As our subconscious dominates our body language when we're sleeping, the way you and your partner share a bed actually says a lot about your partnership. From the lovey-dovey tangled sleepers to the independent liberty lovers, understanding your sleep patterns can help couples to communicate and enjoy sharing a bed.
If you and your partner sleep apart, but touch feet or legs, it may indicate that one partner is subconsciously asking for attention. According to body language expert and author Patti Wood, the feet are indicators of our subconscious, as they are the first body part to react in a fight or flight mode. If your partner is trying to connect with you through his or her feet, make sure to communicate emotional or sexual needs in the daylight.
The spoon can be a very sweet and sexy position. Utilized by about a fifth of couples, it suggests one partner (usually the big spoon) is protective over the other. Wood said, "It's a very vulnerable position that's sexual, but says, 'I trust you.'" Similarly, the loose spoon often finds its way into the bedroom of couples who are in a mature and long term relationship, wishing to remain close but also looking to find better quality sleep.
The chase position is an extension of the popular spoon, but can have a few different implications. According to author Samuel Dunkell of Sleep Positions: The Night Language of the Body, this so-called "illegal spooning" can indicate a person has retreated to one side of the bed in order to get his or her space. But don't fret yet, it could also just mean that one of you enjoys the chase or playing hard to get.
The liberty lovers position has a couple facing opposite directions and leaving space in between their bodies while sleeping. Relationship psychologist Corrine Sweet said this implies a couple is "connected and secure in themselves... [showing] both closeness and independence in the relationship."
If you and your partner sleep facing opposite sides of the bed, but keep your backs or butts touching, this is a good sign for your love life. According to Sweet, couples who sleep in this position have an independent but loving relationship. "Both partners are relaxed and comfortable with one another," said Sweet. Further, Wood said this position indicates an independence in the relationship, while remaining sexually connected.
The sweet nuzzle position implies that a couple is very nurturing and protective. With one partner resting his or her head on the other's chest and intertwining their legs, this intimate position is seen in early relationships or rekindled loves. Martial therapist Shirley Glass said, "There's a high level of trust here... [and a] strengthening sense of comradeship and protection."
Ah, the famous space hog. The nice way to refer to this position is as the "starfish," but in reality, one partner is sprawling out onto the bed, indicating he or she may be a bit selfish in the relationship. Sweet said, "One partner dominates the space, while the other takes a secondary role," which could mean it's time to have a real conversation and reassessment of the relationship.
The tangle is a very rare sleeping position that may indicate the couple has an extreme emotional intensity or that they are near the beginning of a new relationship. Psychotherapist Elizabeth Flynn Campbell said that if this position carries on after the early stages of a romantic relationship, it may not necessarily be a good thing. "[The couple] could be enmeshed, too dependent on each other to sleep apart," said Campbell.
The best of both worlds, only 8 percent of couples begin their night in the tangled position and move into the unraveled knot after about ten minutes. Sweet explained that the awesomeness of this two-part position lies in the compromise "between intimacy and independence, allowing for the best of both worlds."