20 Couple Sleeping Positions and Their Meaning

20 Couple Sleeping Positions and Their Meaning

Written by Mehran Uzair

Last Updated on Feb 06, 2023

In this article:

    They say sleeping with your partner is a different kind of vibe. But is this vibe pleasant or unpleasant for your relationship?

    Do you know that your bedtime posture has a lot to say about your relationship with your partner? 

    Usually, the subconscious regulates the way you sleep. Still, whether you enjoy cuddling up with your mate or prefer keeping your personal space, it could potentially relate to your bedtime equation with your significant other.

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    20 Couple Sleeping & Cuddling Positions

    We have culled information from different sources and shared our rundown on 20 different couple sleeping & cuddling positions and what they mean. So check out your chemistry with your beau!

    1. Spooning


    Illustartion of Spooning Sleeping Position

    Spooning means when your partner takes an intimate and protective stance for the other by holding them from the back. 

    One partner cocoons the other in a hug from behind while both face the same side. Spooning position offers a sense of protectiveness and an “I have got your back” vibe. Besides, it is a reasonably sexual position for the romantic couple, looking after intimacy. 

    However, according to a survey conducted by a relationship psychologist, only 18% of couples sleep in this position.

    There are two types of spooning:

    1. Big Spoon

    The one who hugs the other one in spooning is called the big spoon. Traditionally, the taller one is the big spoon and mostly the giving partner. 

    2. Little Spoon

    In spooning, the one who receives the embrace from the big spoon or the taller spoon is called a little spoon. 

    There is no hard and fast rule to who should be the big or little spoon, but the couple can play the roles interchangeably. But, overall, spooning is the best couple sleeping position that brings intimacy in a relationship, just think of it as wrapping your partner in a big hug, with arms resting over their waist. Did it turn you on?

    2. Chasing Spoon

    Illustartion of Chasing Spoon Sleeping Position

    A tad different from standard spooning, this couple's sleeping position is a little lopsided. Instead of spooning on the bed’s center, the chasing spoon is where one person has moved away from the bed center while the other chases. 

    This position could also mean one partner asking for enough space from the other. This type of spooning also cues that both partners are not on the same page in the relationship. If pursued for an extended period, it can make the two, especially those chasing, uncomfortable psychologically and mentally. 

    3. Loose Spoon

    Illustartion of Loose Spoon Sleeping Position

    The relaxing version of spooning is loose spooning. While spooning is for newbie couples, loose spoons are usually imitated by couples who have spent some time together. Experts suggest loose spooning to be a healthy couple sleeping position for partners wanting better quality sleep. In addition, there is a strong foundation of trust even without constant body-to-body contact. 

    This position also means that you both want to breathe and relax while sleeping close together. If you are a big spoon in a loose spoon, it generally means you are a giver and can be counted on anytime for extra comfort. 

    4. Face to Face & Touching

    Illustartion of Face to Face & Touching Sleeping Position

    A pretty romantic sleeping position for couples, involving facing each other with heads at the same level. It is a preferable position in the initial years of relationships when you want to drape each other in arms. 

    Sleeping in this position usually indicates a sense of intimacy, trust, happiness, and dependence in the relationship. Besides, showing that you two are like-minded and intimacy is a thing for you two.

    5. Face to Face & Not Touching

    Illustartion of Face to Face & Not Touching Sleeping Position

    Similar to a face-to-face couple sleeping position, except there is some inches distance between the couples. There is some openness in couples who sleep in this position, indicating understanding. 

    This couple sleeping position is also called the “pillow-talk position” as it shows the opportunities for heart-to-heart communication. 

    However, the distance between the two also says there is some ongoing issue in the relationship. Perhaps both the partners are seeking each other’s attention, but failing to give it. 

    6. Back to Back & Touching

    Illustartion of Couple Back to Back & Touching Sleeping Position

    Also known as back kissing, this positioning indicates that you’re connected but still prefer your independent space in the bed. It also says closeness as some part of the body, such as your butt is always touching the other person revealing that you want to stay sexually connected. The chances are that your relationship is a few months old, as you prefer sleeping in a super relaxed sleeping position. 

    7. Back to Back but Not Touching

    Illustartion of Couple Sleeping Back to Back But Not Touching

    This couple sleeping position is also called Liberty Lovers and is quite similar to back-to-back, except there are mushrooming inches between the two partners. Sleeping in this position likely indicates connection and independence. 

