Relationship

Top 11 most common sleeping positions for couples

How you and your partner sleep together can say a lot about your relationship. Are you always tangled up in each other? Do you have completely different sleep habits? Or do you prefer to keep your distance? Read on to find out the meaning behind some of the 11 most common couples sleeping positions.

Dating Expert Janet Smith October 3, 2022 • 12 minutes read
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Do you and your partner have a favorite sleeping position? If you don’t, you may want to consider trying out some of the most popular sleep positions for couples. Make sure that it is a comfortable position for you and your partner so you can have a good night’s sleep. After all, a good night’s sleep is important for your health.

So what kind of sleeping positions are there? And what do they mean? Keep reading to find out!

If you’re looking for information on relationships in general, check out this article. It has everything you need to know about the different types of relationships, attachment styles, and what you can do to make your relationship work.

1. The spooning position

This is one of the most common couple sleeping positions. It involves one person lying behind the other in a protective embrace. This position can help you feel safe and secure and promote intimacy and emotional connection.

Health benefits & downsides

And did you know that this position can also reduce your stress level? When you cuddle up to your partner, it releases oxytocin, which is sometimes called the “cuddle hormone.” Oxytocin can help reduce stress and anxiety, promote relaxation, and boost mood.

The downside to spooning is that it can make it difficult to get comfortable if you’re not used to sleeping in close quarters. And if you’re a light sleeper, your partner’s movements may wake you up. Also, it can affect your joints negatively when you sleep in the same position for a long time. So make sure to change positions often during the night.

What does it say about your relationship?

This position is often seen as a sign of a strong emotional bond and intimacy. It can also be a way to show your partner that you are there for them and that you care about their well-being.

2. The loose spoon position

The loose spoon position is similar to the spooning position, but with a little more space between you and your partner. This position can be helpful if you’re a light sleeper or if you need some extra room to get comfortable.

Health benefits & downsides

It can also be a good position for pregnant women since it provides them with some extra space. And it’s a great position for people with back pain since there’s less pressure on the spine.

The downside to this position is that it can make it difficult to stay close to your partner. And if you’re used to snuggling up close, it may feel a bit strange at first.

What does it say about your relationship?

The loose spoon position is a sign that you and your partner are still close, but you’re not as intimate as you are in the spooning position. It can also mean that you’re giving your partner some space, which can be a good thing if one of you needs more room to sleep.

3. The side-by-side position

This is another popular couple sleeping position where both partners lie on their sides, facing each other. It’s a comfortable position that allows you to be close to your partner without being too intimate.

Health benefits & downsides

This sleeping position is a good choice for pregnant women and those who suffer from snoring or sleep apnea. It’s also a good position for people with joint pain. However, it can be difficult to stay in this position all night and you may end up rolling over onto your back or stomach.

What does it say about your relationship?

The side-by-side sleeping position is a sign of intimacy and closeness in a relationship. It shows that you are comfortable enough with your partner to be close to them while you sleep. This position usually means that the relationship is healthy and stable.

4. The back-to-back position

In this position, both partners sleep on their backs with their backs touching. This position is not as intimate as other sleep positions, but it is a good way to stay close to your partner. This sleepings position is commonly seen in couples who are married or have been together for a long time.

Health benefits & downsides

Back-to-back sleeping is beneficial because it allows both partners to have their own space while still being close to each other. This sleeping position is great for people who snore because it prevents the snorer’s noise from disturbing their partner. Back-to-back sleeping can also help people with back pain because it takes the pressure off of the spine. The downside to this position is that it can be difficult to get close to your partner if you are feeling affectionate.

What does it say about your relationship?

Back-to-back sleeping usually indicates that the relationship is stable and comfortable. It shows that the couple is not in a hurry to move on from each other, and they are content with just being close. If you and your partner choose to sleep in this position, it’s a good sign that your relationship is healthy and strong.

5. The fetal position

The fetal sleeping position is when you and your partner curl up in a ball together. This is often seen as a protective position and can help promote feelings of security and intimacy.

Health benefits & downsides

The fetal sleeping position is beneficial because it helps you feel close to your partner, and it’s a comfortable position for pregnant women. The downside is that it can be difficult to move around in this position, and it can be uncomfortable if you are not used to sleeping in close quarters.

However, the downside of this intimate position is that it can negatively affect your joints and spine over time. So if you’re someone who suffers from joint pain or back problems, you may want to avoid this position.

What does it say about your relationship?

The fetal position is often seen as a sign of intimacy and closeness. It is also a sign of trust and security. If you sleep in this position with your partner, it shows that you are comfortable with them and that you feel safe and protected when you are with them.

6. The yearner position

The yearner sleeping position is when one partner sleeps with their arm stretched out while the other partner sleeps with their head on the extended arm. This position is often seen in couples who are still getting to know each other.

Health benefits & downsides

The yearner sleeping position is beneficial because it allows both partners to have their own space. It also promotes intimacy because it’s a physically affectionate position.

