With Valentine’s Day just a few days away, couples may be considering going away for a romantic weekend, or spending more time together than usual. But how they sleep can speak volumes about the state of their relationship, according to experts – and partners may even be better off sleeping in separate beds altogether.
According to a study by relationship psychologist Corinne Sweet(1), the most common sleep positions for couples are:
Liberty – back-to-back without touching (28%)
Connected and secure in themselves, this position shows both closeness and independence in the relationship.
Cherish – back-to-back touching (18%)
Both partners are relaxed and comfortable with one another – this is often common in new relationships.
Spooning – front-to-back touching (18%)
A traditional position, where one partner takes a protective stance over the other.
Lovers’ Knot – face-to-face, legs intertwined for ten minutes, then separate (8%)
A compromise between intimacy and independence, allowing for the best of both worlds.
Pillow Talk – face-to-face without touching (7%)
This position shows a need for intimacy and close communication.
The Lovers – face-to-face with legs intertwined all night (4%)
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 (2%)
One partner dominates the space, while the other takes a secondary role.
The Romantic – one partner with head on the other’s chest (1%)
Often seen in early relationships, this position represents vibrant, passionate or rekindled love.
Sleep studies have shown that:
- 94% of couples who spend the night in contact with each other are happy with their relationship(2)
- 25% of couples argue in bed because they are kept awake by their partners(3)
- Up to one in five British couples choose to sleep in separate beds(4)
However, whichever way a couple shares the bed, getting good quality sleep is what matters most for the health and wellbeing of both partners – as well as the health of the relationship. The advice below can help partners ensure a better night’s sleep:
- Couples should never go to sleep stressed – as far as possible, they should avoid difficult conversations before bedtime and try relaxing with a warm bath, quiet music or even light yoga.
- If one partner is a night owl and one is an early bird, they should try to stick to the same schedule and find the middle ground, so one does not disturb the other.
- Those who keep their partner awake with noisy snoring should avoid sleeping on their back, and should even visit a doctor if the issue becomes serious as it can be a sign of health issues.
- Both partners should steer clear of stimulants, such as caffeinated or fizzy drinks and chocolate, for at least four hours before going to sleep.
- According to Chris Thomson, writing for Dreams Sleep Matters, sleeping naked could be the answer. Skin-to-skin contact can boost the production of oxytocin, also known as the ‘love hormone’, which can combat stress and high blood pressure, as well as making one feel closer to their partner.
- Finally, couples should seriously consider sleeping in separate beds. According to Dr Sarah Brewer , approximately 50 per cent(5) of sleep disturbance is caused by a person’s partner, and one third of married couples admit to sleeping better alone. Partners can still find time to be close and intimate, but may benefit from moving to a separate bed or bedroom at the point of turning out the light to sleep – and it could even make the relationship stronger.
More advice on sleep and wellbeing can be found on the Dreams Sleep Matters web site at www.dreams.co.uk/sleep-matters-club/
For 30 years, Dreams has been passionate about providing the perfect night’s sleep. As the UK’s leading bed specialist, the company is committed to providing the highest standard of expert customer service and advice, and offers an extensive selection of high quality products including mattresses, bed frames, divans, bedroom furniture and soft furnishings, many of which are hand-crafted in the UK at the Dreams Bed Factory. Founded in 1985, and owned by Sun European Partners since March 2013, Dreams has more than 160 retail stores and a transactional web site at www.dreams.co.uk. Its head office – known as ‘Bedquarters’ – is located in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.