Ten Common Sleeping Positions and What They Say about Your Relationship


Each and every one of us has a sleeping position we find most comfortable, but what we are not aware of is that these preferences actually say a lot about our personality, psychologists reveal. This is particularly important when we are talking about couples and how they sleep with their significant other. “During sleep, you cannot fake your body language. This is the time when you are honest, vulnerable and your sleeping position can reveal a lot about your relationship”, claims Corrine Sweet, a relationship psychologist.

1. The Spoon

The sleeping position where one person is lying against their partner’s back, popularly known as “the spoon,” is the most common among couples, especially among those who are married. “When a woman assumes the posterior position, it may indicate she is the more giving partner or that he needs special nurturing,” says psychiatrist Samuel Dunkell. According to Shirley P. Glass, psychologist, and martial therapist, this is a “comforting, safe cocoon.”


2. The Honeymoon Hug

If the previous one is the most common, this one is without a doubt the most intimate sleeping position. It is believed that couples who are at the beginning of their relationship or the ones who share intense feelings sleep like this. However, according to psychotherapist Elizabeth Flynn Campbell, this could also mean they are too dependent on each other. She says: “[the couple] could be overly enmeshed, too dependent on each other to sleep apart.”


3. Like Shingles (on a roof)

The position where one person rests their head on their partner’s shoulder, while both of them are lying on their backs, denotes strong egos. In this case, according to Shirley P. Glass, “there’s a high level of trust here, as well as strengthening sense of comradeship and protection.”

4. The Sweetheart’s Cradle

The sweetheart’s cradle is quite similar to the previous position, but the difference is that here not only does one person rest their head on their significant other, but they actually hold them, which makes it more intimate. When lying like this with your partner, you feel safe and protected.


5. Loosely Tethered

Some psychologists say that this position is basically the same as the spoon, only with more distance, which does not represent the lack of affection between the two but only allowing for more personal space. It could be said that this way the couple achieves balance.

6. The Leg Hug

When it comes to the position known as “the leg hug,” there are two different things that it might suggest about a relationship. On the one hand, it is possible that the couple is still not that comfortable showing physical affection. It can also “suggest familiarity, comfort and a daring quality as well, almost like a secret code.”

7. The Pursuit

Once again, we are talking about a form of the first position, the spooning. What distinguishes this one from the spoon is that in this case, one person is chasing the other. This can mean two things: according to Samuel Dunkell, we are talking about “illegal spooning,” because one person wants their space; another possibility is that the person who retreats actually wants the other one to chase he/she, so this can be only a part of a game.


8. Zen Style

The Zen style is typical of couples who have been together for a long time. This position enables you to create physical contact with your partner, but without clinging, so there is also room for re-establishing independence if that’s what you need.


9. The Cliffhanger

You might be tempted to say that this position looks like Zen Style, but there is actually an important difference. Here, there is no touch, as each person moves to their side of the bed, with their backs turned to each other. This could mean that your partner is just tired and want to get a good night’s sleep, or perhaps he/she is angry or sad, in which case you should talk to your other half about it.

10. The Crab

In most cases, this position is saying that there is something wrong in your relationship. It could be that you are simply going through a rough time. You might be arguing a lot, or your partner did something that hurt you (or vice versa). Whatever it is that’s bothering you, even if you are not aware of it, this position suggests that there is some kind of a problem.