    Even though you sleep inches apart, you feel secure and comfortable with them being near you, which can also be achieved when there is some level of mental and emotional compatibility. While it may also indicate go-to-position for a couple who just recently argued. 

    This couple sleeping position has a host of benefits as it relieves pressure on internal organs but may cause stress in your lower back and shoulders. 

    8. Cradle

    Illustartion of Cradle Sleeping Position

    Also named as nuzzle, Cradle is truly about companionship. Here, one partner lays comfortably on the back while the other lays head against the partner’s chest. Legs and arms are often intertwined. This couple sleeping position showcases protectiveness and security with each other. 

    Usually people get into this position when they want to make-out. However, laying for long in this position may leave the partner’s arm stiff or numb. Experts say that intense skin-to-skin contact during this position also secretes oxytocin, a love hormone. 

    9. Shingles

    Illustartion of Shingles Sleeping Position

    Not the sexiest of all, but definitely, Shingles position speaks about companionship. This is when both the partners are on their backs while one is resting their head on the other’s shoulder. 

    According to experts, it is a sign that you both understand and have faith in each other. Because one partner plays the role of a protector, the position also speaks about having a strong relationship foundation. It also indicates confidence you two have in each other. 

    10. Cliffhanger

    Illustartion of Cliffhanger Sleeping Position

    When both the partners sleep with as much distance between them, it usually means both are drifting away. This happens when any of them is closed off, perhaps due to a heated argument or a fight. Couple’s sleeping in a cliffhanger position also have a logical explanation for couples who sleep hot, hence they need distance. 

    If you sleep with an arm closed in a cliffhanger position, it also suggests that you are protective. Said that, if both spread the legs, it could also symbolize the preferred comfortable sleeping position regardless of the relationship status. 

    11. Leg Hug

    Illustartion of Leg Hug Sleeping Position

    The leg hug is an unclear sleeping position for couples. Both the partners sleep as usual, but the legs are intertwined together. This position may have different connotations depending on the relationship. For instance, if only one person is hugging, there is a lack of connection from the other end. 

    This position also indicates a comfortable level that comes with years of relationship. The second interpretation of this sleeping position is the need to connect emotionally with your partner. The third meaning that comes out with this couple sleeping position is that the leg hug is casual and that you are working to make a connection despite an argument with your person. 

    12. Paper Dolls

    Illustartion of Paper Dolls Sleeping Position

    Simply put, paper dolls involve two people sleeping side by side, on their backs, and with just fingers touching each other. The position resembles a row of paper dolls, hence the name. This sleeping position can be comforting, showing that the couple is happy and enjoying each other without any of them overbearing. 

    13. Tetherball

    Illustartion of Tetherball Sleeping Position

    Usually, this position is a reflection of maturity between the couples. They give each other space with only so much contact between them. One person curls or shrinks in a ball-type posture while the other stretches their hand to their partner’s back or hip. 

    According to a UK survey, even the slightest touch can widen the emotional bonding between the couples. So, if you both want to sleep independently but simultaneously want some nighttime crunch, try this couple sleeping position. 

    14. Stomach Snooze

    Illustartion of Stomach Snooze Sleeping Position

    Sleeping on the stomach is not a very healthy position. With partners, it reminisces the lack of connectivity among them as it feels like they are off to have a conversation. Perhaps, the position also cues anxiety, lack of control, vulnerability, emotional fear, and the absence of sexual trust in the relationship. 

    Individually also, this position may impact your night's sleep. It causes back pain with more pressure on the spine. However, if you still love sleeping in this position, you can use a pillow under your stomach to align your spine better. 

    15. Tangle

    Illustartion of Tangle Sleeping Position

    Tangle is all about intertwining together, and so is the name. This couple sleeping position also symbolizes young love with no extra inches among the crazy-in-love partners. It is mainly seen in newbie couples. 

    It is an incredibly intimate position suggesting that they don’t want to get separated for even seconds. Love and endurance characterize this moment. However, only 2% of couples prefer this position. 

    16. Unraveling Knot

    Illustartion of Unraveling Knot Sleeping Position

    Like loose spoons, this couple sleeping position indicates the emotional trust a couple has earned over each other. The unraveling knot is a sleeping position for people who have graduated to the next level in a relationship. 

    The couples instigate entwining but may unravel to a comfortable position as the sun sets up. While the couple may still be dependent on each other, they believe in individuality in the relationship. So, overall, this sleeping position is a perfect scale of intimacy and independence.

