An image showing a couple lying in various positions in bed

Does sleeping with your partner at night lead to a tug-of-war over the covers? Does one of you snore? Do you sleep in close contact or stick to different sides of the bed? According to leading psychologists, how a couple sleeps at night can say a lot about their relationship and you would be surprised to read some of their insights.

How do you and your partner sleep at night? What sleeping position do you assume? We analyse 10 of the most common couple sleeping positions and what psychologists believe these sleeping positions say about your relationship with your partner.

1. The honeymoon hug

For many couples, this sleeping position is one they will only recognise from the movies. “The Honeymoon Hug” is where a couple sleep in a face to face embrace. According to psychologists, it is a sleeping position favoured by couples in the early stages of their relationship or newlyweds who have an intense need to stay physically and emotionally connected to each other even as they sleep.

2. Spooning

This sleeping position is one of the most popular couple sleeping positions. Some couples prefer to fall asleep in this position whereas other will “spoon” for a while before going their separate ways to reach a deep sleep. Either way, “spooning” gives couples a feeling of being close and secure, allowing one partner to take a protective stance over the other.

3. Liberty

This is the sleeping position that most couples will identify with. The Liberty position refers to when a couple sleep back to back without touching. One can be forgiven for thinking that this sleeping position indicates distance between the couple. While sleeping with your back to your partner may seem quite cold and loveless, psychologists state that couples who sleep with their backs facing each other at night may actually have a very intimate and loving relationship. There is closeness yet clear independence, which is healthy in any relationship.

4. Lovers knot

Do you and your partner lie face to face with your legs intertwined for approximately 10 minutes before breaking apart to sleep? If so, you’ve engaged in a sleeping position known as a “lovers knot”. This sleeping position indicates a compromise between intimacy and independence. There is a loving independence between the two partners.

5. Lovers

Do you and your partner sleep with your legs intertwined all night long? Experts say that this sleeping position is one for the “born romantics”. It indicates a need to never be apart from each other, even while you sleep. You cannot spend a moment away from each other and others would describe you as besotted with each other.

6. The romantic

This position occurs when one partner lies their head and arm on the chest of the other partner. This is a very intimate pose favoured by those who are in a new relationship or have recently rekindled a relationship.

7. Cherish

Do you sleep back to back with your partner, with your bodies touching each other? This is known as the “Cherish” position. Common in new relationships, it indicates that a couple is comfortable, intimate and relaxed with each other. Many couples graduate from the “Cherish” position into the aforementioned “Liberty” sleeping position as they become comfortable, familiar and independent of each other.

8. The cliffhanger

This is where both partners cling to opposite sides of their bed at night. This sleeping position is contentious, it could merely shows a complete independence between the partners, or could be something more serious, indicating a clear distance between partners. By clinging to opposite sides of the bed, they are moving as far as possible away from their partner to sleep without actually leaving the bed. The experts recommend discussing it with your partner to find out whether there is a problem in the relationship.

9. The mirror

“The Mirror” sleeping position is where partners sleep facing each other without physically touching. This sleeping position is very common among married couples and those in long term relationships. It indicates that the couple has a strong bond and is comfortable that they don’t have to maintain physical contact while they sleep to express their love and care.

10. The superhero

The “Superhero” position occurs where one partner lies in a starfish position, taking up most of the space in the bed, while the other partner is hanging off the bed. The Superhero positions indicates the dominance of one partner both in bed and in the relationship as a whole while the other partner takes a secondary role.

How do you sleep?

You will probably find that you and your partner identify with several sleeping positions. That’s normal! Relationships can go through many phases and it’s important to remember that our sleeping positions can be reflective of our mood that night. For example, you could find that you are sleeping in “The Cliffhanger” position once every now and again if feeling stressed or if you have an argument, so don’t get too concerned if this happens.