You might not think much about how you and your partner sleep in bed, other than if they hog the duvet or accidentally kick you out of bed sometimes. But a new study has said that how you nod off together could in fact reveal a lot about your relationship.
The study from relationship psychologist, Corinne Sweet, has identifed the top eight positions in which couples usually sleep. See if you can spot which one you and your partner often end up in:
- Liberty – back-to-back without touching. Since you are connected and yet secure in yourself, this position shows that you are both close and independent in your relationship.
- Cherish– back-to-back touching. Both of you are relaxed and comfortable with one another. This position is often common in new relationships.
- Spooning – front-to-back touching. In this more traditional position one partner takes a protective stance over the other.
- Lovers’ Knot – face-to-face, legs intertwined for ten minutes, then you go your separate ways. This is a good compromise between intimacy and independence, making it the best of both worlds.
- Pillow Talk – face-to-face without touching. This position shows you both need intimacy and close communication.
- The Lovers – face-to-face with legs intertwined all night. Romantic and very intimate, this position also shows a lack of independence from each other.
- Superhero – lying in a starfish position with partner hanging off the bed. Here one partner dominates the bed, while the other takes a secondary role.
- The Romantic – one partner has their head on the other’s chest. Often seen in early relationships, this position represents vibrant, passionate or rekindled love.
But not all partners can necessarily stand sharing a bed with each other, with 25 per cent of couples ending up arguing in bed because they're kept awake by their partners. In fact, one in five British couples even choose to sleep in separate beds.
At the end of the day, though, whichever way you sleep, the most important thing is to get a good night's rest that keeps both you and your relationship in good health.
Here's how you can swap a domestic for a dreamy trip to the land of nod with just a few simple tweaks to you and your partner's bedtime routine:
- Never go to sleep stressed or on bad terms. Try to avoid having diffiuclt conversations with your partner just before bed and if things do get fraught, try first of all resolving the issue and then relaxing with a warm bath, quiet music and even light yoga.
- If your partner is a night owl and you're an early bird, or vice versa, try to stick to the same schedule and find the middle ground, so you don't disturb each other.
- If one of you snores, avoid sleeping on your back as this makes snoring worse. If the issue becomes a real problem, go and see a doctor who should be able to prescribe something to help.
- Both of you should try to steer clear of coffee, fizzy drinks and chocolate, all of which keep you awake, at least four hours before going to sleep.
- Sleeping naked can be a great boost for you and your relationship as skin-to-skin contact helps release oxytocin, also known as the ‘love hormone’. This helps banish stress and high blood pressire as well as making you feel closer to your partner.
- Consider sleeping in separate beds. According to health writer, Dr Sarah Brewer, around 50 per cent of sleep disturbance is caused by your other half, so it can make sense to decide to move rooms if you feel you're not getting enough shut-eye. You can still find time to be close and intimate with each other before you go to sleep but moving to a separate bed just before you switch off the light could help you not only sleep better but even make your relationship stronger.
You can find more advice on sleep and wellbeing on the Dreams Sleep Matters website here.
- There's more health advice in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.