19 Couple Sleeping Positions and Their Meaning

19 Couple Sleeping Positions and Their Meaning

Written by Nectarsleep editorial team

Fact checked

Last Updated on Jun 15, 2022

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    The sleep position in which you and your partner sleep together can say a lot about your relationship. Emotional closeness, some mental stress, low confidence, love blossoming, revamping romance, it can be anything! Sleeping is vital for our overall health. Apart from health benefits, your sleeping position can also help you understand your relationship better. How? In this guide, we share with you the deepest and the most romantic secrets of your relationship, your couple persona, and what your couple sleeping position means.

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    Couple Sleeping Positions and What They Mean

    Curious what your sleeping position says about your relationship? Did you know that sleeping in a specific position with your partner can affect your relationship? Did you know that sleeping in a particular position with your partner can indicate the blossoming of romance or an unresolved issue that needs to be addressed?  Here we have 19 common couple sleeping styles and their meaning. 

    1. Spooning

    Well, who doesn’t want a warm and cozy sleep while cuddling their partners after a long day? While spooning, both the partners sleep sideways, and one person faces the back of the other. This classic position provides plenty of physical and emotional comfort. Did you know around 18% of couples sleep while spooning? That’s because touching while sleeping releases the love hormone, oxytocin, that calms you and makes you feel happier. It’s also a sexual position preferred by couples who like intimacy in their relationship. 

    This romantic sleeping position means you cannot get enough of each other. It’s a warm position for a couple cuddling. If the partners spoon tightly, it suggests closeness, emotional stability, new romance, and spark in a relationship.

    In this position, the person sleeping on the outside is the big spoon, and the one sleeping inside is called the little spoon.

    • Big Spoon

    As a big spoon, you create a cocoon for your partner and provide comfort. This position could mean you are a generous and loving partner who wishes to comfort your significant other.

    • Little Spoon

    The little spoon likes to be in the arms of its lover. This position could mean little spoons want to feel protected, get extra care, demand tenderness and attention from their partners.

    2. Chasing Spoon

    Chasing spoon is another variation of spooning. One partner sleeps on one side of the bed, and the other chases them. The chased partner sleeps in a log or fetal position (how a baby sleeps in a mother’s womb), while the other partner may sleep in a yearner position (sleeping on their side with their arms outstretched). 

    This could mean that the chased partner enjoys being around their lover, and the chasing spoon is glad to give the love and attention needed. 

    3. Loose Spoon

    New couples in bed are fond of spooning positions. But, if you both have been in a relationship long, you may enjoy being loosely held by each other. This position indicates trust in a relationship as you also understand the other person’s need for space and prefer sleeping at a distance for better quality deep sleep. 

    For big spooners, this position means you can be counted on at any time and respect their demands/ requirements on spending some alone time other than your involvement. 

    4. Face to Face & Touching

    Face to face and touching sleeping position is a sign of a happy and intimate relationship. In this sleeping position, couples sleep facing each other with their heads at the same level and their bodies intertwined. According to a survey, only 4% of couples prefer sleeping in this position. 

    5. Face to Face but Not Touching

    Healthy communication is the key to a strong relationship. This is the best position for pillow talk. Spending hours snuggling in bed with each other and talking is a beautiful thing to do together. It’s one of the most comforting times spent with your partner after a rough day. This is a position where couples sleep facing each other but don’t touch. It indicates your readiness to hear out your specific half and shows how open and transparent you are with each other. 

    6. Back to Back & Touching

    This position is also known as back kissing, where couples sleep back-to-back and let their backs touch each other. It suggests you both want to be sexually in touch while sleeping comfortably back to back. 

    This is a variation of side sleeping positions. It’s a common position in new couples and comfortable for both lovers. 

    7. Liberty Lovers

    Do you love to sleep with your partner but also like to have a little space of your own? Then, this is the position for you and your partner! In this position, couples sleep back to back, but they are not in touch. It suggests you are close without constant touching and independent despite sharing a bed.

    8. Cradle

    This sweet posture is the ultimate sign of romance, compassion, and protection. Also known as nuzzle, in this position, one partner is sleeping flat on their back, and the other rests their head on the chest of the first partner while their arms and legs intertwined as they hold each other closely.

    9. Shingles

    Remember the night when you two planned on having a romantic movie night, and you or your partner ended up snoring on your shoulder? In Shingles, both the partners lie on their back, with one resting their head on the other’s shoulder. The person lying over the shoulder is asking for protection. 

    Sleeping on your partner’s shoulder not just indicates confidence but also shows that you treat each other as equals, hold extreme respect for each other, and have a strong understanding of your relationship. 

    10. Cliffhanger

    Do you need space and enough space to be sleeping on your sides of the bed? You’re not the mushy, snuggly ones? Then, you are the cliffhangers. 

    It could be a good indication of a rough bump in your relationship. You respect each other’s liberty, and it can mean that you both are content with yourselves and the relationship. 

    However, as per a survey, the distance between couples sleeping might signify a stressful relationship.

    11. Leg Hug

    How relaxing and lovable it is to sleep with your leg over your partner!  And not just that, but it also ignites a spark in your relationship. Many couples love to sleep with their legs intertwined. 

    Leg hug position means you both are equally passionate about each other. It shows you both have a solid emotional and sexual connection.

    Sleeping with your legs over your partner allows you to sleep on your back, front, or side with your legs frequently touching or intertwining with your partner.

    12. Paper Dolls

    Imagine two of you sleeping on your backs, holding or slightly touching hands. You both would look like two adorable paper dolls. 

    It’s an adorable and comfortable position to sleep with your partner. As you sleep on your back, it’s also helpful for people with back pain. 

