Some of us don’t enjoy sharing a bed. There – we said it.
There’s no denying that bed sharing with your significant other can have key relationship benefits. It’s been said to further intimacy and make two people feel closer to each other. These things are essential in a world where schedules can get hectic, and couples often struggle to find quality time to spend together.
Sharing a bed can even have sleep benefits. According to Dr. Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research at the University of Arizona, that couples who sleep together report higher satisfaction with their sleep and sleep quality, and may even experience improved REM sleep.
But even so… have you ever gone on a solo work trip, spread out on your hotel bed and thought, “Wow, I love having the bed to myself!”? Ever gone back to your parents for the night, snuggled up alone in your childhood bedroom, and slept like a baby?
There’s no shame in it! It’s time we all admitted that sharing a bed can take some getting used to.
Snoring and cover-hogging issues aside, there are various bed-sharing pitfalls. Bumping feet in the night and being jolted awake. Your other half “starfish-ing”. The gradual nudge towards the end of the bed as the night goes on.
Plenty of couples eventually get tired of this and decide to give up on bed sharing altogether. But we don’t want that for you! That’s why we’ve pulled together a ‘Comfiest Couple Sleeping Positions Guide’ with tons of sleep positions inspo and what they mean.
Body language shows a lot about a couple's sleep and the relationship. Each position can have a whole different meaning for the relationship. Whether it's fetal position, spooning position or legs intertwined, these positions tell a lot about you, your partner and your relationship.
Explore our list below, ranging from less touchy to most touchy positions, for your convenience. We guarantee it will help you stay comfy, cuddly (if you wish!) and cozy, together, all night long.
1. Back-to-Back and Front-to-Front, No Contact
Sleeping back-to-back or front-to-front with your partner, with space in between you, can be an indicator of healthy independence within your relationship. This shows you both feel secure and comfortable. Perhaps you simply prefer to connect physically with your partner in other ways.
These two positions can also help you get a better night’s sleep, for several reasons. It can be more freeing and relaxing to feel like you have your own individual bed space. For the hot sleepers out there, no-contact sleeping helps the person stay cool. And for those recovering from injuries, who might be nervous about being knocked by their partner in the night, no touching also provides peace of mind.
Side sleeping (either back-to-back or front-to-front) also has numerous physical benefits! Left side sleeping in particular is highly recommended during pregnancy. Similarly, if you suffer from heartburn or digestive issues, this is the best choice. Sleeping on either side can also help with back pain relief, reduced risk of snoring and sleep apnea, and boosted brain health. Winning!
2. Stomach Sleeping, No Contact
Technically, this position is another option for those who want to keep their individual space around them at night. It can even help to ease snoring in some cases. However, there are some significant drawbacks to stomach sleeping.
Emotionally, it is associated with anxiety, hyper-vulnerability or closing yourself off. Physically, sleeping on your stomach can cause back and neck strain. Furthermore, the natural back arch caused by maintaining this position can cause painful spine misalignment. For these reasons, we tend not to recommend this one.
Approximately 7% of people sleep on their stomach, or in the “prone position” as it is sometimes called. If you are one of them, and want to break this habit, try lying on your side and placing a body pillow between your legs. The additional support and hugging sensation makes your sleep extremely comfortable. It also makes it more difficult to turn onto your stomach as you sleep.
3. The Cliff Hanger
Similar to the Liberty Lovers position, the Cliff Hanger takes back-to-back sleeping to new heights. In this position, there isn’t just a small gap between the two sleepers; one (or both!) of them actually has a limb or two hanging off the side of the bed.
For hot sleepers, this position can be beneficial. It allows the person to cool off by sticking an arm or leg out of the covers to get some air. The Cliff Hanger can also be a great option for couples who have different sleep temperature preferences. Your partner’s hot, and you’re cold? Not to worry! Stay bundled up under the covers all night, while your partner Cliff Hangs over the edge.
If that doesn’t sound super comfortable for you, we’ve got another solution for the ‘one’s sweaty, one’s freezing’ couple. Check out our innovative, two-sided comforters. They’re carefully crafted with two different materials - fluffy and cooling - on top and underneath, for the best of both worlds. It’s a genius couple’s hack for the perfect sleep temperature.
4. The Loose Spoon
Most of us are familiar with the term “spooning”. The loose spoon is simply a freer version of this popular sleep pose, featuring a little more distance between partners.
Both partners sleep facing the same direction, with one’s arm loosely wrapped around the other, and a gap in the middle. This allows them to move around a little more at night. It makes them less likely to knock into or disturb each other. The Loose Spoon position signifies protection and a feeling of closeness. At the same time, it demonstrates some independence in a couple, giving each other room to breathe.
Our top tip? Don’t hunch over too much as you do it! This can cause neck or back stiffness. For a gentler back bend that’s less likely to cause aches and pains, relax your knees and don’t pull them up too tightly.
5. Butt to Butt
Let’s be honest – this one is pretty self-explanatory. The Butt-to-Butt position involves sleeping back-to-back with your partner, while maintaining some contact on the lower half of the body. Usually, this will be parts of the lower back or butt.
Butt to butt can be a very comfortable way to sleep. Neither partner has to hunch over, and knowing your partner is there throughout the night can bring reassurance, and a feeling of security.
6. Paper Dolls
The Paper Dolls position involves both partners sleeping side by side, on their backs, and touching their fingers together (reminiscent of a row of paper dolls). This light contact can, again, be comforting and make partners feel safe and connected, without being overbearing.
Sleeping on one’s back also has many health benefits. It can reduce heartburn and acid reflux, as long as your head and chest are slightly elevated. It can prevent facial wrinkles and/or skin irritation, caused by your skin being pressed into your pillow as you sleep. It can also promote spinal alignment and reduce neck pain.
