8 Sleep Positions for Couples and What They Reveal About Your Relationship

The final word on spooning, according to science.

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 too romantic, one study found it's the most common among couples, likely because it's practical. Twenty-seven percent of the couples surveyed for the study identified the position as their primary one. Corrine Sweet, the relationship psychologist who carried out the study, says the position shows their couples are connected and secure. "This position shows both closeness and independence in the relationship," she says. (Check out this marriage advice from people married 50+ years.)

You love to spoon


When it comes to sleeping positions, this one's a classic. In Sweet's study, 18 percent of couples said they spooned when they snoozed. She says the position demonstrates a dynamic where one partner is protective over the other. Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of Success Signals: A Guide to Reading Body Language, told Cosmopolitan it's also sensual. "It's a very vulnerable position that's sexual, but says, 'I trust you,'" she says. But 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). These are signs you can totally trust your partner.

You sleep back-to-back and touching


Sweet's study found back-to-back with butts touching to be the second most popular sleep position. So what does it mean? "Both partners are relaxed and comfortable with one anotherthis is often common in new relationships," says Sweet.

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You start the night interwined, then 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," says Sweet. Her study found that 8 percent of couples sleep like this.

One person dominates the bed


If you wake up in the middle of the night cowering in the corner while your significant other starfishes across the bed, there could be a power struggle at play. "One partner dominates the space, while the other takes a secondary role," says Sweet. Watch for these red flags of a toxic relationship.

You sleep with your head on your partner's chest


This sweet position is common in new relationships and even rekindled relationships, says Sweet. Only 4 percent of couples sleep like this.

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You spend the entire night intertwined


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.

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. "This position shows a need for intimacy and close communication," says Sweet. Even in your sleep, you and your partner are begging each other for more.

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