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Does This Sleeping Position Mean Anything, or Is It Just More Comfortable?

Have you ever woken up and wondered how and why your body contorted itself into such a position? Do you turn onto one side in bed without even thinking? Would you rather stay as far away from your partner as possible at night?

“Sleep is vital for your health and well-being, and the position you sleep in could be just as important for your quality of sleep, your health, and relationship if you share a bed with your partner,” explains Doctor-4-U‘s Dr. Diana Gall.

It can also mean something deep. Your bedtime posture might just indicate a blissfully happy relationship or it may signal an unspoken emotional issue.

From the famous spooning to the lesser known tetherball, here’s a rundown of whether your sleeping position really means anything — or whether it’s just your body’s way of getting comfortable.


One of the most widely known couples’ sleeping positions, spooning involves one person acting as the “big spoon,” cocooning the other in a sideways hug.

“It can be a comfort for many people being so close to their partner,” says Dr. Gall. The “big spoon” is likely to feel protective of their partner, using their body to create a safe environment.

Only a fifth of couples actually sleep in this position though, according to a survey carried out by hotel company Travelodge.

Sleeping on your side “is considered the most comfortable [position] and better for your health,” notes Dr. Gall.

It doesn’t obstruct the airways as much as other positions, so it’s better for your breathing — a godsend for any snorer. And it may also relieve morning aches and pains due to giving your back some pressure-free time.

But there are some downsides.

There’s the chance you may affect your joints by hunching your shoulders and knees.

It can also impact your complexion. Squashing your face into the pillow, says Dr. Gall, “can drag the skin, which isn’t good for plump, wrinkle-free skin.”

Then there’s the comfort side to consider. There’s not a lot of room to move or stretch and it can feel claustrophobic to some.

Loose spoon

When people have been in a relationship for some time, they may graduate to the loose spoon. Essentially, it’s a less restricted version of the original spoon.

You may think this position signifies a relationship problem, but experts say otherwise.

“It still provides that closeness and reassurance,” Dr. Gall says. “But there’s more space between you, allowing you to breathe and relax into a comfortable position.”

Chasing spoon

Instead of situating the spoon in the center of the bed, the chasing spoon is a position where one person has moved to one side of the bed and the other appears to be “chasing” them.

This one is said to have a couple of meanings: that one person wants to be pursued by the other, or that the same person needs space from their partner.

Aside from a potential fall onto the floor, this comes with all the same ups and downs as the regular spooning position.

Face to face, touching

A pretty self-explanatory sleeping position, this involves both people facing each other with their heads at the same level and their bodies intertwined.

Sleeping in this way suggests the two individuals are incredibly close and generally happy in their relationship.

But, in all honesty, this probably isn’t ideal for a good night’s sleep. After all, who wants someone breathing in their face for 8 hours?

So it makes sense that, in a 2014 survey carried out by the UK’s University of Hertfordshire, only 4 percent of couples reported spending the night facing each other.

Face to face, not touching

If you sleep facing each other but don’t touch, some believe there could be an issue in the relationship. Both partners may desire attention from each other, but are failing to give it.

To combat this, experts recommend prioritizing listening to one another and being open and honest about your feelings.

However, it can also be read as another position called pillow talk. This is a sign that you’re close and open to sharing things with each other.

Back to back, touching

Affectionately known as back kissing, sleeping back-to-back while remaining in contact with each other is seen as a super relaxed sleeping position.

Although it may be a sign of closeness, it’s more commonly seen in couples who have been together for less than a year.

Again, this is a form of side sleeping, so your back may feel better in the morning while other joints suffer.

Back to back, not touching

This position also has a cute alternative name: liberty lovers.

Sleeping back-to-back with space in between could indicate connection and independence within the relationship. (Plus, you might get a better night’s sleep.)

But if you’ve suddenly switched from a more intimate position to this, you may need to chat to your partner about the newly developed space.

The liberty lovers posture can be good for the body as it relieves pressure on internal organs. However, it may also detrimentally impact the lower back and shoulders.


Also known as the nuzzle, this practically cherubic position sees one person sleeping flat on their back while the other rests their head on the first person’s chest. Legs and arms often “hug” each other too.

