Sleeping with another person beside you in bed can sometimes feel like an 8-hour dance–a dance that, at times, may look like a waltz. And, at other times may appear more like a tango.
According to Evany Thomas, the author of The Secret Language of Sleep, and body language expert Patti Wood, all of those “dance moves”, contortions and body movements can actually reveal a lot about your relationship with your partner or spouse.
So, I thought we’d take a closer look at 11 different sleep styles today—and what they really say about your relationship and how you sleep with your spouse or partner. Let’s begin by examining four common sleep styles among couples:
- The Spooners. You know the pose—one knee up, “spooning” around your partner. If you’re one of these couples, you typically have a wholesome, traditional outlook on your relationship. Spooners generally like comfortable things and are supportive.
- The Cliffhangers. Do you and your sleep partner cling to the opposite sides of the bed? If yes, you might be “cliffhangers.” Two interpretations of this sleep style. In some instances, it could mean you’re practical—you like your own sleep space. Or, in other cases, it could mean you’re the “opposites attract” kind of couple. You appreciate the differences in each other.
- The Leg Huggers. Do you and your partner sleep apart, but touch legs during the night? You’re probably Leg Huggers. According to Wood, this sleep style is common among long-time married couples who like to sleep apart, but want to connect. It can also be a position couples take after a fight. It says “I’m mad at you, but I still love you and want to wake up on a good note.”
- The Cradle. For this style, the man typically lies on his back and the woman will lie on her chest with his arm “cradled” around her. Clearly, a sign of affection, this sleep style usually connotes a high level of intimacy. In fact, in some cases, it might mean one partner is experiencing stress—and the other partner is comforting them.
Now, let’s look at seven common individual sleep styles and which meshes well with others.
- The Soldier. The standard sleeping-on-the-back, not-going-to-move type. So common, in fact, that according to U.S. researchers, 43 percent of all people sleep in this position. These folks are secure and self-assured. They are quiet and reserved but they have high expectations of themselves. Sleep best with: The Curler. The rigid Soldier can use some of the sensitivity The Curler offers.
- The Face-Planter. Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night, rolled over only to be startled by the fact that your sleep partner has his head buried in his pillow, and it’s hard to tell if he’s breathing? You’ve got a Face-Planter on your hands. Face-planters tend to be stubborn and strong-willed. Sleeps best with: The Spaghetti Noodle. The Face-Planter needs someone who won’t butt heads with him—and will meld around him.
- The Curler. If you like to curl up tightly, in a fetal-type-position, you probably fall in this bucket. If you sleep in this position, chances are you might be more emotional, sensitive and artistic than the average person. Sleeps best with: The Curler needs strength—so, in may cases the Soldier makes sense for this sleep style.
- The Spaghetti Noodle. What about the person who just goes with the flow and can match well with any sleep style? According to Thomas and Wood, that’s the Spaghetti Noodle. These folks tend to be fairly laid back. They are calm, peaceful and steady. Sleeps best with: The Soldier. You don’t want to be too laid back, right? The Noodle needs the rigidity of the Soldier in many ways.
- The Free-Faller. These folks sleep on their stomachs with their hands up around the pillow with their head to the side. If you’re a free-faller, you tend to be outgoing, but also fairly thin-skinned and you shy away from criticism. Sleeps best with: The Starfish. You sleep you on your stomach with your hands around the pillow. She sleeps on her back. Classic case of opposites that attract.
- The Starfish. Do you lie on your back with both hands behind your head and around the pillow? If yes, you’re probably a “Starfish.” These folks are often good listeners and look to help, when they can. Overall, they tend to be very agreeable sleep partners. Sleeps best with: The Wanderer. Hey, someone has to sleep with the Wanderer, right? J
- The Wanderer: You start sleeping in one area, and wake up in a complete different direction, possibly under a different number of sheets and blankets as well. Sleeps best with: The Face-Planter. The Wanderer needs a companion that won’t roam around the bed like she does. Meet the Face-Planter.
Keep in mind, when it comes to getting better sleep as a couple, your bed and bedding can make a big difference, too. For example, maybe you like your mattress soft and he likes it a bit more firm (9 out of 10 couples disagree on mattress firmness). Conundrum, right? Remember: All beds aren’t created equal. The Sleep Number bed’s Dual-Air™ technology eliminates the need to compromise as it’s adjustable on each side—so you can both get the sleep you deserve.
Or, maybe you sleep hot and he sleeps a little cooler. You can never agree on how many blankets to keep on the bed and this interrupts your sleep at night. Another serious sleep issue, right? Consider temperature-balancing bedding—like Sleep Number® In-Balance™ bedding. Built with Outlast™ technology, this bedding absorbs heat so you and your partner can sleep just right.
So, which sleep style above best describes you and your spouse/partner? Do any of these sound familiar? The bottom line is this: No matter what your sleep style, it’s a good idea to have a candid conversation with your partner about your bedtime patterns and tendencies. These discussions will help you set expectations and start working together on what you can do to improve your sleep as a couple.