When you sleep alone, you’ve got the whole bed to yourself with ample room to spread out and stretch, roll around contentedly or toss and turn all night. If you’re used to sleeping with a partner, it can almost be too much room alone on a queen or king bed (don’t even get us started on California Kings)! When you’re with your partner, though, how do you two sleep together? No, not like that! How do you physically share the space in bed… you know, for sleeping. Sleeping by yourself is easy, but couple sleeping positions are a whole different ball game. Do you battle for the blankets or cuddle under the comforter? Your couple sleeping positions say something about how you are together, but they also influence how good of a sleep you can get!
Couple Sleeping Positions Are Tricky To Master
The bedroom should only be set up and used for a couple of things, intimacy and sleeping are chief among them. When you’re with a partner your chances of intimacy increase, sure, but your ability to sleep exactly the way you like will have to reach a compromise so you can both get the shuteye you deserve. It can be difficult enough to figure out what sleeping position is best for you as an individual, but sleeping positions for couples are even more complex—a puzzle with two pieces that don’t always snap together intuitively.
Popular Couple Sleeping Positions
Here’s what we like about spooning—it’s intimate, it’s comfortable, and most importantly, it allows both couples to sleep on their side, which has numerous benefits over sleeping on your back or stomach. Whether you’re the big spoon or little spoon, this common cuddling position is both friendly and comfortable. You might find some difficulty placing your arms (particularly the one “under” your bodyweight), but try curling one around your partner and one under your own pillow—that way, if your arm falls asleep or you get uncomfortable, you don’t have to shift your sleeping partner to wriggle free and adjust. Plus, physical intimacy releases all the “feel-good” hormones, like dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin.
Look, sometimes you’ve gotta get sleep and spare the intimate details of sharing a mattress! Couple sleeping positions aren’t all about the sexiness, sometimes—maybe most of the time—it’s about getting sleep. Cutting the cuteness for a minute, even with a bed partner you’re still going to go to sleep (at some point) and there’s nothing shameful about needing some physical space to do so! Sleeping back-to-back is similar to spooning, in that you’re both side sleeping, you’re just not combined into one tangle. The reason why it is one of the most popular couple sleeping positions is that you get the comfort of touch in addition to a little me time, some space for yourself so you can move more freely and comfortably about the bed.
Head on Chest
If you’re looking for a sleeping position that’s romantic and intimate, consider sleeping with your head on your partner’s chest, as a pillow of sorts. Or vice versa, depending on who’s most comfortable—this requires one partner to be a back sleeper (which can sometimes be the cause of snoring). Sleeping together in this way promotes intimacy in a similar way to spooning. You get all the comfort of cuddling together, plus the lull of your partner’s chest as their breath slows down and deepens in sleep. As far as couple sleeping positions go, this can be either incredibly uncomfortable or extremely soothing. It’s a little less common, but give it a try, you might find that you feel more safe and cozy. Sometimes this nurturing position is called a “sweetheart cradle.”
The Leg Hug
Sometimes you want a little bit of intimacy, a reminder that you’re both in this sleep session together, but you need a little bit more space. This is where the leg hug comes in. Whatever the best couple sleeping positions are for you, you can probably incorporate a little leg hug into your nightly routine. Whether you’re both on your backs, stomachs, sides, or any combination of the above, there’s a way you can loop one leg over/under your partner’s, providing a physical connection that brings you just a wee bit closer together, while giving you the space you need for a full night’s sleep.
Tricks to Improve Couple Sleeping Positions
1. Two Comforters
It may sound unreasonable, but if you have a blanket hog for a partner (or if you’re the covers coveter yourself) having a secondary comforter not only provides a top notch top layer of warmth, it prevents one person from becoming the sole bearer of the blankets. Why wake up in the middle of the night shivering when you can instead both keep comfy? It’s a traditional Scandinavian move that leaves both partners in a better position for sleep. They really need it for those long, cold winters!
2. Boost Your Comfort
Sleeping with your sweetie doesn’t mean you have to give up true bedtime comfort. If you wake up in the morning with creaky knees or sore hips, try using a leg pillow to boost your comfort! Or, if the two of you like to relax with white noise, meditation, or the comforting sound of a humidifier bubbling, don’t be afraid to figure out what helps both of you. There are many paths to a good night’s sleep, alone or together.
3. Track Your Sleep Habits
Wanna know if you and your partner are getting a good night’s sleep? Or getting better sleep over time? Maybe you or your loved one is waking up feeling groggy as a result of somebody’s snoring. There are lots of available ways (read: apps) to track your sleep habits so give it a try and see if you need to change your couple sleeping positions up a bit!
Do What’s Right For You… Both
Yes, while it’s nice to sleep in the same bed as your partner, it’s not always the easiest thing to do. You’ve gotta find that sweet spot, the compromise between getting a good, full night of sleep so you don’t wake up groggy and the pleasant experience of cuddling up with your partner in the evening. It’s not always easy, but finding out which couple sleep positions work best for you will better your nighttime together so you can have a more fulfilling and comfortable daytime as well. Figure out the best sleep positions and conquer the night!