The downside to this is not the most comfortable position for long-term sleeping. Be prepared for a lot of arm and shoulder pain if you choose to sleep in this position every night. And for the person who sleeps on their partner’s arm, you may find yourself with a stiff neck in the morning. The sleep quality for both partners may not be as good as it could be if they slept in a different position. So you definitely should not stay in this position for the entire night.

What does it say about your relationship?

If you and your partner are in the yearner position, it means that you are still getting to know each other. You may not be as close as some of the other positions, but it’s a good sign that you are interested in each other. This sleep position can also lead to more physical touch and intimacy as you get to know each other better.

7. The cradle position

The cradle sleeping position is when one partner cradles the other partner’s head in their arm while the other partner wraps their arm around the waist. This is a very intimate position and can be seen in couples who are deeply in love with each other.

Health benefits & downsides

The cradle sleeping position is beneficial because it allows both partners to feel close and connected. Also, it’s a very comfortable position for pregnant women.

The downside to this position is that it can be difficult to get in and out of, and it’s not the most practical if you have to use the bathroom during the night. This sleeping position is also not very good for your spine. If you sleep in this position every night, you may start to experience back pain.

What does it say about your relationship?

This sleep position is often seen as a sign of intense love and intimacy. If you and your partner sleep in this position, it means that you are deeply in love with each other and that you have a strong emotional connection. You may also find that this position leads to more physical touch and intimacy as you get to know each other better.

8. The cliffhanger position

The cliffhanger sleeping position is when one partner hangs over the edge of the bed while the other partner sleeps on the other side of the bed. So the partners are not touching each other and lie far away from each other.

Health benefits & downsides

It is probably a comfortable position if you are a light sleeper because it minimizes noise and movement from your partner. Also, you can sleep in this position if you have different sleeping schedules.

The downside to this is that it can make you feel isolated and lonely, even if your partner is sleeping next to you.

What does it say about your relationship?

This sleeping position can be a sign that there is tension in the relationship. If you are constantly fighting with your partner or if you are not getting along, you may find yourself sleeping in this position. This position can also be a sign that you are not as close to your partner as you used to be. You may find that you are not touching or speaking to each other as much as you used to.

However, it could also mean that you are both independent people who like your own space. So it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is tension in the relationship. It just means that you both like your own space and don’t feel the need to be physically close to each other when you sleep.

9. The leg hugger position

The leg hugger sleeping position is when one partner touches or wraps their leg around the other partner’s leg. This is a great sleeping position for people who need space but at the same time want to feel close to their partner.

Health benefits & downsides

The leg hugger position is beneficial because it allows both partners to feel close while still giving each other space. There are not really downsides to this position. Maybe your legs can get tangled up if you move around too much during the night; who knows?

What does it say about your relationship?

This position is often seen as a sign that you are in a well-established, comfortable relationship. If you and your partner are always in this position, it means that you are very secure with each other and that you feel safe and comfortable around each other.

10. The tangled position

The tangled position is when both partners are sleeping facing each other, and their legs and arms are tangled up. This is a very intimate position, and it can be quite difficult to get out of if you need to use the restroom during the night.

Health benefits & downsides

There really are no health benefits or downsides to this position. It’s just an extremely intimate position that not everybody is comfortable with.

What does it say about your relationship?

If you and your partner are always in this position, it means that you are extremely intimate with each other and that you trust each other implicitly. You probably also have a strong physical and emotional connection. This position can also be a sign of passion and excitement in the relationship.

11. The starfish position

One partner will love it, the other one will hate it. The starfish partner sleeps on their back with their arms and legs spread out like a starfish. The other partner, on the other hand, will probably feel cramped and uncomfortable.

Health benefits & downsides

For the starfish partner, this position is very comfortable, and they can sleep soundly through the night. But for the other partner, this position is very uncomfortable, and they will probably spend the night trying to find a way to get comfortable.

What does it say about your relationship?

The starfish position is often seen as a sign that one person in the relationship is very self-centered and doesn’t care about the needs of their partner. If you are always in this position, it means that you are probably not very considerate of your partner’s needs and that you are more interested in your own comfort than in theirs.


There are many more sleeping positions that couples can adopt, but these are some of the most common ones. Each position has its own advantages and disadvantages and can say something different about the relationship. So the next time you and your partner are trying to decide on a sleeping position, keep these in mind!


The best relationship books to help you survive and thrive

Whether single or in a relationship, it can be tough to navigate the waters of love. These books offer advice and guidance from experts and real-life couples alike, giving you the tools you need to make your relationship work. These books will surely provide some valuable insights if you are looking for a way to spice up your love life or simply learn how to better communicate with your partner.

  1. Love: The Psychology of Attraction: A Practical Guide to Successful Dating and a Happy Relationship
  2. Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Navigating Life and Love in the Modern Age
  3. The Power of Four Bases for Relationships: Can You Hit a Home Run in a Relationship?
  4. Communication and Relationship: A Guide to Deeper Connection, Trust and Intimacy to Improve Communication and Strengthen Your Bond as a Couple
  5. Couple's Bucket List: 101 Fun, Engaging Dating Ideas
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Dating Expert

Janet Smith

Janet Smith is a freelance writer who writes about psychology, relationships, and dating. She has always been interested in understanding the human brain and how it affects our …

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