Sleep Styles And Relationships: Sleep styles—and what they say about your relationship

Sleeping with another person beside you in bed can sometimes feel like an 8-hour dance. According to Evany Thomas, author of The Secret Language of Sleep, and body language expert Patti Wood, your body movements reveal a lot about you and your relationship with your partner.

If you share a bed, you may already be aware of the many different sleeping positions that exist. Here, we’re going to take a peek at some of the most common sleeping habits among couples and what they mean:

  • 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 so, 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 be that 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-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."

In her book, Thomas also decodes individual sleep styles and reveals the best sleep matches.

  • 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?
  • The Wanderer: You start sleeping in one area, and wake up in a completely different direction, possibly under a different number of sheets and blankets as well. Sleeps best with: A companion that won't roam around the bed like she does.

Keep in mind, when it comes to getting better sleep as a couple, your bed can make a big difference. 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 DualAir™ technology eliminates the need to compromise as it's adjustable on each side—so you can both get the sleep you deserve.

To learn more about sleep positions read The Secret Language of Sleep by Evany Thomas.