    13. Tetherball

    One person sleeps on one end of the bed, curled up like a ball, and the other one sleeps on their back with one hand on their partner’s hip. This position helps you rest in a different sleeping position while still in contact. Even a slight touch can positively impact your relationship. 94% of the couples who sleep while being in touch are happy with their relationship. 

    14. Stomach Snooze

    Sleeping on the stomach is not the best sleeping position as it puts strain on your spine and back. This position hides the front of the body to symbolize vulnerability, anxiety, and lack of trust. So, if both of you are sleeping on your stomachs, you should discuss if there is any problem.

    15. Tangle

    Tangle is considered one of the most intimate sleeping positions. Partners are tangled up together before transitioning to a more comfortable sleeping position or after an intimate situation. 

    It signifies that you cannot get enough of each other. It’s common in new relationships, but otherwise, it’s rarely seen among couples. 

    16. Unraveling Knot

    This position starts with two partners tangled and slowly unravels into a better and more comfortable sleeping position they like.

    It is a comfortable, healthy as well as an intimate position. It’s common among couples who have been together for some time. 

    17. Starfish

    Starfish or space hog is an adorable position to sleep. One person sleeps in a starfish position, spreading out over most of the sleeping space. It can be comfortable for the individual, but it leaves less room for their partner to sleep. So, if your partner doesn’t mind sleeping in a smaller area, it’s a comfortable position. 

    This posture is good for reducing back pain, relieving heartburn, and waking up feeling refreshed. However, it can signify selfishness in your relationship. Ensure your partner is comfortable with this position.

    18. Soldier

    This is the most disciplined way to sleep for couples. In this position, both partners sleep on their back, with their hands lying parallel to the body and having no contact with each other. 

    It’s not a comfortable position and can aggravate snoring. It’s surprising to learn that 11% of American couples sleep in this position. 

    19. Fetal

    In fetal position, couples sleep like babies with their backs curled up and hands below their heads. It might be the best way to sleep. Around 50% of Americans sleep in this most comfortable sleeping position. However, curling up for long is believed to be bad for your back and puts pressure on your stomach. To avoid that, you can either straighten your body a little or place a pillow between your knees.

    Benefits of Sleeping With Your Partner

    Even though most of us like to have a king-size bed just for ourselves, especially starfishers;  Sleeping in the arms of your lover is beneficial for your mental, emotional, and overall physical health as well as the status of your relationship. 

    Sleeping together can positively impact your relationship, as it helps in heart rhythms synchronization and release of oxytocin, the love hormone. Physical touch while sleeping can also make you feel less stressed

    Did you know that sleeping with your partner enhances your REM sleep and overall sleep quality.

    Other benefits of sleeping with your partner:

    • It makes you happy due to the release of oxytocin.
    • If you sleep naked, it improves your self-esteem.
    • It lowers your cortisol levels that are responsible for stress and anxiety.
    • It promotes feelings of bonding, love, and comfort, enabling you to get more restorative sleep.

    Giving up some space on your bed is worth it. Couple sleeping together is not just romantic, but it does wonders for your health. These are enough reasons to sleep tightly with your better halves.

    What Are the Challenges of Sleeping With Your Partner?

    It does not matter how much you love to spend time with your partner; sometimes, sleeping together can be challenging. Here are some problems you both may face.

    Sleeping together can make you sleep in a different sleeping position. Sharing a bed with a partner can restrict you from changing comfortable sleeping positions. Being in a compromised and stiff posture for a long time can result in chronic body pain in the morning.

    If you like to sleep early and your partner is a night owl, it can change your sleeping schedule. 

    Other challenges of sleeping together include sleep apnea and snoring, room temperature preference, and sleep disturbance.

    The benefits of sleeping together outweigh the challenges. You can try a few tips to overcome these challenges. 

    How to Sleep Better With Your Partner?

    There are challenges, but it does not mean you give up a couple snuggling altogether. You can try these tips to sleep better with your partner. 

    • Try different romantic sleeping positions.
    • Try sleeping close to each other, without touching.
    • Consider having a comfortable yet intimate sleeping position.
    • Cuddle before sleeping instead of cuddling while sleeping.
    • Use separate blankets.
    • Try to match the sleeping schedule.
    • Consult a doctor for health issues like insomnia, sleep apnea, or others. 

    Some nights, getting into a soft blanket with your loved one is all you need. You can make it even better by pillow talking, watching a romantic movie together, or just snuggling to their arms until you fall asleep. That’s all you need to know about different couples sleeping positions and their meaning. 

    Couple sleeping poses convey a lot about your relationship, but not everything. Nights are to relax, so it’s normal to give more importance to comfort than intimacy. If your sleeping position is wrong for you or your partner’s health, be flexible and make those changes. 

    This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.
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    1. Inna Schneiderman, Orna Zagoory-Sharon, James F. Leckman, and Ruth Feldman.

      Oxytocin during the initial stages of romantic attachment: Relations to couples’ interactive reciprocity

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3936960/

    2. Heenam YoonSang Ho ChoiSang Kyong KimHyun Bin KwonSeong Min OhJae-Won ChoiYu Jin LeeDo-Un JeongKwang Suk Park. Human Heart Rhythms Synchronize While Co-sleeping.

      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30914965/

    3. Henning Johannes DrewsSebastian WallotPhilip BryschHannah Berger-JohannsenSara Lena WeinholdPanagiotis MitkidisPaul Christian BaierJulia LechingerAndreas RoepstorffRobert Göder. Bed-Sharing in Couples Is Associated With Increased and Stabilized REM Sleep and Sleep-Stage Synchronization

      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32670111/

    4. Keon West. I Feel Better Naked: Communal Naked Activity Increases Body Appreciation by Reducing Social Physique Anxiety.

      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32500740/

       

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