Just like spooning, this is deemed to be a protective posture with an added touch of passion.

But let’s be real: It’s not very comfortable. Someone is likely to end up with stiff or numb limbs.

That said, its heavy skin-to-skin reliance may release oxytocin, the love hormone.


When both people are lying on either side of the bed far away from each other, they’re doing the cliffhanger. Bonus points if a foot sticks out over the edge.

To most people, this would be a sign that there’s a real problem in the relationship.

But if not carried out aggressively, it can actually signify that both people are happy in themselves and with their partner.

However, a 2014 survey of over 1,000 people did find that the further apart couples slept, the worse their relationship.

Paper dolls

Lie on your back next to your partner, either holding hands or gently touching their arm or leg. What do you look like? Two paper dolls.

This slightly wooden position gives people intimacy and the chance to get a decent night’s sleep.

Although it may help those who deal with back pain and circulation problems, be aware that one or both of you may end up snoring, turning a peaceful night into an irritating one.

And if your back hurts more in this straight posture, put pillows under your knees to elongate the spine, says Dr. Gall.


If you both like to sleep in completely different positions but simultaneously want some nighttime contact, try the tetherball.

One person curls up in a ball-type posture while the other sleeps on their back, resting a hand on their partner’s hip. Simple.

Touching in even the smallest of ways can impact a relationship, according to a UK survey.

In fact, 94 percent of couples who slept while touching reported feeling happy with their relationship, compared to 68 percent who didn’t touch.

Leg hug

A second passionate posture is the leg hug. Whether your feet are touching every so often or your legs are fully intertwined, this position is asking for intimacy.

If both of you are doing it, that’s a good sign. But if only one person is into the leg hug, there may be a slight imbalance in the relationship.

The leg hug allows both people to sleep on their back, side, or front, giving them the freedom to find what’s most comfortable for them.


An odd name, we know — but it can be rather comfy.

The position involves both of you lying flat on your back and one person placing their head on the other’s shoulder.

According to sleep experts, it’s a symbol of understanding and confidence with one person willing to act as the protector.

Stomach snooze

Sleeping on the stomach isn’t a very healthy position for most. When doing so with a partner, it can symbolize a lack of trust and a degree of vulnerability.

Individually, it can hurt too.

“This is in fact one of the worst positions for causing back pain as it places pressure on your spine,” says Neil Robinson, chief sleep officer at bed manufacturer Sealy UK.

Pain can result in a number of ways, explains Robinson. Front sleeping “makes it difficult to maintain a neutral spine position and can force your lumbar region (the lower region of your spine) to bend beyond its usual limits.”

Plus, it “means you’re forced to turn your head to either side to breathe, which causes the spine in your neck to twist.”

If you love sleeping like this, there’s a way to help avoid some aches and pains: Robinson advises lying with a pillow under your stomach to better align your spine.


A rather intense position, the tangle is apparently rarely seen. When it does occur, it’s usually immediately after an intimate situation or at the beginning of a new relationship.

It can only be described as this: an extremely close hug, but lying down. In other words, not a lot of breathing room.

While the tangle is okay every now and then, long-term incidences may prompt you to rethink how dependent you are on each other.

Unraveling knot

This begins with the aforementioned tangle and eventually unravels so that each person can sleep how they like.

It’s deemed to be a healthier position than the tangle, as it’s equal parts intimate and independent.

However, this is only likely to be seen in couples who’ve been together for a while.


Sleeping in the starfish position (aka space hog) — sprawling out across the entire bed — alone can be beneficial; both for sleep quality and for the state of your body.

Starfishers report being the most likely to wake up feeling refreshed, notes Robinson.

This posture can also diminish back pain, as it “helps to distribute your weight across the widest surface of your body whilst keeping your spine in a neutral position.”

Those dealing with heartburn may see improved symptoms too, adds Robinson, as the starfish “prevents stomach acid from slipping into your esophagus during the night.”

But it can worsen snoring or symptoms of sleep apnea. And if carried out with another person in the bed, it can signify selfishness.


Imagine you’re being told how to sleep by a military officer, and you’re guaranteed to lie flat on your back with your arms positioned straight down next to your body.

