What Your Sleep Position Says About You as a Couple

Do you and your partner touch when you sleep? Research shows what a couple’s sleeping position says about their relationship – it’s a research study from the University of Hertfordshire. Your sleeping position is surprisingly revealing, especially if you tend to grind your teeth when you sleep.

“One of the most important differences [in sleeping positions for couples] involved touching,” says psychologist and university professor Richard Wiseman. “Ninety-four percent of couples who spent the night in contact with one another were happy with their relationship, compared to just 68% of those who didn’t touch.”

I don’t want to think about what my sleeping position says about my relationship! My husband and I adopted a wee 7 pound dog called Tiffy a year ago, and she sleeps smack dab right between us. Sometimes she even pushes her paws up against Bruce; he claims she’s pushing him out of bed. But I’ve never slept better in my life – her presence gives me such comfort. So, I hope the research about couples sleeping positions and relationships doesn’t foretell bad news about my marriage…

The following research study on couples’ sleeping positions was conducted by Dr Wiseman, who wrote  Night School: Wake Up to the Power of Sleep. He reveals how to solve problems while you sleep, banish jet lag, and discover the secrets of the super sleepers. He also explains why nightmares can be good for you, and what your dreams really mean.

Couples’ Sleep Positions and Their Relationship

Dr Wiseman’s research was carried out at the Edinburgh International Science Festival; he was curious about what people’s sleeping positions say about their relationships and personality. This study involved asking over 1000 people to describe their preferred sleeping position and to rate their personality and quality of their relationship.

The research revealed the most popular sleeping positions for couples:

  • 42% sleeping back to back
  • 31% sleeping facing the same direction
  • 4% spending the night facing one another.

In addition, 12% of couples spend the night less than an inch apart, while 2% sleep over 30 inches apart.

If a couple’s sleeping position is far apart…

The couple is less likely to have a happy relationship if they sleep far apart. In fact, the further apart a couple spends the night, the worse their relationship is. About 86% of couples whose sleeping positions were less than an inch apart from their partners reported being happy with their relationship, compared to only 66% of couples who slept more than 30 inches apart.

If your sleep position as a couple is compromised because of a pet, welcome to the club.

If you’re sleeping far away from your partner because he snores, read 11 Ways to Snore No More.

Sleeping positions, couples, and personality

This study also revealed that extroverts tended to spend the night close to their partners, and more creative types tended to sleep on their left hand side. I’m definitely a creative type, but my sleeping position is fairly consistently on my right hand side. Being part of a couple hasn’t changed my sleeping position, I don’t think.

“This is the first survey to examine couples’ sleeping positions,” says Professor Wiseman. “The results allow people to gain an insight into someone’s personality and relationship by simply asking them about their favourite sleeping position.”

Professor Richard Wiseman is the author of Night School: Wake Up to the Power of Sleep, which examines the science of sleep and dreaming.

What is your favorite sleep position?

In researching couples sleeping positions, I discovered that it’s a heavily searched-for topic. This tells me that couples find it difficult to find a comfortable sleep position as a couple. I bet part of it is body heat, especially as women approach menopause. I’m definitely hotter than my husband, and I’m pretty sure it’s related to peri-menopause.  Men are lucky they don’t have the same hormonal surges we do!

Source: Research reveals what your sleeping position says about your relationship from the University of Hertfordshire.

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