What Does The Way You Sleep Say About Your Relationship?
The closeness of a couple and how happy they are in their relationship is reflected in the distance between them as they sleep, a new study has claimed.
Partners who slept less than an inch apart were more likely to be content with their relationship than those maintaining a gap of more than 30 inches between them.
Couples who spent the night touching were also happier than partners who upheld a “no touching rule” while asleep, according to the survey which looked at the responses of 1,000 people.
The study found the overwhelming majority (86 per cent) of couples who slept less than an inch away from each other claimed to be happy with their relationship compared with two-thirds (66 per cent) who slept more than 30 inches apart.
Twelve per cent of couples spent the night less than an inch apart while just 2 per cent slept more than 30 inches apart.
University of Hertfordshire psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman, who led the study, said: "One of the most important differences involved touching. Ninety four per cent of couples who spent the night in contact with one another were happy with their relationship, compared to just 68 per cent of those that didn't touch.
The study was conducted as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival. Prof Wiseman is the author of Night School, which examines the science of sleep and dreaming.
The most popular sleeping positions
1. Liberty: Back to back but not touching
This couple feels connected but they are independent enough to sleep separately. They know each other's sleeping habits and accept them
2. Cherish: Back to back but touching
This position is popular in a new relationship as it shows the couple are comfortable, intimate and relaxed with each other
3. Spoons: Typically with the female on the inside
A traditional position in which the male takes the lead and protects his partner
4. Lovers' Knot: Face to face with legs intertwined for 10 minutes, then couple separate to sleep
This position demonstrates a loving independence, and is a sign of intimacy, love and sexual activity
5. Romantic: Man lying on back with woman's head and arm on his chest
This is the popular Hollywood movie scene position, suggesting the couple is in a new relationship
6. Pillow talk: Face to face but not touching
This position represents an intimate need for one-to-one contact and conversation in bed