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Science finds that couples that spoon have a better relationship

Posted by
Carl Anka
Published

Sleep close to your partner? In this heat? You must be *really* in love.

That’s one of the leading conclusions unearthed by a survey carried out by the University of Hertfordshire in 2014 that’s doing the rounds again.

The study, which was the first of its kind to make a link between sleeping position and happiness in couples, asked 1,000 people to describe their preferred sleeping position and to rate their personality and quality of their relationship.

The lead author on the survey, Professor Richard Wiseman said of the findings: “One of the most important differences involved touching, with 94% of couples who spent the night in contact with one another were happy with their relationship, compared to just 68% of those that didn't touch.”

Digging deeper, the study revealed the further away couples sleep from each other, the more likely they are to be unhappy.

86% of those who slept less than an inch apart from their partner described themselves as being happy with their relationship, compared to only 66% of those who slept more than 30 inches apart. 

And how do couples prefer to sleep with each other? Nearly half (42%) opted to sleep back to back, 31% sleep facing the same direction and just 4% spend the night facing one another.

The study also made an interesting link between personality type and what side of the bed one prefers – with more creative types tending to sleep on the left hand side of the bed.

Professor Wiseman noted: "This is the first survey to examine couples' sleeping positions, and the results allow people to gain an insight into someone's personality and relationship by simply asking them about their favourite sleeping position." Since publishing the study, he has gone on to write the book Night School, which looks at the science of sleep and dreaming.