We all sleep, but did you know that the way you sleep says a lot about who we are as individuals?
For instance, if you sleep on your back, it often means you’re the strong, silent type; and if you sleep on your stomach, it typically means you have an open, gregarious, and playful personality.
So, what happens when you throw different sleeping styles — and personalities — into one bed? Or really, any two individual personalities into one of the most intimate and venerable situations we humans experience?
It’s actually quite fascinating.
When we sleep, our subconscious minds take over. Because of this, the body language we use with a partner while we snooze can be a remarkably precise way to gauge what’s going on in our relationships.
“Even if you can’t or don’t articulate those things while you’re awake,” says Patti Wood, a body language expert with more than 30 years of experience and author of Success Signals, A Guide to Reading Body Language. Many other experts and psychologists agree with this idea and have conducted studies in and written books on the subject. They have uncovered the ten most popular couple sleeping positions and the secrets they have found about each is truly intriguing…
According to a study done by relationship psychologist Corrine Sweet, the position is only adopted by a fifth (or 18 percent) of couples and demonstrates a dynamic in which, “ One partner takes a protective stance over the other.”
Although it’s a sweet, it can also be a little saucy. “It’s a very vulnerable position that’s sexual, but says, ‘I trust you,’” said Patti Wood, a body language expert with more than 30 years of experience and author of Success Signals, A Guide to Reading Body Language.
The Loose Spoon
New couples tend to have the most physical contact in bed, but once the relationship matures, the novelty of sharing a mattress wears off.
The loose spoon is typically what couples that are fans of spooning eventually do once their relationship matures and each individual wants to revert to a position that produces the best quality sleep, said Paul Rosenblatt, author of Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing.
It’s like the big spoon saying, “I’ve got your back, you can count on me,” but it’s not as sexual as spooning closer, Woods said.
This is like spooning, but it’s when one person is in pursuit of the other. One person has drifted to the other side of the bed, and the other one is “chasing” them.
This can mean two things. One that the person who is being chased wants to be pursued, or is playing hard to get.
The other thing it can be, according to Samuel Dunkell, author of Sleep Positions: The Night Language of the Body is something called “illegal Spooning” because the person has retreated because they want space.
This extremely intimate position is even rarer than the Spoon. It tends to happen when there is either intense emotions at play (like after lovemaking) or at the start of a romantic relationship.
Some couples maintain it throughout their relationship but it isn’t necessarily a good thing. According to Elizabeth Flynn Campbell, a New York psychotherapist, “[the couple] could be overly enmeshed, too dependent on each other to sleep apart.”