7. The Nuzzle (also known as “Cradle” position)
This sweet, affectionate position is definitely one of the coziest, most lovey-dovey on our list. One partner sleeps on their back, while the other sleeps with their head on their partner’s chest with an arm and leg wrapped around them, snuggling into them with a leg hug.
Sleeping in the Nuzzle position can indicate a certain relationship dynamic. The person lying on their back takes on a more protective role. On the other hand, the person snuggled into them demonstrates trust, love and appreciation for their partner. The leg hug can keep both partner warm. Sleep in this position to find out if it's comfortable for you. One person may like it while the other may not, that's why it's always important to try out and sleep in this position.
Ah, the classic spoon. One of the most well-known and intimate couples sleeping positions out there, leading to the long-standing “Big Spoon or Little Spoon?” debate. Which side are you on?
Whatever your preference, it may actually surprise you to know that spooning isn’t as common as one might think.
According to a sleep study carried out by relationship psychologist Corinne Sweet and Travelodge, only 18% of couples actually sleep spooning. So, it just gets a lot of airtime!
If you like sleeping in the spoon position it may mean you are in a new relationship or you just can't get enough of each other.
It is a position where both will feel warm and safe, especially the little spoon. If you are both hot sleepers then this one may not be the most comfortable position for you.
This position indicates you are close as a couple and have a stable relationship. It may help light a spark and set the mood towards (you know) more intimate bonding.
The big spoon creates a shelter for the small spoon creating a protective layer from the outside world. It helps create that sense of safety for your partner.
The small spoon feels safe and protected from its lover. The small spoon loves to feel that extra safety and care. If you're partner has had a rough day gently nurture them in the small spoon position and give that extra warmth to make things better.
9. Tangled Up
The last position on our list, and probably the most intense, is the Tangle. If you love to sleep Tangled Up with your partner, chances are you’re in the honeymoon stage of your relationship.
This position involves intertwining all of your limbs and wrapping your arms around each other as you sleep. It’s incredibly intimate, possibly not the most comfortable, and probably isn’t for everyone.
That being said, many couples enjoy starting off their night in a Tangle. This allows them to take advantage of a few minutes of affection and connection at the end of a long day. They will then separate out into comfier, more natural sleeping positions that are easier to sustain.
And there you have it! Couple Sleeping 101. Is there a couple sleeping position that you and your partner can’t get enough of? Are you tired of you're partner occupying the whole bed in a starfish position or spacehog?
Benefits of Sleeping with Your Partner
Not only is it exciting to sleep with your partner, in all these new relationships, it can also have various health benefits.
Sleeping with your partner can give you a sense of security thus promoting better sleep and relaxation.
Relationship sleeping can help release oxytocin which helps lower anxiety and stress, and also helps build trust and achieve a better overall mood.
- Some benefits of sleeping with your partner are:
- Helps lower stress and anxiety
- Promotes better sleep and relaxation
- Improves REM sleep
- Helps improve the relationship
- Can give your children a sense of security as well
Challenges of Sleeping as a Couple
Sleeping with your partner can make wonders but it can also possess some challenges.
Even if you love spending time with each other you might have some challenges sleeping together. Don't worry this is completely normal, not all couples love cuddling together in their sleep. In fact, most of them love sharing their bed but prefer their own space. This is where a king size bed can come in handy.
Sleeping with your partner may restrict your movement. You may be very conscious and not want to wake your partner up and therefore stay stuck in the same position throughout the night.
You may both have different sleeping clocks. Your partner may be an early riser while you can be a late owl. This certainly has its challenges as you may wake up each other during different hours of the night and morning.
Your partner can make noises that might bother you and bring a challenge to a good night’s sleep. Being that your partner snores at night or may even talk at night.
If your partner is pregnant she will most likely prefer to focus on her individual sleeping position.
Last, each person can have a different body temperature and this may certainly have its effects. Your partner may be a hot sleeper and prefers light bedding and a cool ambiance while you are a cold sleeper and prefer much warmer bedding and no A/C.
Even though sleeping with your partner can posses some challenges, the benefits far outweigh these challenges.
Recommendations on How to Sleep Better with Your Partner
Sleeping with your partner can have its challenges. This is why it is important to address these challenges the soonest so both can get better sleep quality and enjoy the benefits of sleeping together.
Some ideas to promote better sleep with your partner are:
- Choose a big size mattress such as a king size bed.
- Choose bedding that is appropriate for each type of sleeper. Even if this means separate blankets.
- Set a room temperature that is comfortable for both.
- Try to agree on a sleep and wake time.
- Enjoy intimate moments before going to sleep.
- Never go to sleep after a discussion. Try to resolve and cuddle.
- Use the time before going to bed to talk positively about the relationship. Kiss Good Night.
- Consult a specialist for snoring and other sleeping issues that may bother your partner.
- Never stop exploring what each other likes.
- Sleep with clean clothes and if you excersiced or sweated take a shower before going into bed.
- Don't take each individuals problems into bed. Leave them outside the room or better more outside the home.
- Don't crawl directly into bed and go fast asleep. Share some activities and time together before bedtime.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best sleeping position for couples?
There is not one best sleeping position for each couple or more specific for each moment in the relationship. Get intimate and explore which position you and your partner enjoy the most.
What is the best mattress size to sleep with your partner?
It depends on preferences. If you want to cuddle and be close together then opt for a twin or queen-size mattress. If you both want to have space then a king- size mattress can be more pleasant. Besides, having a bigger mattress can help when some "uninvited" guests such as kids or pets crawl over at night time.
What is the best blanket for couples?
You and your partner may have different body temperatures at night. You each may choose a blanket that you like most or most commonly, you may share the same blanket if you and your partner have similar body temperatures at night.