    17. Starfish

    Illustartion of Starfish Sleeping Position

    People who like to stretch while sleeping are known as stretchy sleepers, and this sleeping position is called starfish. These positions are beneficial as they lower your stress levels. This position also increases sleep quality and is ideal for couples. Couples who prefer to sleep in this position are most likely to wake up feeling fresh. 

    18. Soldier

    Illustartion of Soldier Sleeping Position

    Lying on the bed with your partner, sleeping straight, and keeping your arms on the side defines this couple sleeping position. This position indicates independence as both the partners sleep straight regardless of their relationship status. This position is mainly preferred after you two have “made out” and are unsure of what to do next. 

    According to the sleep experts, the soldier position is not an entirely comfortable couple sleeping position as it may make you snore. 

    19. Fetal

    Illustartion of Fetal Sleeping Position

    Here, one partner sleeps like a baby with knees raised high and back hunched over. For many, this sleeping position helps them fall asleep fast. However, this may denote discomfort for the other partner. Additionally, it may cause the curling partner back, shoulder, and neck pain. If you still feel comfortable in this position, try using a pillow between your knees for maximum comfort to the hips.

    2o. Pet Companion

    Illustartion of Pet Companion Sleeping Position

    Sharing a bed with your pet brings a sense of comfort for pet lovers. For some couples, keeping a pet in between strengthens the bond between their other half. However, it may also indicate that your relationship lacks love and affection, so you are avoiding contact with them. 

    Instead, consider talking to them or getting another space for your furry friend. Changing your couple sleeping poses sometimes helps rekindle the lost love and intimacy.

    Benefits of Sleeping With Your Partner

    Here are some incredible benefits of sleeping next to your partner

    1. You experience better sleep quality

    2. Sleeping together with your partner can help improve your mental health

    3. Cuddling while sleeping can trigger oxytocin, a hormone that brings down your stress level 

    4. Studies have also shown that co-sleeping synchronizes heart rhythm

    Various researches are linked to co-sleeping and increased REM sleep in response to sleeping alone. Additionally, couples who prefer sleeping naked with their mate have potentially better self-esteem than those who don’t.

    Challenges of Sleeping With Your Partner

    Sleeping with your partner talks about the chemistry you both share during the initial stages of a relationship. But what if you both have staggered sleep needs? Snoring, sleeping positions, unusual sleep schedules, and a need for different room temperatures are some common woes that come along. In addition, if sharing your bed restricts you from moving comfortably throughout the bed, stiffness and pain come uninvited, affecting your sleep quality.

    How to Get Better Sleep With Your Partner?

    Well, the joy of sleeping next to your mate comes with little effort. So here are some tips to improve your sleep with your partner. 

    1. If you both have different sleeping schedules, plan a fixed time for you two.


    2. Get a comfortable mattress and pillow to ensure you both sleep well.


    3. Open communication makes the base for a healthy relationship. If anything is bothering you, talk it over. An old saying goes so well with modern-day relationships, never go to bed angry.


    4. Share your comfortable sleeping position with your partner and ask about theirs. Then, choose a sleeping position that works best for you both.


    5. Avoid distractions like mobile phones, television, or laptop when at least half an hour before you sleep. Instead, you can read a book together to open lines of intimacy.


    6. Don’t encroach more space on the bed. Your other half deserves the other half of the bed too!


    7. Play some peaceful music and avoid caffeine as much as you can before your bedtime.


    8. Hugging your partner instantly brings a sense of calm to your mind and body. That's because hugging or snuggling positions bring down stress by secreting oxytocin.


    Different sleeping positions speak a lot about couples' dynamics. According to studies, 94% of couples fall asleep faster with some physical contact. So, you must comprehend your sleeping position to get an insight into your relationship status. Given above are 20 couple sleeping positions and what they mean. While most sleeping positions bring intimacy, some may also point towards your partner’s desire for intimacy.

    Disclaimer: This website does not offer medical advice nor professional medical services; rather, it is provided solely for educational, informational, and/or entertainment purposes. Individuals seeking medical advice should consult a licensed physician. The information provided should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition, disease, or injury. When you have a medical condition, you should always talk to licensed doctor or other certified medical professional. You should never delay seeking professional medical advice or treatment based on the contents of this website. Call 911 or immediately go to the nearest emergency room if you think you may have a medical emergency. The contents of this website are provided "as-is", Dreamcloud Sleep and its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, employees, contributors disclaim any warranty of the information contained herein. Please contact support@dreamcloud.com to report any errors, omissions, misinformation, or abuse.
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