The soldier position may exacerbate snoring and isn’t thought to be particularly comfortable. But 11 percent of Americans do it according to a nationwide survey from the Better Sleep Council.


Almost half of Americans sleep like a literal baby, according to the same survey. And many say it’s the most comfortable position to spend the night in.

While curling up is cozy, doing it too tightly can put strain on your lower back and pressure on your abdomen.

To alleviate these effects, try straightening your body out a little. Putting a pillow in between your knees may also help your hips.

The bottom line

When it comes to sleeping positions, it’s safe to say you should take any deeper meanings with a pinch of salt.

Listen to the health benefits and disadvantages, as they tend to be backed up by science — but don’t stress about the impending demise of your relationship.

You might just prioritize comfort over nighttime closeness, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Lauren Sharkey is a journalist and author specializing in women’s issues. When she isn’t trying to discover a way to banish migraines, she can be found uncovering the answers to your lurking health questions. She’s also written a book profiling young female activists across the globe and is currently building a community of such resisters. Catch her on Twitter.


15 Couples’ Sleeping Positions and What They Mean

The way someone sleeps can say a lot about them as a person. However, what happens when you add a second person to the mattress?
As we drift off into deep sleep, our subconscious takes over. The way our bodies respond to our partners can provide insight into our relationships. Whether you enjoy being tangled up with your significant other or prefer to keep your personal space, your preferred sleep position can help gauge the state of your relationship beyond what happens while you’re conscious.
Here, we cover 15 couples’ sleeping positions and what they mean. We also surveyed over 1,000 people to see what positions are preferred most when people share a bed with their partners. Things are about to get personal.

1. Spooning

A woman sleeps with her back pressed to a man's stomach. Illustration. 
A classic position, spooning is when one partner takes a protective, intimate stance behind the other as the second person leans their back or behind against them. It’s a skin-on-skin position that provides plenty of emotional and physical comfort. If you like this position, chances are you’re either in a brand new relationship or that the two of you can’t get enough of each other.
Big Spoon
As the big spoon, you are the one forming a protective embrace behind your partner. If you prefer to be the big spoon, you are most likely a very giving partner and want to comfort your significant other.
Little Spoon
As the little spoon, you like the feeling of being safe and protected by your partner. In terms of your relationship, you might also need some extra TLC and nurturing.

2. Chasing Spoon

A woman sleeps curled up on her side while a man has only his arm touching her torso. Illustration. 
This is a variation of the spooning position. Rather than the two of you spooning tightly in the center, “chase spooning” occurs where one person shifts to one side of the bed and their partner follows, or “chases” them. The partner being chased usually prefers a log or fetal position to sleep, while the “chaser” sleeps in a yearner position.
This could mean one of two things. Either the partner being chased likes to play hard to get, or they are retreating and want more space from their “chaser”. This might also be a sign that their needs aren’t being met. The “chaser” could also be wanting more attention from their partner.

3. Loose Spoon

A woman sleeps curled up on her side while another woman lightly touches her back. Illustration. 
Whereas partners in new relationships tend to favor spooning, couples who have dated for a longer amount of time often don’t need the novelty of constant body-to-body contact. “Loose spooning” sees both individuals moving to a more spaced out position for better quality sleep. You both have been together long enough to feel a strong level of trust without needing the reassurance of constant touch.
If you’re the big spoon, this position essentially means that you can be counted on at any time, but you know that you and your little spoon like the extra comfort that comes with giving each other a little space.

4. Back to Back

A couple sleeps facing opposite directions with their spines touching. Illustration. 
Those who fall asleep with contact along the spine show a balance of closeness and independence. If your bottoms touch — also called “moon landing,” it means you both want to stay sexually connected while still feeling comfortable facing away from each other. If you prefer this position, chances are you very comfortable and relaxed with each other. The two of you might have also fought recently, but your willingness to touch means the relationship is still okay.

5. Front to Front

A couple sleeps on their sides facing each other and with one arm around the other. Illustration. 
A slight variation on being fully intertwined, front-to-front has both partners facing each other. with their heads at the same level. They may also be slightly touching, with their arms draped across each other. This intimate position communicates that the two individuals are like-minded and there is a good overall atmosphere in the relationship.

