seen as something troubling.

In fact, this actually shows there is trust built between the two people, and they don’t need to have constant physical contact. If you sleep in the position with your partner, there’s a mutual respect and agreement to the importance of sleep. Hurrah for space!

#3 The chasing spoon. Half of you probably sighed and thought, “I still have to chase them.” It’s not exactly like that. The chasing spoon looks like a traditional spooning position, but the person being “chased” moved away from the center of the bed, meaning the other one will have to “chase” them to get close.

This doesn’t mean your partner isn’t interested in you or is distancing themselves. This could simply mean they want more space in the bed, or that they want to be pursued by you. Time to make your move… I guess the chase is still on. [Read: How to keep your partner interested – 30 effortlessly easy and sexy ways]

#4 The tangle. I cannot understand people who sleep in this position. Maybe I’m bitter or maybe I just love sleep too much, but this doesn’t look comfortable. However, if you and your partner sleep in the tangle position, this symbolizes your desire for each other.

It’s an extremely intimate position and usually used by couples who are in a new relationship. However, if you’re a year into the relationship and you’re still sleeping like this, you may want to think about your dependency on them.  [Read: 16 non-sexual touches to feel connected and loved]

#5 The back kissers. Essentially, you fall asleep facing back-to-back, however, with your backs touching each other. Though you’re not facing each other, the fact that you’re both touching each other shows your connectedness even though you enjoy your own space.

This position is usually for new couples or for couples who’ve been together for a while and developed trust and comfort within the relationship.

#6 The unraveling knot. If you were a Girls/Boy Scout, this is a great way to test your developed knot tying skills. This position is similar to the loose spoon. Typical for couples who’ve been together for a solid chunk of time.

Basically, they start out entangled in each other and eventually untangle, ending up in their own space. Not a very popular position, I mean, who wants another person breathing into your face for hours on end. However, this position symbolizes the balance between independence and intimacy. [Read: How to give space in a relationship without drifting apart]

#7 The liberty lovers. This is another addition to the classic couple’s sleeping positions. Usually this is a regular position for couples who have some years under their belt. The liberty lovers sleep back-to-back and also have space between them. I know, I know, you’ve been biting your nails anxiously at the position.

This one actually shows your bond and security with your partner. If your partner is all the way on the other side of the bed, right on the edge, this could indicate some distance and issues within your relationship. [Read: The importance of space in a relationship]

#8 The nuzzle. The nuzzle is a classic position for those in new relationships or rekindled relationships. This position is when one partner sleeps on the other’s chest. As a female, having a large arm wrapped around me makes me feel protected and cared for—brings me back to the caveman days.

This is exactly what this position symbolizes. The partner sleeping on their back illustrates confidence and shows that they’re protecting their partner. While the person resting on the other’s chest shows that they’re independent, yet appreciative of their partner. [Read: 35 not-so-obvious things your guy loves about you]

#9 The leg hug. There’s a lot of if’s and but’s about the leg hug. Okay, so let’s go through this one together. If only one person is hugging the other’s leg, this shows they’re looking for a connection lacking in the relationship.

If you both have your legs intertwined in each other’s, then this means you’re sexually and emotionally connected, and you two are balanced individuals.

Thirdly, this position also means that since the contact between you two is subtle, it implies you have mixed feelings about the relationship, or you’re trying to maintain a connection. Yeah, I know, it’s a lot at once.

#10 The space hog. Well, this is just rude. Not only is it rude, it shows you what kind of person they are. If they’re taking up the whole bed and stealing all of the blankets, this shows their need to take. Meaning, they’re probably selfish and not aware of your needs.

If one person takes over the whole bed, it shows they’re likely the dominant one in the relationship, while the other one is the submissive.

Another fun fact: if your partner’s head is higher, closer to the headboard, then they’re more likely more confident than the other. However, if you both sleep with your heads at the same, it shows you are like-minded. [Read: Selfishness in relationships: 15 tips to do the right thing]

#11 The shingles. Who doesn’t love shingles? Yeah, I don’t know who decided the name for this position, but this position in no way has anything to do with a nerve infection. The shingles is when both partners sleep on their backs, with one person resting their head on the other’s shoulder.

Interestingly enough, people who sleep on their backs usually have larger-than-life personalities, so this sleeping position signifies who the protector is and who the dependent is in the relationship.

Okay, don’t freak out and think you’re weak because you rest your head on your partner’s shoulder at night. This isn’t the case, actually, it shows the roles in the relationship. [Read: 25 must-follow relationship rules for happy love]

#12 The stomach snoozers. Unless you’ve always slept on your stomach or suffer from neck and back issues, you may want to double check your relationship. When you sleep on your stomach, essentially you’re protecting the front of your body.

This shows signs of emotional insecurity and vulnerability and anxiety. If you sleep on your stomach, more likely it’s because you fear facing your emotions. Also, I mean, this position isn’t what I would call intimate. Perhaps, there’s a trust issue within your relationship that you need to confront.

[Read: 20 things happy couple don’t do in a perfect relationship]

When you wake up in the morning, take a look at how you and your partner are sleeping. Don’t freak out if it’s a position that is somewhat questionable. This will help you identify what you need to work on in your relationship.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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