6. Sweetheart Cradle

A woman sleeps with her torso resting on her partner's torso. The partner wraps her arms around her. Illustration. 
This sweet, nurturing posture has one partner resting their head on the other partner’s chest, with their legs intertwined as they hold each other close. A couple who prefers this sleep position has a high level of trust and teamwork between them. This snuggling position shows protection and romance and is favored by many new couples or those who have rekindled their romance.

7. Head on Other’s Shoulder

A woman rests her head on her partner's shoulder. Illustration. 
Also known as the “shingles” position, this position has both partners sleeping on their backs, with one partner resting his or her head on the other’s shoulder. It shows a high level of comradeship, where one partner allows the other to play “protector” and nurture them. This position indicates understanding and confidence in the relationship.

8. Leg Hug

A couple sleeps with one of the partner's legs crossed on top of the other partner's leg. Illustration. 
If one person has a leg or feet touching their partner, it could mean that the person is craving a sexual or emotional connection. A pair of tangled legs shows that your lives are intertwined and that you exist as a unit.

9. Intertwined

A couple sleeps with arms and legs intertwinded as they share a pillow. Illustration. 
Being fully intertwined with a lover is an incredibly close and romantic position. This position is popular among new couples, and can sometimes be a transitory pose before or after a couple has intimacy.
If you and your partner just started dating, this position screams young love between the two of you. Some couples maintain this throughout their relationship, but this can potentially signify that these two individuals are dependent on each other.

10. Unraveling Tangle

Partners sleep on separate pillows and a small space between them with their arms crading each other lightly. Illustration. 
This position starts with the two partners tangled up together before unraveling to a more comfortable sleep position after several minutes or so. It allows the couple the best of both worlds and shows a balance of intimacy and independence between the two individuals.

11. Both on Stomach

A couple sleeps on separate sides of the bed on their stomachs. Illustration. 
A couple that sleeps on their stomachs could be struggling with angst and fear in the relationship. If the two are not touching at all, it could further indicate anxiety or lack of sexual trust. If you and your partner are falling asleep in this position, it might be a good time for you two to have a sit-down to talk about your relationship.

12. Space Hog

One partner stretched across the majority of the bed, while the other partner sleeps in a very small section of the bed. Illustration. 
This position has one partner assuming the “starfish”, where he or she is sprawled out and taking up the majority of the mattress space while their partner takes a secondary role. If the starfish partner begins to push their partner off, it is an indicator that they are selfish in the relationship.
In addition, if one partner both takes up space and places themselves higher than the other, they tend to see themselves as more dominant and confident. It may be good for the couple to have a frank conversation about the power dynamic in their relationship.

13. No Contact, Back to Back

A couple sleeps on opposite sides of the bed with their backs to each other without touching. Illustration 
Not touching each other isn’t a bad thing by any means —in fact, a couple’s willingness to sleep apart is a sign of strong independence.
Couples who sleep back-to-back but are not touching are usually both connected and self-sufficient. Also known as “liberty lovers”, this sleep position shows a strong level of security. However, if the two of you are sleeping on opposite ends, it may instead indicate your desire to be more separate. This could also be a sign you should upgrade to a larger mattress size.

14. No Contact, Front to Front

Two partners sleep on opposite sides of the bed on their sides with their fronts facing each other without touching. Illustration. 
If the two of you are facing each other while sleeping but don’t touch, this may signify that you need something more in your relationship. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as you can take some positive steps to bridge the gap.

15. Pet Barrier

A couple lays on opposite sides of the bed with a happy dog sleeping between them. Illustration. 
Sharing a bed with your dog or cat is becoming increasingly common these days. For some couples, placing a pet in between them can serve as a way to get some extra space at night as well as reinforce the strong bond between you and your pet. However, it might also mean that the two of you are avoiding something in your relationship. Perhaps you may want to consider talking with your partner or consider getting a separate dog bed.

How Americans Prefer to Sleep Survey Results

Now that we have covered the different variations of partnered sleep positions, which one do most couples prefer? To find out, we ran a Google survey of 1,000 Americans on how they prefer to sleep with their significant other.
According to our survey, 46% of American couples prefer to sleep without touching each other. This suggests that either many couples feel comfortable in their relationship or that they prioritize comfort and sleep quality over touch. “No contact” was favored almost equally between men and women, but less favored by younger couples aged 18 to 24 compared to other age groups. 
A chart showing the following data: "How Americans Sleep: 46% sleep without contact, 25% sleep int he spooning position, 15% sleep back-to-back, 8% sleep intertwinded, and 6% sleep face to face." Illustration.
Spooning is the next preferred sleep position among couples. While the spooning dynamic between couples reflected usual conventions, a significant 30% of women prefer to be the “big spoon” and 24% of men prefer to be the “little spoon”. 
A chart showing preferenced within the spooning sleep position. 70% of men prefer to be the big spoon, compared to 30% of women. 24% of men prefer to be the little spoon as compared to 76% of women. Illustration.
Couples who sleep back to back were the next largest group in our survey. This position was favored by older couples —those who are over 25 years of age are at least twice as likely to sleep back to back than those who are less than 25 years of age. Finally, when it comes to sleeping intertwined, we found that men were 13% more likely than women to prefer this position.
Since body language is often informed by the subconscious, a couple’s sleep position can serve as a reflection of their conscious selves. However, the way you and your partner sleep certainly won’t make or break your relationship. Rather, you should use this guide as a way to help you communicate your sleeping preferences to your partner.
If you and your significant other are looking for the most comfortable sleep, a queen mattress might just be the ideal couples’ mattress. For those who want more space to add more love, a king mattress is ideal for sleeping with a child or a pet.
The statistics on preferred couple sleep positions came from a survey facilitated by Google Surveys. The sample consisted of 1,000 Americans and was conducted during May 2019. Post-stratification weighting was employed in order to attain a sample that is representative of the population.

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The 5 Sleep Positions that Reveal Your Love!

“Love is in the air” says a famous song. It’s love that flaws in the air, especially today, that’s Valentine’s day!

The 5 Sleep Positions that Reveal Your Love!

Have you ever wonder what can tell about you the way you sleep every night?

If you want to learn more about it, do not mess this article and find out what means the position you and your partner prefer to fall asleep!

1. The “Spoon” Sleeping Position

If you love this position (both of you on the side, one that hug the other from behind) you have a strong affinity.

 The “Spoon” Sleeping Position

Experts say that this position can reveal a little bit of insecurity, very common among young couples.

2. The “Zen” Sleeping Position

If you sleep with your backs facing and your lower backs touching, probably you have been slept together for a long time, and so you have reached confidence in each other and the couple-balance.

The “Zen” Sleeping Position

Some lovers, who sleep back to back, could no touch each other, but this doesn’t mean less confidence, on the contrary, it shows more trust and independence.

3. The “Honeymoon” Sleeping Position

By the name you can easily imagine that this is one of the most favorite position of young couples, maybe just married, that therefore tend to “cling” with arms and legs, face to face.

The “Honeymoon” Sleeping Position

This sleep position means an intense, ardent, and passionate love, but this is also a little bit uncomfortable as position to keep for long time!

4. The “Royal Hug” Sleeping Position

The man is on his back and the woman sleeps on the side, her face on his chest, while the man surrounds her with a tender hug.

The “Royal Hug” Sleeping Position

If you both love this position, your relationship is strong and secure. The woman loses herself to her man, who wants to protect her also during the night. So sweet!

5. The “Crime Scene” Sleeping Position

Both of you sleep on your back, but in a messy way, with arms and legs that can touch or not. Does that sound familiar to you?

The “Crime Scene” Sleeping Position

If you sleep almost as “crime scene victims”, you are lovers that are living in a totally relaxed and peaceful relationship.

Which Will Be Your Sleeping Position Tonight?

Have fun trying to see if these positions reveal the truth about your relationship, but do not forget that you can reach a couple-balance also thanks to an healthy and relaxing sleep.

For this reason, find out today the mattresses retailer closest to you and test together your ideal bed system!

Written by Manifattura Falomo – Marketing Office

Written by Manifattura Falomo - Marketing Office

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